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How To Elevate Your Bullet Journal Spreads With Decorative Paper

by Ambassador Team 27 Jan 2024 0 Comments

Utilizing paper is a super resourceful way to create decorative and functional elements for any layout in your bullet journal!

Flay lay image of a traverler's size bullet journal surrounded by supplies

Let’s Get Resourceful

Hello friends! This is Sian or @perceivegrace, on both Instagram & Youtube. I have been super obsessed with incorporating scrapbooking paper into my bullet journal set-ups lately. These ideas can apply to daily, weekly, monthly, and journaling lay-outs, as well as any size bullet journal. This method of decorating your bullet journal and creating functionality is perfect for anyone, especially those who feel like they don’t have a ton of resources readily available to decorate their spreads (i.e. sticker collection, washi tape collection, ability to draw, etc.).

Supply List

Truly, all you need is the paper you want to use and something to adhere the paper with, but I’ve included my materials list below. You can use my code SIAN10 to save 10% with Archer & Olive on the tools you need to create. 

Click the video below to check out the process in action!


A Decorative Background

My first and favorite way to use paper in your bullet journal is as a background. I cannot get enough of doing this. Find the prettiest pattern paper, to match the theme you’re going for, and size it accurately to the half-page spread or full-page spread.

Hands of a person adhering floral decorative scrap book paper to a white dot grid notebook page

You can find scrapbook paper at your local craft store or print out the free printable below. You can print it out on regular printer paper or cardstock, to have that scrapbook paper effect. Archer & Olive monthly kits and sub boxes usually come with themed paper to use as well.

digital image displaying patterned paper printables in a spring floral pattern

Think Outside the Box

As you might be using paper in your bullet journal as a fun background, you’ll most likely need more paper to create your functional boxes. These will be adhered on top of the background you create. The example in this blog post is for a daily layout spread and in this instance I created boxes of various sizes for tasks, gratitude, and currently reading sections. I highly recommend the Archer & Olive dot grid notepads for this purpose. 

Because sticky notes are paper too, grab those sticky notes you have lying around and use them in your bullet journal as the quickest boxes you’ll ever add to your spreads. I used a checklist sticky note as a notes section in this daily spread.

Image of a traveler's size bullet journal with the left page having a floral decorative paper background and two functional boxes on top, vertically

Image showing a traveler's size bullet journal with a daily layout and boxes for tasks, notes, gratitude, and currently reading sections

Cover it up!

Objectively the most helpful way to use paper in your bullet journal is to cover up mistakes. Whether you smudged that gel pen ink, picked up the wrong color brush lettering pen, or don’t like the way you wrote something, using paper is one way to right that wrong. Again, I love the Archer & Olive notepads for this reason. A page in those notepads is so easy to tear out and use however is needed. 


DIY Washi

We love our washi tape around here, but may not always have the perfect washi for the vision of our bullet journal pages. If you’ve already got a theme going with decorative or pattern paper, use that same themed paper to size and cut those washi strips you’re missing to complete the spread. In my example spread below, you can see I added my washi strips at the top and bottom on the right page.

Image showing a traveler's size bullet journal with a daily layout spread using floral scrapbook and purple dot grid paper

More Ways

As we know, the sky’s the limit with bullet journaling, but here’s a longer list of ways to use paper in your bullet journal! Happy journaling!

  • Headers
  • Covering mistakes
  • Envelopes/pockets
  • Shapes for layering
  • Washi strips
  • Decorative background
  • Functional boxes
  • Frames
  • Textured paper/ephemera
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