Last Updated on July 29, 2020 by Keri
When I was purchasing my Starry Night notebook from Scribbles That Matter, I was really nervous. How would a Bullet Journal with black pages work? What supplies would I need? How different would it be to create the layouts? What if I didn’t like it?
I was really hesitant to take the leap and switch to a black page Bullet Journal, but I am so glad that I did!
Today, I am here to share every tip I have learned since starting my own black page Bullet Journal six months ago. Learn what supplies you should get to get started, my tips for creating beautiful layouts every time, how to correct your mistakes, and more!
My Black Page Bullet Journal Notebook
There are two really commonly known black page notebooks in the Bullet Journal community.
One option is the blackout notebooks from Archer and Olive which can be found here! I have never personally tried these notebooks, but I know that they are extremely popular! If you would like to learn more about this particular notebook, check out this review from Shelby at Little Coffee Fox!
This notebook has far exceeded my expectations!
- The pages are thick! I never have to worry about seeing the previous page layouts on my current page.
- The dot layout and colour make it really easy to create beautiful layouts.
- The notebook comes with all of the things you would hope to see in a Bullet Journal notebook including a key, an index, numbered pages, a pen test page, bookmarks, and more!
If you would like to see my full review on the Starry Night notebook, check out this blog post!
If you are still picking out your notebook, do a little bit of research and pick the one that you think will best suit your needs. Based on all of the reviews I have watched and read, I think it is safe to say that you can’t go wrong with either of these options!
Supplies You Need For Your Bullet Journal With Black Pages
Honestly, I am amazed at how little I need to make my black page Bullet Journal layouts beautiful. I actually find myself using less supplies than I did with a traditional light colour Bullet Journal notebook.
All you really need are some great pens, a ruler, and you can create some really great layouts!
The Best White Gel Pen For Your Bullet Journal
When you have a notebook with white or cream coloured pages, you need a black pen. Well, just like that, you need a good white pen to use on the black paper in these notebooks!
These pens come in three different sizes which is really nice for creating layouts with a variety of line thickness! The gel glides onto the paper really nicely and dries quick! These are definitely my go-to white pen for my black bullet journal.
INSERT IMAGE OF MY NOTEBOOK AND PENS HERE – IMG 30 FROM JUNE TO BE EDITED
My second favourite white gel pen is the Uni-Ball Signo White pen.
This pen feels a little bit more like a traditional pen, the white gel shows nicely on the black paper! This pen does not feel as “buttery” as the GellyRoll pen to me which is why it is my second favourite pen.
My Go-To Pens For Color
INSERT IMAGE OF MY COLOURED PENS SPILLING OUT THE CASE
A lot of my layout decoration simply comes from the colours that I use. I tend to lean away from doodles in place of bright colours and text! For this, there are two sets of pens that I really love to use.
For bright, rich colour, I love my Gelly Roll Moonlight pens.
And for colour with a little bit of sparkle, I love my Gelly Roll Metallic pens.
All of these pens work really well on the black paper from my notebook. The colours are rich and bright, and they dry fairly quickly. Application is also extremely smooth!
I have created layouts with colours from just one collection, but I have also mixed and matched, and the results have been beautiful every time!
If you think you will use a lot of the metallic silver, copper and golds, I would highly recommend grabbing this extra set of each!
The metallic set only comes with one of each, and if you love these colours, you will go through those pens very quick!
My Go To Pens For Lettering
INSERT IMAGE OF Kelly Creates PENS
If lettering is something you like to do in your Bullet Journal, or you think you might like to try, I would highly recommend the Kelly Creates Metallic Jewel brush pens! These pens are fantastic for lettering, and the colours are truly beautiful on the black paper of my Scribbles That Matter notebook.
I have also used these pens to fill in large areas of space! They are great for filling in shapes that you can come back and write on top of with another pen like the white Gelly Roll pen!
Aside from my pens, I also like to use a couple other miscellaneous supplies that help me create really nice layouts quickly!
One of my must have’s is a ruler! You can use any ruler that you would find at a dollar store, Target, etc., but one ruler that I do like to have close by is a ruler that I actually found at Dollar Tree. It is an extremely thin plastic that fits into the back pocket of my notebook without damaging any of the pages when closed. It is very similar to the one pictured below.
I also really like to use a variety of stencils. They are great for drawing doodles, borders, shapes, etc. These are especially great for anyone who is not overly artistic, but still wants to add a little something to their layouts!
I have this 20 pack that I got on Amazon, and they work perfectly!
If you would like to learn more about how I use stencils in my Bullet Journal, check out my review blog post on these exact stencils here!
Tips For Creating Black Page Bullet Journal Layouts
When I made the switch to a notebook with black pages for my Bullet Journal, I was extremely nervous about making the layouts.
Thankfully, making Bullet Journal layouts on black paper is not all that different!
