WEEKEND CRAFTING ADVENTURES

Creating A Bullet Journal With Cricut

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

 

In this podcast episode, Kim Wojtalewicz dips her toes into the big world of bullet journaling. She uses her Cricut maker to help create a personalized bullet journal, “BuJo.” Join Kim as she shares why it’s important to have a bullet journal so you can create your own personal, organizational tool customized to your life. 

Watch the full episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Creating A Bullet Journal With Cricut

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

 

In this episode, I am going to share with you how I used my Cricut maker to help me create an amazing bullet journal. The inspiration behind this crafting project was to get me to organize my life and find a better way than what I’ve been doing in the past to create a journal, a list, a calendar, and a planner, and combine all of those things with my ideas in a functional format that I could use on a daily basis throughout the year. As I did a little more research on journaling, or as I’ve heard it nicknamed BuJo, As I was exploring and learning about the process of bullet journaling and what it was all about, I did learn that the person that created this method was Ryder Carroll. He developed a method he created called bullet journaling in the late 1990s.

What got me interested in this way of keeping track of everything in my life was that it was a combination of a calendar, a planner, and a journal, and it is also a creative way to keep track of all things in your life. Something that excited me about starting this project was the idea that I could create a personal organizer customized to what I needed in my life. Two of the resources I used to help guide me in deciding what I want to be part of this bullet journal and how to go ahead and get started with it were two different websites. I looked a lot at the Good Housekeeping website called What Is a Bullet Journal? That gave me some basic background and information and a quick read on what I was going to be getting into and what this bullet journaling was all about.

A bullet journal is a combination between a calendar, a planner, and a journal. It's also a creative way to keep track of all things in your life. Share on X

How To Create A Bullet Journal

The other website that I found helpful in guiding me was called LittleCoffeeFox.com. Those are two you can check out. There are tons of different resources and places you can go to find information on bullet journaling. I’m letting you know the two I looked at that really helped guide me. A couple of the important materials you need for making a bullet journal, and I’m sure there are lots of other ones, but the main ones that I used for my Cricut were permanent vinyl, white sticker paper, and my Cricut fine point pens. Those were all part of what I was going to use to help make my bullet journal and get crafty with it.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

 

I needed a ruler and a bullet journal. With the bullet journal that I chose, there are lots of different options out there, and I chose one that I felt met my personal style for how I like to create things and also what I felt was going to work best for me to make this bullet journal functional for me. I wanted it to be bright, colorful, fun, and creative, but I also wanted to make sure it was something that was going to be useful for me to use day in and day out. I chose a dot grid bullet journal. I also chose one that has 120 GSM thick paper.

 

When I was looking into the different kinds of journals that you could buy to create your bullet journal, I did read a lot about the thickness of the paper and what’s important because if you’re going to use any marker, brush marker, or things like that to enhance and decorate your bullet journal, you don’t want those markers to bleed through those pages. I chose that. I got a pack of two bullet journals on Amazon for $16. These were pretty big journals, with about 320 pages per journal. I felt like that was a good deal.

 

The other important material I tried for the first time during this project was using Glad Press’N Seal to attach my permanent vinyl to my bullet journal. I’ll share with you a little bit more about that in the experience of making this bullet journal with the help of my Cricut maker.

The first thing I needed to do was decide how I wanted to organize and set up my bullet journal. There are a lot of different ways you can do this. The biggest thing I kept thinking about was, “What is going to work best for me and my style? What do I need to have in front of me every day that is going to help me organize my life and keep track of everything I’ve got going on?” I am going to tell you a little bit about the different parts of this bullet journal that I chose to put in mind.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

Designing Your Journal

I decided to start my bullet journal with an index, and that is pretty standard. In everything I’ve read, most people are putting an index in their bullet journal. I went ahead and did this as well because I was going to have a lot of different pages that were around my weekly and daily calendar. I also was going to add some things in the back of the bullet journal. What that index is going to help me do is quickly look at whatever topic or whatever piece of the bullet journal I want to get too fast and have its page number right there.

