How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

by - June 19, 2021

Are you looking to level up your bullet journal game and be more creative, but you don't want to ruin your bullet journal in the process? Watercolors in your bullet journal might seem like a daunting idea, but I'll show you how you can use watercolors in your bullet journal without ruining the pages! Bullet journaling can help you to be more productive and organized, but it is also a creative outlet for many people, myself included.

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

You want to try new techniques and mediums in your bullet journal, but you also don't want to lose all of the memories you have stored on the pages of your journal. I understand this!

It would be simply devastating to try out watercolors in your bullet journal and end up soaking your entire bullet journal in water. It would ruin your notebook and all of the precious memories you have inside! Using watercolors in your bullet journal though can be safe and easy!

I tested out using watercolors in my bullet journal recently and I love the effect! It's an easy way to make your bullet journal prettier, which for some of us is the needed motivation to get ourselves to use our bullet journals. Am I right?

I also learned how to paint with watercolors when I was younger, and so I know the ins and outs of watercolor painting. :)

Today, I'll show you how you can start using watercolors in your bullet journal and how to fix some common watercolor mistakes you might make!

Watercolor Bullet Journal Supplies

The first and absolutely necessary thing we need to talk about is supplies. If you don't have the right supplies for using watercolors in your bullet journal, then it might not be as fun, and it may even ruin your notebook! We don't want that to happen!

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

The Notebook

If you have a notebook with very thin paper, this is not going to work because the watercolors will bleed right through the page. Don't worry though! This doesn't mean you can't have beautiful watercolor paintings and decorations in your bullet journal.

It just means that you will have to paint on a different piece of paper that is thicker and then use washi tape or glue to stick your masterpiece into your bullet journal. Cardstock would probably work, but if you actually have some watercolor paper that would work the best. Keep in mind that if you stick a thick piece of paper in your journal, it will make your bullet journal a little bit thicker so you probably won't want to have watercolor masterpieces on every page!

There are other options as well. If the pages in your journal are medium-thick, you can simply glue two pages together. If the pages in your notebook are thin, then you can take another piece of thicker paper (like cardstock) and cut it so it's a little bit smaller than your bullet journal pages. Then put that piece of paper in between two pages in your notebook and glue those two pages together.

So there you have it! There are multiple ways you can still use watercolors in your notebook, even if your pages are thin!

If you love using watercolors in your bullet journal, you should buy a special notebook with watercolor paper in it. It will be on the pricey side, but it will be worth it if it will help you use your bullet journal more often. :)

I haven't used a bullet journal with watercolor paper in it, but the Little Coffee Fox blog has a fantastic post on the Archer & Olive Watercolor Bullet Journal Notebook.

The notebook I'm using this year is the Scrivwell A5 Dotted Notebook from Amazon. I am really happy with this notebook so far as the binding on the notebook I used in 2020 broke halfway through the year, and I haven't had any problems at all with this notebook so far!

This notebook has 120 GSM paper in case you want to compare it with the thickness of the paper in your bullet journal. I will talk more about how my notebook withstood watercolors later in this post.

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

The Watercolors

The only other supplies you will need is brushes, paints, some paper towel, and maybe a pencil. (for if you don't want to paint freehand)

I painted with watercolors when I was younger, so now I am using more expensive paints that I wouldn't necessarily recommend to a beginner just because of the price point. If you don't mind the money though, these watercolors come in a beautiful array of colors and are very smooth.

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors Sketchers Pocket Box will cost around $15 - $30, but it is very handy for bullet journaling because though the container is small, it can still hold a good amount of watercolor paint.

The brushes I use for painting in my bullet journal are the Winsor & Newton Cotman 5-Piece Brush Set, and again, they are on the pricier side, but they work very well.

For beginners, I would recommend going to a crafting store like Michaels. You can go to the watercolor painting section and buy a small set of watercolors and a few brushes. The set may already come with brushes. This way, you will be able to see a variety of options so you can find a set of watercolors that won't break your bank and is suited to your skill level.

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

Yay! So you have your supplies and it's time to start painting!

1. Setting Up

Grab your supplies. Open up your notebook to the page you want to paint on. I usually put a piece of paper towel or two beneath the page I am painting on, just in case I have an accident and paint goes over the edge of the page or I use too much water and some paint starts bleeding through the page.

Don't worry this probably won't happen to you! It's just best to be on the safe side.

Next, you can open up your paint box and get out whatever brushes you are going to use. It's also a good idea to have a small jar of water next to you and to have an old towel or paper towel for wiping paint off of your brushes.

If you want to paint a shape on your bullet journal, you can use tape to section off parts of your page. The tape works like a stencil and once you are finished painting you can remove it. This way, you can achieve very clean lines.

2. Mixing Your Paints

Before you use your watercolor paints, you should add a few drops of water to the colors you are planning on using so the paint isn't dry.

After that, you can mix the colors you want to use! Simply stick your brush into one color, get a little paint and then stick it onto your palette. After that, stick your brush into water to clean it, before you add a new color to your palette. You can also use a different brush. Then mix up the two colors to blend it. You can, of course, blend more than two colors together if you want!

3. Time to Paint!

Now for the fun bit! It's time to start painting!

If you want to create an ombre effect, you can use a brush to wet down the entire surface you are painting with water before you add any paint. This will help the paints to blend easier. Be careful doing this though, because if you add too much water, it will definitely wrinkle the page.

If you need to add more than one layer of paint to your bullet journal layout, and you don't want them to blend, you will have to wait for the first layer to dry before you can add the second layer. A blow dryer can help speed up this process.

For more tips on painting with watercolors, you can read some articles on Little Coffee Fox. She has quite a few articles on using watercolors for your bullet journal and for regular painting.

After you paint, just make sure you leave your notebook open until the page fully dries, or else you will end up with two pages with paint on them!

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

Using Watercolors in My Bullet Journal

So far, I have only used watercolors in my bullet journal to create headers and backgrounds for quotes. I find that watercolors are easy to use in my bullet journal to create soft pastel and ombre effects that I can't make with markers.

Again my notebook has 120 GSM paper and the paper did wrinkle a little bit, but it doesn't bother me. If you used a lot of water on the page though, it would probably go right through. Overall, I am very happy that I tried out using watercolors in my bullet journal!

If you liked this post, you might also like these ones...

Have any questions about using watercolors in your bullet journal? Leave a comment below and I would be happy to answer your questions! :)
Go ahead! Take the leap, and try out using watercolors in your bullet journal! Pin this post, in case you have any questions about it.

How to Use Watercolors in Your Bullet Journal

Get the Weekly Post Straight to Your Inbox