Hello Planning Mashers!
Today we talk about something very fun and creative – Bullet Journal headers and how you can easily create pretty ones without any special calligraphy knowledge.
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The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is that it’s not a pre-made planner and you get to organize and decorate it any way you want!
Headers are just one of the elements you can use to add a little spark to your journal, and despite the general belief, you really don’t need to be a master calligrapher to create pretty headers.
(Psssss, if you do want to learn how to brush letter or just improve your lettering skills, be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide To Brush Lettering. It has all you might need, including free downloadable practice sheets!)
But back to headers, they are both a great element of decoration and a useful tool, since they help you to orient what kind of content you’re looking at.
At the end of the post there also is a plan with me video where you can see me drawing these headers, so be sure to scroll down and give it a look.
There are also some “day of the week” free headers in the Resources Vault. They are in the stickers section and are available in many colors.
If you don’t have your access yet, be sure to join us in the signup form at the end of the post and get access to tons of FREE printables for your Bullet Journal.
Before we go into creating the headers, here are a few supplies that can help you bring your headers to the next level!
Favorite Supplies For Bullet Journal Headers
First – get a good set of fineliner pens. This will help you a lot to create more interesting headers and generally, to make them look better since fineliners usually have darker black ink and don’t really fade.
Good fineliners are no smudge, no bleed and are waterproof, so they really will improve your headers. Here are a few of my favorite ones.
- Experience smooth, skip-free writing in crisp, rich black ink to achieve consistent lettering and lines widths.
- Professional inking pens used by comic artists, illustrators, watercolor artists, archivists, and laboratory professionals.
- Pigma ink is archival quality on paper: waterproof, chemical resistant, fade resistant, bleed free, quick drying and pH neutral.
- High-quality pigments of unequalled brilliance
- Light-fast and waterproof
- Brush point provides maximum flexibility
Next is the color. In this example, I used my favorite Zebra Mildliner Highlighters and Zebra Mildliner brush pens.
I also really like using Stabilo pens and markers, especially because they come in similar colors so you can play around with them. Here are some supplies you might consider.
One specific color I’d advise you to have is grey. Grey is a great marker to use to add shadows to your letters or banners. You can also use it to add an extra flair to your doodles and other elements, such as daily boxes.
Finally, if you need some extra help there are always stencils! Stencils can help you draw letters, or decorative elements, or banners to put your header inside.
My favorite stencils are the ones by Jayden’s Apple and I have quite a few of them in my collection, including this and this letter shapes stencils. But there are also tons of amazing and affordable ones on Amazon.
Now let’s dive in and look at those headers. Again you don’t need any calligraphy knowledge to rock these in your journal.
Bullet Journal Headers
1. Here we are playing with shadows and there are two options. First, you can write your word in a black pen and then add shading with a marker. Lighter or maybe neon colors work the best since they create a bit of 3d effect.
Another way is by reversing it and writing your header with a colored marker and adding shadow with a black pen. Of course, the brighter and clearer marker color is better.
When you create a shadow, pick a side of your letters and add a shadow on each letter on the same side. For example, I usually choose the right side, so you’ll see on each letter the right side is with a shadow.
2. Start by simply writing your word. It can be in block letters like I did, or cursive – up to you. Then just start decorating them, and here the possibilities are limitless. Add hearts, flowers, dots, stars – whatever you feel like. If you want the elements you add to be hollow and add color to them later on, I recommend to draw it all in pencil first.
3. A simple header you can create in a few seconds – use a highlighter to create a colored line and then just write your word on top. This is a really good way to create a memorable header in a minimalist spread.
4. Write each letter with extra space between them. Then take your marker and add little dots of color between your letters. Alternatively, you can use a thinner marker or maybe a colored pen and add doodles there instead, like little flowers of stars.
5. Faux calligraphy is a great way to create those pretty headers without any knowledge or lettering. Write your work and then thicken all your downstrokes. Which ones are down? Just think of how you write a letter and you’ll know.
