10 Creative Ways to Fill in Your Journal

10 Creative Ways

As much as I love spending quality time journaling and decorating my pages each and every single day, sometimes life gets in the way. Even though I’ve made it a part of my daily practice to carve out at least 10 minutes to get creative, I find myself falling behind. Clusters of blank spaces pop up throughout my pages. In the past this is when I usually abandon a project (or sketchbook…. I have tons that I started strong with the first few pages, but have just left me feeling as empty as the neglected blank pages that follow). Sometimes we just need simple solutions to play catch up. Get into the mindset of using your supplies, feeling the freedom of putting beautiful things to use instead of letting them sit in a forgotten desk drawer. Sometimes, the simple solutions look best. It can be easy to overthink the process. Instead of thinking about what will look exactly right or perfect, focus on what you like and what looks good to you. Sometimes, it might be that sparkly washi tape that you just really like or a cute sticker shaped like a happy strawberry. Whatever it may be, pay attention to that initial reaction– does it make you smile when you look at it? If so, chances are that it belongs in your journal.

10 Creative Ways
  1. Add stickers. In the past, I hoarded them for the perfect occasion, not wanting to use them up. Just like any other craft supply however, these are meant to be used! If you don’t have good stickers, I highly recommend my sticker book or the Pipsticks sticker subscription. Use the code CRAFTLOVE for 15% off your first order.

  2. Cut up magazines. There’s no wrong way to do this. That pile of dusty magazines in the corner of your living area is definitely begging to be carved up. It’s a great way to fill up those empty spaces in your journal. Plus, once you’ve harvested all you can get from a magazine, you can declutter and send the leftovers straight to recycling! If the choice between cleaning or journaling comes up, ask yourself, why not try for both?

  3. Add things you get in the mail. You know the inserts you never asked for; the inexplicable mailers you don’t remember signing up to receive. Sometimes, the unasked for papers actually contain hidden gems.

  4. Movie stubs, business cards and other things you picked up throughout your day. You know all those things that end up at the bottom of your purse?  Well, they could be the missing decorations you need to complete a page or spread.

  5. Cute doodles. The most important thing to remember with this is that doodles aren’t supposed to look any specific way. They are unique, imperfect, and great for filling up those open spaces. You can use any pen or marker to draw them and if you want inspiration, look at instagram or Pinterest to see other doodles people have created. I have a favorite doodle book if you're looking for even more inspiration. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. A heart, flower, or star can look really good in the right place. You could even try memory doodles. Sketch out a specific thing you remember from that day. It can be as simple as the cup of coffee you drank in the morning.

  6. Washi Tape. In times of doubt, keep it simple. This is what washi tape is for! It’s inexpensive and there are so many beautiful designs. If you want to get more creative with it, layer the washi tape or create your own design with multiple types of tape.

  7. Printed photos. You know those photos you get at some events? This is the perfect place for them. Or if you want to print them at home, I love using the Prynt Pocket or HP Sprocket because it’s a sticker print. The Instax printer is great too, but is slightly thicker than other prints. Small photos make it easy to fill up a blank space. Plus, these images are often very meaningful and hold special memories.

  8. Look up favorite quotes on Pinterest and write them in. This is one of my go-to methods. Certain quotes can capture how you felt at the time, important things you want to remember, and ideas that are especially meaningful for you. Try out new fonts and colors. You can place tiny quotes in the margins, fill entire pages with quotes. Get creative. Get messy. Try out new things. Check out my "Word" Board on Pinterest for inspiration and ideas!

  9. Practice your lettering by recording motivational or inspiring quotes that fit your mood. This is a little like step 8, but I recommend looking in different places for this one. Do you have a favorite motivational book, podcast or TED Talk? Whatever form it may take, refer to it as you work on your journal or planner and copy down the quotes or segments that speak to you the most. You’ll be surprised at how meaningful this can become. Use colorful markers and pens. You can add texture and pattern with various colors and drawings. Adding diagonal lines, diamond patterns, squares, or even cross-hatching can enhance any empty spaces in your journal.

  10. Have a friend or loved one add a note to your journal. If your creative juices are a little tapped out, ask someone to write something for you! A simple little note or thought can add so much to your pages and take off some of the pressure.

As you work on your notebook, journal or other awesome paper project, just remember, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - in other words, done is better than perfect and when you look back on your work, you’ll be so glad you got things recorded. Which of these 10 tips are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments and be sure to take a look at the video!