But there are a couple of tricks and tips that I have learned along the way that will be really helpful for you when you are just getting started!
Start off with something simple. Perhaps just a white pen, and one or two other colours!
It could be really tempting to dive right into all of your new supplies, but I would highly recommend starting off with simple white layouts.
Using a white pen on black paper is very similar to using a black pen on white paper. By starting off with this simple relation, you are much more likely to find that creating layouts is easier than you think!
Personally, I also find that the white pen tends to dry the fastest on the paper. This is great for when you are just learning about your notebook and the paper that you are using.
You will also come to find that all of the colours from the moonlight and metallic Gelly Roll sets go together really nicely!
When you are drawing lines with your ruler, be sure you have let your lines dry before you place the ruler on top of them!
This tip is especially true when you are creating grids! I always draw my horizontal lines from top to bottom, and then I let them dry completely before switching over to my vertical lines. It doesn’t take long to dry, and it helps prevent smudging!
Wipe your tools down while creating layouts to avoid smudging!
This is especially true for the edge of your ruler or stencils, and the tip of your pens.
The gel pens tend to let our more gel than you might like on occasion, and this residue typically ends up built up on the edge of your ruler, or directly on the tip of your pen. This residue always makes its way onto the paper at some point, and if you don’t like smudges, this will drive you crazy.
When I am creating my layouts, I will keep a piece of paper towel nearby that I can use to wipe down my tools every once in a while!
*Further down, I will also be talking about my #1 tip for correcting small mistakes!
Allow your pages to dry completely before working on the next page!
I find that the pens dry fast enough for me to keep working on my layouts without much more than 10-15 seconds between. That craft paper is great at absorbing the pen so that it dries quickly which allows you to continue working on that same page without having to worry too much.
However, I would highly recommend leaving at least 3 minutes of total dry time before you flip over the page and start working again. Sometimes, if I did any colouring of large shapes, I will even allow it to dry for about 10 minutes.
You might find that after drawing on the opposite side, some of the wet gel will transfer to the page it is pressed against. This can be fixed, but it is best to just allow your pages the time dry properly!
Do your best to work left to right and top to bottom on your pages! (Or right to left if you’re left handed!)
Again, this tip is another one to help you prevent smudging as much as possible!
Your hands rubbing against the page can result in unwanted smudging. Personally, I have learned to embrace a little bit of smudging, but I am still always conscious of these tips to do my best to minimize it!
How To Correct Mistakes In Your Black Page Bullet Journal
Like any other Bullet Journal, mistakes happen. Draw a line in the wrong spot? Smudge your pen? It happens! Luckily, it is actually fairly simple to correct mistakes on black paper!
Fixing Small Errors
If I make a mistake when writing something down, draw a line in the wrong spot, or even just smudge my Gel Pen more than I like, I will use this really simple fix!
First, allow the ink you used the time to dry completely. The more dry it is, the better you will be able to cover it up.
Next, take a thick black pen to draw over your mistake. Personally, I really like to use my Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen. The black colour of the ink closely matches the black colour of the paper in my Scribbles That Matter notebook.
Fixing Larger Mistakes
If the mistake you made is too large to simply cover up with black ink, I would recommend covering the page. Here are some ideas of how you can do that!
- Use a pretty printable! You find some really awesome Bullet Journal style printables all over the internet. This is a great option as it allows you to cover up your mistakes without sacrificing the functionality of your page!
- Find a large, pretty sticker. This will turn the page into a more decorative piece, but depending where you are in your journal, that might be okay!
- Cover it up with scrapbooking paper. This is another great way to cover up mistakes! You can use the paper to make a decorative page, or you can plan on top of the paper.
Finding Inspiration For Your Black Bullet Journal
Using notebooks with Black Paper is fairly new to the Bullet Journal community, but, more and more people are starting to use them so it has become a lot easier to find inspiration for your Black Bullet Journal Layouts!
Of course, my two favourite places to look are Pinterest and Instagram. With a little bit of digging, you can find some awesome online inspiration!
If you like a painted look, check out this account. They share some really awesome layout videos over on their Instagram page.
If you love a more minimalist look, there is also a lot of inspiration to be found! Check out this pretty layout from BujoWithTalia!
Hannah Banana Bujo has really created a pretty style in her own Journal. I love looking at her account for inspiration to add pretty lettering to my otherwise simple layouts!
And of course, there is always Pinterest as well! I love Pinterest because I can find some of my favourite ideas and inspiration and save it all to one Board. It is really easy to refer to whenever I am creating my next layouts. If you want to see my Pinterest Board of ideas, go here!
I am so glad I made the switch to a Bullet Journal notebook with black paper. It was a much easier transition than I expected, and I absolutely love the look of my layouts!
I really hope this post has helped you decide if a Black Paper Bullet Journal is for you or not, and I hope it has helped you navigate how to get started easily!
If you have any other questions that I haven’t answered in this post, be sure to leave a comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!