Monthly logs are super useful to see your month at a glance, and I always need to include one each month. However, apart from having a calendar with room for a few events each day, I really don’t need much on this spread. Therefore, to fill a two page spread, it’s the perfect opportunity to get a bit creative!!
- Archer and Olive Journal – To do something like this you definitely need thick pages if you want no bleeding or ghosting. As always I recommend the A&O journals as the pages can withstand this much paint!
- Pencil – To carefully plan out your ideas so you can make sure your spread has everything you need.
- Fineliners – My favourites are the Unipin fineliners as they’re waterproof, affordable and have a strong nib.
A lot of the monthly pages I create use watercolour, so first of all, here are some tips on painting across pages:
1. Create A Washi Border
When you paint right to the edge of the pages, it can be really easy to smudge it onto the pages on the other side. By creating a washi barrier you can ensure this doesn’t happen, and get a perfectly crisp line around your painting.
2. Water Control
Whilst it is always important to use little water, it is especially important near the centre of the page. Even the best paper will bleed if you let water pool in the centre of the page – so be sure to use even less water here and dry/blot it quickly!
Using watercolour, you’re sure to get a little wrinkling of the paper. The best way to fix this is to use heat tool to dry the page so it doesn’t have to much time to wrinkle, and put the journal under weights/heavy books over night to flatten the pages out.
To read my full list of tips on painting in your journal, read this blog here.
These are some of the most decorative and fun monthly spreads I’ve created in my journal:
One way to really get the most space for decorating your monthly log is to use a horizontal layout. I like to make each day 1.5 squares wide. This is because it fills the page really well, but more importantly gives room for three events/entries for each day.
In this spread I painted a galaxy scene in watercolour. It really is striking to have it across both pages!
Another example of this layout is this Fantastic Beasts spread. The only way to fit this illustration on the page was by having the design landscape – so the horizontal log really let me make use of the entire page whilst still having room for my monthly overview!
Finally, in this example I really incorporated the design with the horizontal log, as I knew I didn’t have much to do on those first days of January. This has to be one of my favourite monthlies!
The vertical log gives you room on both the sides of the log to write events (2-4 per day), but it still gives you ample room for getting creative too!
Here I created a pattern that flowed through the log. Whilst there were some parts I had to write over the watercolour, it worked really well and was super fun to use.
In this spread, the vertical log gave me ample space to create a sunset landscape. Whilst it isn’t as much room as the horizontal log would give, it was a really cool effect to have the landscape fading away to keep room for the log.
Here’s another way to create a pattern that goes over both pages! This spread also gave me much more room for tasks on the log
Painting On One Side
This is just the same vertical log, but you can see this time the painting is confined to one page:
If you’re worried about painting across the pages, or you don’t have thick paper like the Archer and Olive and need to paint the image on other paper and stick it in, this is a great layout to make.
Diagonal Illustration and Log
And finally, if you really want to mix it up, you can still fit a decent sized illustration on the page by making your log diagonal!
Here I was able to really take over the page with this illustration of a peony, but my log was still super functional, and actually turned out really aesthetic too!
Hopefully I’ve given you some help and inspiration to create some next level monthly logs in your next monthly set up! And if I have, I would love to see your spreads, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your creations featured in my stories!