A cool way to add flair to your faux calligraphy is by coloring the thick strokes. In this case, the way of writing the word is the same, but you do it in pencil first, and then you use a pen to make sure your downstrokes aren’t crossed.
6. Write in block letters, but do the middle part of each letter a bit lower. As you can see, all the horizontal strokes are not in the middle of the letter but much lower. Then just use a colored marker to add some flourishes on the sides. It’s a little trick to add some more character to your letters.
7. Start with a pencil and write your word in block letters. Then use the pencil to create bubbles around then. Here, my letters are pretty thin but feel free to play around with it. Then use your marker to color the letter. Finally, use the black pen to outline the letter and as an extra – you can use grey markers to add shadow.
8. Write in block letters, but make all the downstrokes thick, I recommend you to draw this in pencil first. This way you’ll have a limitless amount of possibilities. You can color the empty parts, add some patterns or doodle around.
9. Use a lighter color marker to write your work in block letters. Then use a black pen and write your word on top of this in a smaller cursive.
10. Write your word in a marker. It can be block letters or cursive – up to you, just make sure the lines are thick enough. Now use a thin black pen to add lines mimicking the letters but in the middle of each letter.
11. Simple block letters, you can use a stencil or follow steps similar to bubble letters. Write your word in block lettering using a pencil. Then create block letters around it. Try to make sure they are of the same thickness. The inside of each letter is your canvas, you can just color them or add some design elements. Here, I just added some stippling and create a bit of a gradient effect.
12. The letters aren’t really drawn here, but I bet you can still read what it says. Start from a pencil sketch of your letters, draw them the same way you did the previous one. Then use a marker to draw the shadow. Make sure it’s not too thin or too thick. With thin, it won’t be too well seen and if it’s too thick you won’t be able to see the like curves. Don’t forget to erase the pencil!
13. Write your header in any style of letters you prefer. Then simply on top and bottom add dotted lines.
14. Write the block letters in marker. Then use a black pen to trace them but on some distance, so the headers are kind of in a cloud shaped like the letters.
15. Draw in line as many circles as there are letters in your word. I really recommend this stencil or this ruler to help you with better circles. Then, connect the circles and color them inside. Finally, add the letters inside the circles.
16. Create your word in bubble letters. Just like we mentioned before, start from simple pencil block letters and just create a bubble effect around it. But here – make sure you have some extra space between the letters. Then, choose the side and add an extra line there, as you would do with a shadow. Then just color that extra layer with lines, or with color.
17. Write your word with usual block letters, then add a black circle at the end of each line. In some letters I also added to the crossing of the lines, just to make sure each letter has this element and it looks all put together.
18. To make it easier for you to create this header, make sure you first add a strip of thin washi tape. Then write your word in block letters on top of it. When you take your washi tape off you can see white space. Use a highlighter to color it, just add black lines on top and bottom or you can just leave it like that. Finally, add the second header (of the same one) to this white space in cursive.
19. Start from writing down your header, then create a rectangle around it. Draw another rectangle behind it. To make it easier, start from a pencil drawing of a rectangle the same size and with a pen just go over the parts that can be seen behind the front rectangle with your header. Finally, add lines to your rectangle on the back, or just color it black or pretty much in any color you like.
20. Start by creating a line with banners. Make sure you have as many banners as you have letters and they all are more or less the same size. Then, color the banners and add letters. Finally, to add a little something: add a shadow to each banner with your grey pen.
21. This little header will be perfect for your February designs. Start from drawing as many hearts as you have letters in your header. Then connect them with a line, like they are a hanging decoration or maybe a bracelet. Add an extra layer to your hearts as you would be adding a shadow. Customize your hearts as you wish: color the hearts and blackout the shadow, color the shadow and leave the hearts blank, add lines to the shadow – up to you. Finally, add your letters inside the hearts.
Bullet Journal Headers: Video
If you want to see better how to create these headers, be sure to give a look at my video below.
Which one of these headers do you like the most? What kind of headers do you usually use in your Bullet Journal? Let us know in the comments below!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob!