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Think you can’t draw? Easy Decoration Ideas for your Bullet Journal

by Ambassador Team 10 Mar 2024 0 Comments

Often we can feel overwhelmed by other people’s creativity. Perhaps you are short on time or struggle to find inspiration for your journal pages.  Maybe you need some simpler decoration methods as an alternative to drawing or painting anything from scratch.

Open journal with November cover page using Kraft paper and ink stamps of books and coffee

Hello, it’s Alex (@TheJournalCorner) from the Archer and Olive ambassador team.  Today I am going to share some top tips to add decoration into your Bullet Journal.  Although I now find myself sharing creative ideas online, I wouldn’t say I am naturally artistic.  Over the years I have learnt to use resources available to make the pages aesthetic without being able to draw!

This blog post will take you through some simple suggestions to decorate your pages and will be a great opportunity to hopefully use things you already own too.  I am going to share some examples of my Bullet Journal and how I have created a decorative page using accessories like washi tape and coloured paper.

Remember, if you prefer to watch, you can also find a video taking you through my ideas at the end of this page.  I have also created a printable to help you remember these suggestions.

Supplies needed

Stack of journals

I have used an Archer & Olive journal as my Bullet Journal for 4 years now.  The examples I include in this blog are using a B5 size.  This larger journal does allow me more space to be creative using accessories like stickers and washi but of course choose the size most convenient for you.

You can see the Archer & Olive journals currently available here.  

There are quite a few accessories that can help you be creative in your journal when you may be less confident in drawing something yourself.  Hopefully these ideas will help you to use some supplies you maybe haven’t yet used in your journal.

In addition to your journal, some of the ideas I am sharing today may also use:

Group of accessories including stickers, stamps and washi tape

If you are looking to purchase anything from Archer & Olive, please use ‘Alex10’ to save 10%. This is an affiliate code, so it allows you to support creators like me too.

Using washi tape in your Bullet Journal

Washi and Stickers around a journal

One of the simplest ways to add decoration to you pages is using washi tape and stickers.  These can be purely decorative or more functional.  Archer & Olive have a great range of decorative washi tape and stickers.

Themed washi tape often inspires me for a month in my bullet journal.  It can be used across a whole page, to fill empty space and create an aesthetic division between sections on your setup.

On some occasions I have actually cut the washi tape so create more of a sticker effect.  For example in November 2023, I cut around the book shelves on this Archer and Olive washi tape so it looked more realistic on my page.  It would have taken me a lot longer to draw a bookshelf and it definitely wouldn’t have looked as detailed!

Bookshelf washi tape cut to be more realistic on the page

In January 2023 I cut around elements on a wide washi tape to use as stickers.  I also used wide washi tape to create a decorative edge to a page.  This works well especially if cutting the paper to create a dutch door or tabs down the page.

Journal page decorated with washi tape

In September 2023 I created a stationery theme in my Bullet Journal.  For the decorative cover page I cut washi tape to be shaped like washi tape rolls as a decorative part of the page.

Journal page decorated with washi tape

If you find a washi tape you love, you can even cut it to create a font. Here I used a craft knife to cut washi tape into letters as part of a quote page.

Washi Tape cut into a word

Using stickers in your Bullet Journal

I have really enjoyed using stickers from Archer and Olive to add decoration and save time.  The  monthly Kit Club includes themed stickers that are also practical, for example dates and headers.  This can help quickly finish a page in your planner or bullet journal.

Contents of Archer & Olive Kit Club January 24

I usually add stickers at the end of creating the journal spread, starting with the larger ones.  This then allows you to fill in any spaces effectively.  You could also layer stickers onto strips of washi tape or coloured paper.

Journal surrounded by stickers, washi and pens

There are ways to be creative with stickers to make your page more individual too.  Perhaps cut them to fit around text or turn them into page tabs.  Did you know you can also buy sticker paper?  This allows you to print photos, favourite images or quotes and then add them into you journal too.

Adding paper into your Bullet Journal

Pile of Archer & Olive Coloured Notepads

One of the ways to easily make your page more interesting is adding paper, coloured or patterned.  Archer & Olive have a great range of notepads which allow you to use paper as backgrounds, cut to shapes or even some papercraft!  You may have postcards, old wrapping paper, sticky notes you love - try to incorporate these into your pages.

open journal with coloured envelopes

For this love letter theme in my Bullet Journal, instead of drawing out lots of envelopes, it was easier to cut them out of lots of different paper.  I used the same colour scheme with acrylograph pens for the headers to match.

My favourite notepad is definitely my Kraft paper one from Archer & Olive.  I love the cosy vibe it adds into my journal pages, especially in Autumn.  I have used it as backgrounds for headers, stuck it in to write on and also cut to create a window you can open and close.

Kraft paper used to make a window

I have also loved the vellum paper included in some of the Archer & Olive subscription boxes.  This can be used as a background or added over a cut section of a page to create a window effect.  

Open journal with vellum paper as background

Paper can easily be cut into simple letters too.  This creates a very effective header or cover page and you can continue to use the paper throughout the month to bring the theme together. 

Open journal with letters cut from patterned paper

Cutting the page in your Bullet Journal

This took me years to build up the courage to do initially but was a game changer for creativity in my Bullet Journal.  I have cut the pages to create dutch doors and tabs but also more creative decoration.

Journal page with cut outs

For this page in September 2022, I used a craft knife to cut the page of my journal creating a few ‘blobs’ of paint with coloured paper on the page behind.  This did need some planning to ensure worked as I wanted and took some time but was still a good alternative to drawing from scratch!

This theme also allowed me some inspiration to cut the pages in a more decorative fashion for a Dutch door.

open journal decorated with coloured paper

Here for a November theme, I also cut the page to create a ‘window’ effect which instead of drawing my desk, I added a photo to the subsequent page.

November cover page of window onto a photo of desk area

Using Inks and Stamps in your Bullet Journal

More recently I have been experimenting with ink and stamps in my Bullet Journal.  These are a quick and easy way to fill a page or add more detailed decoration.  

In March I used an ink pad to create simple shapes which I then added simple drawings to.  The acrylograph paint pen worked well for this!

coloured ink in journal with a paint pen

November last year was a books and coffee themes using stamps from Archer and Olive.  

Open journal with Kraft paper and stamps

Black ink would make them a feature of the page but more neutral colours allowed them to become a background.

Using Stencils in your Bullet Journal

One of the main ways I have avoided drawing in my Bullet Journal is by using stencils.  These can be for images, fonts or shapes like this planner stencil.

Have a look to see if you have any stencils from past monthly kits from Archer & Olive you can use to create a theme in your journal.

Printable and Video

I hope you have found this article useful in helping you with ideas to decorate your Bullet Journal without drawing!

Please take a look at the printable below to remember to use these suggestions.  Don’t forget to watch the video to see more on this process too.


free printable


I hope you have found these ideas useful and can use them in your journal.

For more journal inspiration come and say hello @thejournalcorner. We always love to see your creations, so please tag @archerandolive or use #aoshare on Instagram.

The Archer & Olive blog has a lot of articles to help inspire your journaling. Take a look at some more decoration ideas here and inspiration for themes here.  

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