Journal Decoration Ideas for Your Planner

If you are looking for an easy way to add a journal decoration to your planner, I’ve got an easy project for you! A stenciled journal cover! Let’s get started on this fun and easy project 😊

There is a video towards the bottom of this post! Be sure to watch it!

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Pinterest graphic with text overlay "stencil your bullet journal" with two journals laying on a desk.

how to decorate your journal cover

The truth is, I can’t leave well enough alone.

Are you like that? You see something that is functional yet plain and ordinary and then you have to do something to it to change it up?

That’s me. I have used a plain journal for years as my bullet journal. The covers have always been blank.

For some reason, this year I wanted to change that.

Thankfully, I had the supplies on hand because when the mood strikes, well you know the rest of the story!

Blank camel colored planner, stencl, Dixie Belle Paint in Drop Cloth an a paper plate laying on a work surface.

The supplies are simple: paint, stencil, sponge, and sealer. I will share what I used for my two journals (yep, I said two!) and I will add some links if you would like to use the same supplies.

You can use any stencil but I highly recommend using Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint. This stuff is seriously amazing! It adheres to anything and once it is cured, it is super durable. No fumes or funky smells, water clean-up, and gorgeous colors to choose from!

list of supplies:

Dixie Belle supplies can also be bought by clicking the graphic below. Thanks for supporting our blog this way!😊

notebook cover ideas

Stenciling is easy. You’ll see me stenciling this decoration on the journal in the video below.

You just dab a bit of paint on the sponge and then dab most of it off on a paper towel. This dry sponge technique will help to prevent paint from going under the stencil and making a mess.

Then with the sponge, a bit dry, pounce over the stencil. Do this with a light touch. You can always add more layers of paint if you want but you can’t remove them once you are done!

It doesn’t take much time to cover the front of this notebook cover. Isn’t this a simple decoration for a journal yet so pretty?

Lady showing a stenciled front cover of a bullet journal.

can you use wax on a journal?

Yes, you can! I know that sounds crazy – I mean who in the world waxes a bullet journal cover??

I do. 🤪

On a serious note, it is best to seal the chalk mineral paint. In fact, I might even add another layer of wax every couple of months. My bullet journal gets used every single day. I literally bring it into whatever room I am working in, including my outdoor workshop (aka our garage) so I want it protected.

A chip brush works well for this. I dab a bit of wax onto the brush and swirl the wax onto the decorated journal cover.

When both sides were covered in a light layer of wax, I opened the journal as you see in the image below. The wax dries in about 20 minutes.

A bullet journal laid open to allow paint that was used as a journal decoration to dry.

an an aesthetic look for your journal

After the wax was completely dry, I used a clean paper towel to lightly buff the surface. I created a soft sheen to the journal that was soft to touch.

Lady buffing the Dixie Belle wax on a pleater journal cover to protect the decoration that was created with paint and a stencil.

notebook cover ideas

Isn’t she a cutie?? I say she because I refer to my bullet journal as my assistant. Seriously, I couldn’t accomplish all that I do without her.

She is my best friend and she keeps this place running! The least I could do is give her a little journal cover decoration and some wax to soften her cover! 😊

The front of a notebook that was decorated with a stencil and Dixie Belle paint.

more bullet journal ideas!

Just click any of the images below to peek inside my bullet journals!

pretty journal cover

Wasn’t that a fun and fast way to add some decoration to your journal? There are so many kinds of stencils to use for a journal – whether it is a writing journal or a bullet journal for planning, if you are going to use it every day, it should be pretty!

You’ll see here that I did a second journal with a different stencil. You’ll see more of that in the video below!

Two journals laying on a desk that have been stenciled with a floral stencil from Belles and Whistles from Dixie Belle and paint.

more stenciling posts!

Stenciling has been one of my favorite techniques here lately. You can see some of my recent stenciling projects by clicking the images below.

Just click the image and you will be taken to the post with all the details.

Pin the image below to your bullet journal or easy craft project boards! Just click the pin button at the top left corner!

Pinterest graphic with text overlay "custom bullet journal" with two different journals that have been stenciled.

YouTube video

And just like I promised at the beginning of this post, here is a video of this project.

Thanks for joining our journey!

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  1. I enjoyed your post! Stenciling is a great way to decorate and add texture to so many things! Love the journal…

    1. Thank you, Karen! I’m always looking for something to paint!

  2. Cindy, this looks great! I love the idea of taking a plain journal and making it custom. Love the video too!

    1. Have fun stenciling your journal Michele! Thanks for stopping by today. 😊

  3. Your journal turned out beautiful Cindy. I’m sure you’ll enjoy using it all year long.

    1. It will make planning my projects fun! This journal is my all-day-long companion. 😊

  4. Cindy, I love how beautiful this project looks adding your person touch. How nice of a gift this would make for a friend. A great prayer journal too. Love it!

    1. We are thinking alike Tammy! I have two journals – one for prayers and one for my bullet journal planner!

  5. This is such a great project. I love the personal touch it adds. I am a big journal writer. I will be adding this touch to mine!

    1. Yay for journaling!! Have fun decorating yours and thank you for stopping by 😊

  6. What a great idea to add some pretty detail to your journal cover! I love the stencil you chose. Pinned!

    1. Thanks Lynne! I can’t leave well enough alone 🙂