Bullet Journal Blackout! Five dark layouts to try in your bullet journal
Posted on January 22 2019
This year my bullet journal has gone to the dark side (shocked and horrified emoji goes here). The look of white (or color) on black is absolutely stunning and I wanted to try something new for the new year. Here are five layouts you can try in your bullet journal.
- Archer and Olive Journal - I know I'm running a business, so of course I want you to buy one of my (totally awesome) journals. But honestly, these journals are the only ones I have found that can withstand the intense black coloring WITHOUT ANY BLEEDING OR GHOSTING on the other side (another shocked and pleasantly surprised emoji).
- Black and White Gouache - Love Winsor and Newton. Holbein is a great brand too!
- Paintbrushes - I recommend one very large brush to cover larger surfaces, one small to medium rounded, and one teeny tiny rounded. My favorites are Winsor and Newton University Series brushes.
- Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Black
- White Gel Pen - Because you're going to want to write on these pages. My favorite brands are Jelly Roll and Pilot.
Layout One: Black and white and red (read?) all over
Steps to achieving this layout:
1. In your Archer and Olive Bullet Journal, first sketched out the "2019". If you have trouble getting the numbers to look perfect, I recommend tracing the numbers (blog to come on this later).
2. Then carefully paint around the numbers with a medium sized brush.
3. Once all the small little crevasses were filled in, take your bigger flat brush to paint in the rest. To avoid getting paint on the edges of my book, I stuck a sheet of paper underneath each page I was painting.
4. After that paint dries, go back in with a tiny detailed brush to add the floral using white gouache. Though you could also probably add this with a gel pen.
Layout 2: Black Box
If you're not ready to commit to an entire page of darkness, adding one black box is a nice way to get some contrast. For this layout:
1. In your Archer and Olive Bullet Journal Trace the boundaries of the box in pencil.
2. Use your Tombow Dual Brush Pen to color in the box. Please note, when using the Tombow Dual Brush Pen, the dots will slightly show through. They have a slight coating. I actually really liked this, because I still have the guides when writing notes. Also note that some gel pens will have a hard time writing on top of the Tombow ink. Get a few pens to test out first.
3. With a black felt tip pen, I added the floral decorations.
Layout 3: Black Box(es)
This Layout is super similar to the last, but it involves more boxes, and less flowers.
1. In your Archer and Olive Bullet Journal trace the boundaries of each box with a pencil.
2. Using the Tombow Dual Brush Pen, color in the squares. I go over each square about 3 times to get a rich black (don't worry, still no ghosting or bleeding)!
3. Use a white Gel pen to write on the boxes. You might have to test a few. My Jelly Roll didn't work great on the Tombow ink.
4. White Boxes, Black Background.
If you don't want to write on a black background, you can always leave the boxes white, and use black as the background color. This is probably one of my favorite blackout bullet journal layouts.
1. In your Archer and Olive Bullet Journal, with a pencil, sketch the boundaries of your boxes.
2. If you want to get precise, use masking or painters tape to tape off the white boxes. This way you don't accidentally paint inside, and leaves some super nice crisp lines.
3. Paint the background black! It's best to slip a sheet of paper under the page you are painting, so paint doesn't get on the edge of your book or other pages.
4. Use white paint or white gel pen to add some floral details.
5. Adding Color!
It doesn't have to be all about the black and white. Color looks marvelous on a black background.
1. In your Archer and Olive Bullet Journal, with a pencil, mark the boundaries of each box.
2. Carefully paint the outside and inside of each box, leaving a thin white line to define each box. Don't worry if you make a mistake (I made several on this layout). You can always go back with white paint for touch ups.
3. Get colorful!