Hobonichi Marble Makeover

Hobonichi Marble Makeover

Hello Team Tangerine! As you can see below, my beloved Hobonichi is a little worn out. I’m not ready to let it go or get another one, so I’ve decided to give it a little makeover. This project requires very few supplies and the steps are simple and easy to manage. If you have a well-loved journal or planner in need of an upgrade, check out the steps below or watch the tutorial on YouTube!

Hobonichi Marble Makeover

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Gather your supplies. Make sure you have everything you need and a clean, clear space with plenty of room to work. It helps if the area is well-lit, so you can see what you’re doing!

Step 2: Measure the cover of your Hobonichi and trace the outline on the contact paper. You will probably want to take a look at a large piece of the contact paper and line it up with a part of the pattern you like best. Make sure that you measure out two pieces of contact paper— one for the back and one for the front.

Step 3: Lay the contact paper out on the cutting mat. It may help to use a small piece of clear tape or even a paper weight to hold the contact paper down. Because it’s stored in a roll, it tries to roll back up and it can be hard to keep it flat! That’s what I found out during filming!

Step 4: Hold the paper taut and carefully use the ruler as a guide for your craft knife as you cut along the marks you made. Watch your fingers!

Step 5: Embrace your mistakes. Even though this is a simple project, chances are that something might not go the way you like. Don’t worry. Perfection is not required.

Step 6: Hold the contact paper against the Hobonichi and make sure it’s lined up the way you like. You may need to do some trimming, but it’s best to do that after you stick the paper on, that way you don’t cut away too much.

Step 7: This is the scary part, carefully peel away the lining of the contact paper and gently smooth it over your Hobonichi cover. It’s a good idea to do this slowly and to smooth from top down to the bottom in order to avoid air bubbles. A good tip is to use your ruler instead of your hands for a nice finish. You’ll do this to both sides of the journal. At this point, you may want to trim any edges that are too long or a bit ragged.

Step 8: Make it your own! I chose not to decorate any further, but you could easily add your favorite washi tape to the spine for a finished look!

So, what do you think about the final product? Will you give any of your favorite notebooks or journals a summery fresh makeover? Let me know in the comments below! And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect to look great! Be sure to share your makeover results with me on social media too!

In , Tags

TBS. very funny.

It was a definitely a mix of excitement and nerves when I got to Urbanic early one morning to shoot this Trends With Benefits segment. The entire crew was wonderful to work with, and they made the environment completely relaxing, even with all the lights and cameras and people running around my favorite stationery store. This segment will be on TBS today at 1:30pm during The Heartbreak Kid. Tangible personal expression is having a moment as a result of the digital backlash, and one thing’s for sure – this ain’t your grandma’s scrapbook! It’s more like a mixed-media storybook -- one that’s filled with magazine clippings, menus, photos, doodles and text; one that documents your interests in a modern and artistic way, and one that can even be used to live-capture a major life event. Welcome to Scrapbooking, 2.0 I have to say that one of the coolest parts of the shoot was while flipping through the minibooks and scrapbooks, there were ooh's and ahh's from some of the men on the crew. Even they were impressed (even if it was mildly) that documenting your memories could be done in a cool fashion. Thanks to everyone at Trends with Benefits and TBS for having me on the show! PS- Washi tape lovers, today is the last day to use the code: FreeTangerine for free shipping (anywhere in the world) at Freckled Fawn!

take note

Extremely guilty of collecting cute little notebooks and journals and only writing in them for the first few pages, I decided such nonsense must come to an end. Picked these up from Staples and while in NYC at KP's apartment, I stamped the "write on" with Studio Calico alphabet stamps and Hero Arts shadow inks.

After I got home, I put some of the extensive washi tape collection to good use.

Simply adding strips of colorful washi tape really brightened up the cover. Now I just need to listen to my own advice and actually fill up the pages with scribbles, sketches, sayings and sweet things.

art journal pages + lemonade

I just realized I didn't share some of the things I made while in Thailand back in 2008. What an amazing trip with an inspiring group of women. One of the journals I worked on had an intimidating amount of pages... hundreds of blank pages that initially made me feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, Emily gave us plenty of words of encouragement, giving us permission to get messy and just get into it. It's become a journal for random thoughts, as well as a place to put stuff I find on my journeys.

Even after overplaying it like crazy 2 years ago, I still love the song, Lemonade by Chris Rice. My cousin, Cindy, put it on a mix for me for my 30th birthday.

Thanks for the interest and feedback on an online workshop. So inspired to put something together soon... thanks for the lemonade!