Journaling With Stickers

Here’s What You Need to Know About Journaling With Stickers

Journaling With Stickers -- Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams.

Journaling With Stickers — Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams.

It’s easy to see why there’s such a huge amount of interest in journaling with stickers. Stickers can be a huge game changer for people who can’t draw and don’t have the time or inclination to spend a lot of time fussing over bullet journal spreads, planner pages or scrapbooking layouts.

You could spend hours drawing unique imagery for your bullet journal, planner, travel journal, scrapbook or memory book — or you could save yourself a lot of time and simply stick some stickers where you want an interesting image to appear.

You could spend hours laying out a spread and calculating where to place lines and bullets in your journal — or you could save yourself all that aggravation, and simply stick down a journaling sticker where all the lines and bullets have been precisely drawn for you.

But if you’re new to journaling with stickers, it can be a little daunting to figure out where to start. There are approximately one zillion different stickers you could be using. Beyond that, even if you choose the most amazing stickers in the universe, it still seems like it can be a challenge to make them look cool when you stick them down. You don’t want your journal to look like a sticker-crazed five-year-old put it together. So where do you start, and what techniques can you use for incorporating stickers to make your your journal look spectacular? I invite you to consider the following tips and ideas for journaling with stickers:

Layer Your Stickers Over Photos or Other Stickers When It’s Appropriate

Fishing Trip Scrapbooking Layout Idea by Amy Solovay

Fishing Trip Scrapbooking Layout Idea by Amy Solovay

It can be a little boring to have every single thing in your journal lined up precisely. When you have photos that include clutter or bare spots, you might want to overlap the bare spots with a journaling sticker. You could use the journaling sticker as a space to write important information about the image itself — put the date or the who, what, where, when, and why that you want to remember about the image.

Vary the Sizes and Shapes of Stickers You Use Together

If you use more than one journaling block sticker on your page, you’ll want to consider varying the sizes and shapes of the stickers you use. This will add a bit of variety to the page.

Don’t Overdo the Stickers

There’s a phenomenon you probably want to avoid in your bullet journals, planners and scrapbooks: Scrapbookers call it “sticker sneeze”. It can look amateurish if you use too many stickers, so challenge yourself to use a minimal number of stickers on each spread or layout.

Pitfalls to Beware of When You’re Journaling With Stickers

I do a lot of journaling on stickers for my scrapbooking pages, and there are a couple of issues that have come up for me in the past. Let’s talk about them so you can be proactive about avoiding or solving them in your own journaling.

Some Coated Stickers Smear When You Write on Them

If your stickers are on a backing, it’s prudent to take the pen you want to use and test it on a bit of the backing that’s in between stickers. You’ll want to note the amount of time it takes your ink to dry, and you’ll also want to test the ink by rubbing it to see if it smears or transfers.

When journaling on coated stickers, I tend to reach for a Sharpie marker, because Sharpies tend to write clearly on surfaces where many other types of markers would smear. I used a black sharpie to write all the journaling on the journaling block stickers you see on this page.

Slick writers are also a good choice for this. I used to have a Slick writer by American Crafts that I used for this purpose. Like Sharpies, they’ve been making those for a long time; they are well tested, tried and true. I haven’t tried the newer Slick Writers that makes, but I wouldn’t hesitate to try them; I’ve generally been pleased with all the other products I’ve tried (like page protectors and “Pops of Color”).

It’s All Too Easy to Mess Up the Journaling on Your Stickers

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on wasted stickers, I suggest grabbing some scratch paper and a pencil and making a first draft of what you want to write in the sticker. Keep your phone or a dictionary handy so you can look up the proper spelling or definition of any words that you aren’t sure of. Then after you’ve finished writing your draft, you can just copy your draft onto the sticker and stick it where you want it in your journal or scrapbook.

Pro tip: If you mess up a sticker, you might still be able to save it by sticking another sticker overtop of it. You can see an example of this in the scrapbook layout below: I made a mistake on my journaling sticker, but I stuck another sticker overtop of it to correct the mistake:

Journaling with stickers: Check out the orange sticker at the top right of the page to see one example of how you can correct a mistake you make when you're journaling on a sticker. I just stuck another sticker overtop of the mistake and then carried on with my journaling.

Journaling with stickers: Check out the orange sticker at the top right of the page to see one example of how you can correct a mistake you make when you’re journaling on a sticker. I just stuck another sticker overtop of the mistake and then carried on with my journaling.

An Alternative to Journaling With Stickers

While I LOVE journaling with stickers, I think there’s a smarter alternative: Journaling with rubber stamped journaling blocks. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Once you’ve made an initial investment in stamps, ink pads and re-inkers, the ongoing expenses for stamping your journaling blocks are negligible. In contrast, stickers are an expensive habit; if you’re using stickers on a daily basis in your scrapbook, journal or planner, they need perpetual replenishing, and you’re likely to be shocked at how much money you’re spending on stickers every year.
  • You have better control over the colors you use
  • Clutter control can be challenging with either stickers or rubber stamps. I’ve personally found that it’s easier to get control of a stamp stash than it is to get control of a sticker stash, but your mileage might really vary here. More on that below.

It’s a matter of personal preference which you might prefer. If money were no object, I might prefer to use more stickers and fewer hand-stamped journaling blocks — but stamping is such an important part of my process that I couldn’t see entirely replacing my stamped journaling blocks with stickers.

Organizing Your Stickers for Journaling

If you’re serious about using stickers for journaling, one of your challenges will be keeping a stash of stickers organized so that you can find just the right sticker when you need to. There are multiple solutions available for this.

I use journaling stickers and hand-stamped journaling blocks interchangeably, so my solution is to organize these two types of items together in the same storage system.

I organize my journaling stickers and journaling blocks by color — because for me, there are two top-priority aspects governing which journaling sticker or journaling block I will use in a particular situation, and color is the first thing I look for. I typically journal on scrapbook page layouts, memory book pages, travel journal pages and planner pages. I tend to start each of these items with some sort of pictures or imagery. Then I will select the right journaling sticker based first on its color, and then on its size and shape as a secondary consideration.

So I like to keep all my journaling stickers and blocks organized in a binder and filed in rainbow order; pink first, then red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, burgundy, brown, black, gray. When I need a blue journaling block, I can open up my binder and look at the blue section and see all my options at a glance. That makes it really easy to journal with stickers when the creative impulse strikes me.

This method of organization means that I often end up cutting all my stickers apart before organizing them, because it is rare for one sheet of stickers to all be printed in the same color. So this method of organizing might not work as well for you if your favorite brand of stickers cannot easily be cut apart.

At the back of my binder I do have a space for storing stickers that can’t easily be cut apart — but, funny thing, these have a tendency to accumulate if I don’t make an effort to use them.

So there you have it: Those are the most important tips and insights I have to offer on the topic of journaling with stickers. I hope you found this information helpful and inspiring.

Over to You:

Do you have questions or comments about journaling with stickers? Let’s talk about your experiences in the comments section.

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Posted By: Amy Solovay

This page was last updated on 10-14-2022.

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