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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!