Hello Planning Mashers!
If you’re looking for some cover page inspiration, I got you covered with this post.
Today, we’ll be talking about creating pattern Bullet Journal covers. It’s super fun, and easy and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
I’ve been pretty obsessed with creating patterns lately. I usually doodle patterns for other reasons, mainly for mental health and controlling my emotions. You can check my post 5 Amazing Benefits Of Doodling to learn more about how drawing these patterns can help you.
These are also really good for creating Minimalist Bullet Journal pages. It’s a simple decoration you can add while keeping the clean minimal look for your page.
However, just for fun, I drew a few ones the other day and realized that all these would make gorgeous cover pages!
I also got inspired by drawing patterns on black paper, in particular, with color. It really makes the colors stand out a lot and I just love the effect it creates.
Today, I’ll share with you some pattern ideas that are very very easy to replicate and will work extremely well for your cover page.
There are 13 patterns here and a few others in the video, so be sure to scroll down and watch it as well.
Of course, I couldn’t help myself and included some geometric Bullet Journal pages from creators all over Instagram, so they can be an extra source of inspiration.
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Best Pens For Creating Patterns
You can pretty much use any pen you want, but I thought I’d mention here some of my favorites.
My go-to is definitely fineliners. They have bright black ink that flows very well and come in different thicknesses. Perfect for drawing patterns.
For colored pens, my latest pick is acrylograph pens by Archer and Olive. They came out with so many beautiful colors that they really made any pattern stand out.
If you decide to get anything from Archer and Olive, by the way, you can always use my code MASHA10 for 10% off your order.
If you’re looking for more pen recommendations, check my post Best Pens For Doodling And Sketching.
A very cool and simple way to create a pattern is using stamps. Pick a stamp, stamp it in the pattern, and there you go!
I have been obsessing with stamps from Archer and Olive and you’ll see them on one of the pages below.
Ok, let’s get to patterns! I truly suck at coming up with names on each pattern, so I’ll just name them after characters from The Office, plus some numbers.
Pattern 1 (Dwight)
This one is pretty easy, but it looks great so it’s definitely one of my favorites.
Here is how you do it – you draw curved lines (let’s say 4 over each other), and then you repeat the same pattern right next to it. The secret is to prevent any lines from touching each other.
I prefer this pattern to be all over the place, without any structure. But you can always go from top to bottom and draw the patterns next to each other in line.
Pattern 2 (Pam)
Love this pattern and how it gave me an extra reason to play with metallic acrylograph pens!
The main concept is very similar, you just make sure the outside lines actually meet. Plus I like to have the middle part colored in for more effect.
Pattern 3 (Michael)
This pattern took me a while, but I think it was completely worth it.
The basics are the same – you start by creating a scale kind of pattern with curved lines. Just make sure this time that they are thicker than the rest of your lines will be.
After that, inside each scale, add another thinner curved line and from the bottom center part, draw lines towards it.
Pattern 4 (Kelly)
This pattern is super simple but fun and extremely relaxing. I’m actually still working on finishing up the entire page.
So here it is: In one line, draw this pattern: square and vertical lines, square and vertical lines, and repeat.
On the next line draw some square and horizontal lines. Very simple but it looks great!
Pattern 5 (Jim)
Another cool pattern with just curved lines.
Simply start, from any corner, drawing a curved line, and keep filling out space inside with more curved lines, until you have almost no space and you can just color the rest back.
Keep repeating this pattern and don’t worry about it all being the same size or even straight. I feel like it looks even better when it has a hand-drawn effect and is pretty uneven.
Note how here I used a trick to make it stand out a bit – I added a light gray shade around each of these elements. It’s not very noticeable but it does make each of them stand out a bit more.
Pattern 6 (Darryl)
I’ve been obsessing with creating some rainbow patterns so you’ll see them a lot here.
This one is pretty easy, but I went kind of the wrong way with it.
So if you’re doing it in different colors as I did, you kind of have to do them one by one. I did it by hand as you see so the lines aren’t quite perfect.
But it would be easy to do it with a ruler as well, I just have an unexplainable aversion to using rulers.
If you go for the black-and-white effect, it will be even easier. Map out where the lines should be, get your ruler and just go for it!
Pattern 7 (Angela)
From all the patterns I’ve created this one is probably my favorite.
It looks very elaborate and so bright (thanks to acrylograph pens!). It can probably even look better if you use a ruler and not a shaky hand.
Just like with the previous pattern, there are two ways you can do it. If you do the rainbow you’ll have to go line by line. If you do it all in the same color – it becomes much easier!
I have a little tutorial below so you can see the steps.
When you do it all together, you basically end up having lines of 4 boxes that are 2 boxes apart from each other. But you connect them all in the middle, so each 3d box ends up being 2 by 2 squares. Hope that makes sense to you!
Pattern 8 (Creed)
This pattern reminds me of Greece for some reason, only I went for the rainbow again (must be the month!), instead of using black or brown.
This is pretty easy and I must say I think this particular pattern works best if it’s in color. I have in the video below another version of this pattern that is slightly different and would be great in black and white.
You start from a line and then add this curving pattern every two boxes.
Pattern 9 (Gabe)
I honestly didn’t know what I was doing exactly when I started this pattern, but I think it turned out ok.
It’s pretty simple. Start from some long diagonal lines – maybe 2 boxes apart. Then finish up with horizontal lines also 2 boxes apart. And you’ll have a beautiful triangle pattern.
The next step is easy – just fill out the triangles with any pattern you want!