I did start my bullet journal with a two-page index. The next piece of the structure and setting up of the journal that I chose to do was to do a future log. What my future log consisted of was four pages of my journal. I had two pages with three months on each page. It’s a vertical column for each month where I had the days of the week and the dates of the month. Underneath that, I left an area for important appointments or important things that were happening in that month and birthday lists. That was going to be what my future log consisted of.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

Because I was going to start my journal in August, I had August, September, and October on one page, November, December, and January on the next page, and so on. That is my future log.

After the future log, I decided that I was going to combine a monthly little look at the month with the weekly and daily log and list. That is what I chose to do for me because what I need in my life is not only to see that quick snapshot of the month but the layout of the week and each day with specifically my plan and calendar of what was happening in each of those days. I also decided that I wanted to add a few extra boxes and rectangles that I was going to place on those weekly and daily spreads that were specific to my life. The things that I chose to add to that weekly look were a grid with every day of the week and the dinner meal that I was going to be doing for that week.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

 

My husband and I take turns. I cook one week, and the meals he cooks the next week. I find it helpful for me to have that right there on my weekly plan of, “These are the meals that we’re doing each night.” I also chose to include a rectangle at the bottom that was going to be where I put what show was publishing that week. That way, when I turned that week, I’m like, “This is when this show is publishing.” That was something I included. I included a vertical rectangle that was going to be my to-do list. I am always keeping sticky notes all over the place of what I need to do and then throwing them away or crossing them off. I decided on each weekly spread of my bullet journal that I wanted to have a to-do list with plenty of room to put things in and cross them off.

 

The two other things I chose to put on there were about inspiration. There are two different ways of having a little bit of inspiration and pick me up on those pages. One was going to be a one-word inspiration. The other was going to be a little bit longer saying, quote, or something that would make me laugh or that I was going to put on throughout the journal so that way when I would turn the page for the next week, I would have a little bit of inspiration staring me in the face.

The last piece and part of my bullet journal was going to be something called collections. Collections are things that are personal to you that you want to keep track of. Those are different kinds of logs and things you want to have and be able to add to or look at in your bullet journal. A few examples I have in my bullet journal are things like a gratitude log.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

That’s something that I started doing this 2022 that I feel has been fun. That is one of my collections.

I have one of my collections titled The World Was Hers for the Reading.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

In that collection, I keep not only the books I am reading all year, and when I say reading, I mean listening to these books. My Libby App is one of my best friends where I keep all of the books that I’m reading. I listen to them all the time. Those are books that I’m reading, but also books that I hear about. Many times, I’ll be out and about at work or with friends, and they’ll be talking about a great read. Normally it would be a sticky note, but with my bullet journal, I have a dedicated place to put all the books I want to read and all of the books I’ve read. A couple of other things that are part of my collections are things I want to binge-watch and different shows I’ve heard about on different channels.

I have a collection of recipes like a recipe bank. If I come across or hear about a recipe that I want to try, I’ll go ahead and write that information down in that collection and a few others that are pretty specific to things that I like to keep track of, like different fun memories, places that I want to go, crafting projects that I want to do, or sewing projects that I can’t wait to start. Those are what my collections are about. That’s the time and place for you to decide what you want to log and keep track of.

The Experience Making A Journal

Moving into the experience of making this bullet journal, the first thing I did was I had Cricut cut out of permanent vinyl my page numbers.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

That was something that I decided I wanted to do. There are bullet journals that come with page numbers already in them. If you choose one of those, this is a step that you don’t need to do. Because mine did not come with page numbers on it, I wanted to make sure that I added that into my bullet journal.

 

I created those with permanent vinyl and went ahead and attached each of those numbers to the pages. That took a bit of time.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal
The next thing that I did was to start to create that future log. In making that future log, and this is the one with three months vertically on a page right after the index of my bullet journal, I used permanent vinyl in lots of different colors and used the abbreviations for each month.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal
I was going to have those at the top of the column would be the abbreviation of the month. Under that, I did a little white sticker paper using my Cricut and my fine-point Cricut pens.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

I had Cricut not only do the days of the week in a tiny little sticker, but also that quick little snapshot of the numbers in the month. It’s how the month looks on a calendar, but on a tiny little sticker paper with Cricut writing those out. In putting that permanent vinyl onto my bullet journal pages, something that quickly struck me was that the transfer paper tape, that carrier paper that you use with permanent vinyl, was way too sticky for this project. What kept happening to me was that I would get the vinyl and get it onto the page where I wanted it placed. When I would peel up that sticky carrier paper tape, little pieces of my bullet journal were coming up.

 

I was like, “I don’t want to ruin my pages. I don’t like the way it looked with little pieces being pulled up.” I went back to the internet and found a cool hack and tip that I’m going to share with you. I took some Glad Press’N Seal and used that instead of that sticky transfer paper and tape.

 

That sticky transfer paper and tape is great for many different projects but not so great when you’re attaching that vinyl to the paper. This Press’N Seal worked awesomely.

 

It took me a little while to get that vinyl to stick to the Press’N Seal, but once I’d done it a couple of times, it became a simple process, and the Press’N Seal did not pick up any of those bullet journal pages or pieces of the page.

Creating my weekly and daily spreads altogether took the longest when I was making the bullet journal. I had my Cricut cut out about 2-inch by 1.5-inch rectangle on white sticker paper using my Cricut fine point pens. That is the month, that quick little monthly look that I wanted to have on every weekly spread. I had Cricut write the year, the name of the month, and the dates of the month, just the way it would look on a calendar, but it was tiny, and it was going to go up into the corner of that weekly spread. If you think about that, that’s like 4 or 5 of those little stickers per month because I wanted one on every single weekly spread so I know what week was behind me, what week is coming up, and all the dates.

That was something for my own personal organization that I chose to put on there. I had Cricut print all of those out, and I went through and put that sticker paper with that little monthly glance right on every single weekly spread. After that, I had to take my ruler and my fine point pens and go through and structure each of those squares and rectangles that were going to be that shell for what I was going to fill in and use as my weekly and daily planner and calendar.

As you can imagine, I’m going from about page five right after that future look in my journal all the way past 100 to create these weekly/daily spreads that I was going to use as my organizational planner for 2022. That took some time. It took time to figure out exactly where I wanted to put the lines and set it up. Having those dot grids as the background for my journal pages was awesome because all I needed to do was use my ruler and get in there. Once I had that structure down, I went through and did that structure to the entire journal to cover an entire year.

 

The final piece of my bullet journal was going to be those collections I talked about. I had Cricut cut out all of the names, themes, and titles of those collection pages with permanent vinyl. That was pretty fun. Depending on what the collection was, I chose a certain color of vinyl and a certain font. Sometimes I put the title straight across the top of the page. Sometimes I did it in an arc. It all depended on my mood, what the collection was, and how I was going to place the information in it as the year progressed. That was fun.

WCA 12 | Bullet Journal

Decorating Time

The next piece is the decorating. I have the structure and all of my weekly pages set up. Now, I’m going to go in with my fun colored markers and different color flare pens and put in those one-word inspirations and those small little quotes. Some of those one-word inspirations, to give you an example, a couple of them that I have in my bullet journal is like, “Balance. Slow down. Breathe. Grow,” those kinds of things that I wanted to have staring me in the face when I turned to that next week.

One of the examples of inspirational or fun quotes I found that I wanted to put in was, “Riding alone in the car and singing loudly to music is good for the soul.” It’s those fun little inspirational quotes. Those were going to go on each of the weekly spreads as well. Depending on what the quote or the word was, I chose different ways to decorate those with different colored pens. I also used a ton of stickers in this project. I bought the stickers because I found some that were fun different themes like mom life or vacation, just different theme packs of stickers. If you have a Cricut and make stickers, you could be decorating your bullet journal with your personalized stickers that you’re making with your Cricut machine.

Riding alone in the car and singing loudly to music is good for the soul. Share on X

Another one of the materials that I don’t think I mentioned at the start is washi tape. I have never used washi tape in a lot of the crafting projects I’ve done, but I enjoyed putting washi tape as an accent and a little bit of color throughout my bullet journal. What I chose to do was every month at the top of the bullet journal on that page had a different color and decorative washi tape. All of August was one color and decorative washi tape, and all of September was another. Not only does it look great, but it also gives you a secondary index that you know where your monthly or weekly spreads are. That was fun using that washi tape.

 

You can add washy tape to your bullet journal to add a little bit of accent and color throughout your journal. Share on X

During the research of learning about bullet journals, I kept reading about the symbol system that was put in place or that a lot of people use to represent different things. That is such an interesting way to organize things in your bullet journal. I did not choose to use that particular symbol system. I know myself well enough that I have my own way of keeping track of what’s done, what needs to be done, what I’ve started, what I’ve finished, and those things. My symbol system is personal to my own way of keeping track of things. I have been using my bullet journal since August since I went back to school. I have found that I am liking the style and the way that my weekly and my daily planner calendar is set up.

It is working well not only for me to keep track of everything in my personal life with my family, appointments, and things like that, but it also is working well for me at work. I’m able to fit in all of the things that I’m doing throughout the week. That has been fun. The one piece that I haven’t been using as much as I thought I would and as much as I would like to is the collections. One piece is that I’m super busy.

Getting through the day and getting home, being with the family, and everything that comes with life, I haven’t had the time that I want to focus on those collections and keep track. It’s a goal of mine that I’m going to continue to work on. With that being said, my goal is to use this bullet journal the entire year all the way through to the end of next July and decide, “Do I want to do this again? What do I want to create? Are there things that I would add to it? Things that I would change? What collections did I embrace, keep track of, and journal in?”

Crafting Keepers

That is something that I’m thinking about as I use my bullet journal throughout the school year. Here are my crafting keepers for this episode. I have a couple of crafting keepers, like the Glad Press’N Seal. That was a great tip. It worked well for me. It wasn’t as sticky as the regular carrier sticky tape and paper I’ve used to attach permanent vinyl to projects. It worked great on paper. That I will definitely be keeping in my crafting corner.

 

The other thing is the washi tape. That is a super fun way to bring color and decorative accents into a crafting project. That is definitely fun. The third crafting keeper is those one-word inspirations I have on m weekly spreads in my bullet journal.

Satiscrafting Rating

I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy turning the page, looking at that one word, and having it either ground me, inspire me, or make me laugh, depending on what it was. I’m going to keep those one-word inspirations in my crafting corner as well. That brings me to my satisCRAFTion rating for this project. I’m going to give my bullet journal project a satisCRAFTion rating of 3.5. There are a couple of reasons for that. I love my bullet journal. I loved putting it together to specifically match my lifestyle and my way of organizing myself, personalizing it to every single thing I needed to help me get through the days and the weeks. That piece is awesome. I love that I can continue to add collections, lists, and logs as I go throughout the year. That’s something that I am enjoying about it.

I’ll tell you what kept it from being a 4 or 5. Two things, one is that it took a long time to get the structure and the base of my bullet journal in place. Getting all those numbers on the pages using my ruler and fine point markers to go through and set up what I wanted each week to look like for me took a long time. That kept it from being a higher rating. The other thing is that I’m not using the collections as much as I would like to. I got to use those collections more and build time into my busy life to journal and think about that gratitude and all of those things that I had. High hopes of regularly journaling about it haven’t happened. Those kept it a little bit of a lower satisCRAFTion rating for me. That’s it for this episode. It was a fun Cricut project. Until our next adventure. Take care.

 

SatisCRAFTion Rating: 3.5

 

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