Pattern 10 (Phyllis)
This is kind of a floral pattern I learned from my zentangle classes, and it really is so calming to draw it.
Even though it might look elaborate, it’s actually pretty simple.
You start with a big X and then try to connect the points of the letter to its middle. Try to make the lines rounded, but don’t worry if they are not perfect or cross each other – that just adds more character to the pattern.
Finally after drawing all the Xs and decorating them fill out the space between them with black.
Pattern 11 (Oscar)
This one is super simple and, again comes from my zentangle classes.
You start by creating a net inside which you’ll be drawing the pattern. The pattern inside is simple – start drawing lines spiraling inwards until you fill out the entire square.
As you can see this pattern allows for a lot of customization – you can curve the lines, or you can use color. Whatever you do it will look different every time.
Pattern 12 (Kevin)
This is your classic basket weave pattern.
It always looks very elaborate and pretty, but it’s actually much easier to make than it seems.
For the first row, you start with a line measuring 1 box and then a line measuring 3 boxes, and so on, with one box between them.
Then you add horizontal lines, each measuring 3 boxes. After that you keep it up the same way, just make sure that all the vertical lines are 3 boxes long.
You can add more fun to the pattern by using different colors on it, or coloring blank boxes with black or grey, as I did for mine.
Pattern 13: With Stamps (Erin)
As I mentioned before, you can actually create patterns with stamps, so here are a few examples.
The first is very simple – take one stamp, and one ink pad, and just keep repeating the pattern. The fun part is that if you want to, you can also color them later to add a bit more spark.
Another option is to use several stamps or one stamp with different inks. I went with different stamps in this example simply because it’s easier than using many inks.
Yup, deep inside, I’m a pretty lazy person to clean my stamp each time for a new color.
If you never used stamps, I recommend you to check my post How To Use Bullet Journal Stamps that will teach you all you need to know.
For more inspiration on creating stamping patterns be sure to check Mark at @menwhobullet, he was doing some amazing things with his stamps!
17 Simple Patterns For Your Bullet Journal
In this video, there are some patterns from the list above, but there are also many new ones!
When creating these patterns for a neater look I recommend using a ruler, and preferably a transparent one.
My ruler is pure black, and I found that it’s pretty hard to keep the lines aligned when you can’t see what to align them to.
So if you see that my patterns look wonky – that’s because I drew them by hand.
For a closer look at the patterns created in the video, I’m posting here close-up pictures.
Can’t pick which one of these is my favorite! I think the two circle ones are the ones I want to do more.
I usually do the scale pattern but now the circle is my new obsession!
This page will be a constant reminder to me to get a transparent ruler. Some of these patterns would look so much better if I had one!
How To Enhance Your Patterns
Going just black and white is wonderful and looks fantastic! But if you’re looking for something more, I have a few ideas for you.
- Use color
Probably the most obvious one, but it does make every pattern look completely different! And personally, I often feel like the mistakes are less visible if the pattern is in color.
- Try monochrome
If using color is not your thing, you still can add some dimension to your pattern by using monochrome colors. My pick for that is this set of Tombow Dual Brush Pens.
- Add shadows
You know how in lettering and doodling you have the technique of sometimes using light grey to add shadow? Well, the same can be done with your patterns! It’s actually something I did for my pattern 5 and I loved how it came out.
- Try different paper color
Paper color makes such a huge difference! I for example am super addicted to creating patterns with acrylograph pens on black paper. You can always cut out the part with a pattern on black paper and stick it to your Bullet Journal page. This created a very cool effect, just check my February Plan With Me!
- Experiment with line thickness
An easy way to add more fun to your pattern is to make certain lines stand out by using thicker pens. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of fineliners – they usually come with different pen thicknesses so you can easily achieve this effect.
Geometric Bullet Journal Inspirations
Finally, let’s take a look at some pages that actually used patterns to decorate them.
What a beautiful weekly! And I love how she decided to use patterns for her letters as well – I think it really brings together the style of the page.
I’ve known and followed Shanise for a while, and she really is a wonderful artist. You can make anything look amazing in black and white.
A very simple triangle pattern, but notice how unique it looks because of the way she decided to decorate the triangles, and how the letters and numbers for the week are also made of that triangle pattern.
I also like that the edges of the pattern are not straight but more all over the place – such a creative touch.
Just a few lines and yet they create such a cute pattern!
I love that the pattern looks kind of like a tree in winter; perfect idea for a January cover page.
My favorite scale pattern, and in my favorite colors – rainbow!
Ady used Tombow Twin Tones here and I can’t recommend them enough – they are wonderful pens for doodling and drawing patterns.
This is similar to one of the patterns in my video but much neater.
It also shows how the subtle difference in line thickness can bring the entire pattern together and make it look so much better and more interesting.
I love this idea of overlapping several patterns like these are pages from different books.
It’s cool for many reasons, but for me it’s mostly because you get to use so many different ideas on one page.
Beautiful triangle pattern!
And here you can see monochromatic colors in action. They are slightly different shades of grey and make the pattern look unique.
If you want to do colorful patterns in your Bullet Journal, you don’t have to go crazy with color as I did.
Here is a little example of how to gently add color, and I’m loving it!
She could’ve filled out the entire pages with lines facing just one direction, but because they are not everywhere and are facing different ways, I think it looks very cool!
It also allows for the page to breathe and not be too crowded with lines. Great choice!
I love this very simple but absolutely stunning triangle pattern!
Plus like I said – I’ve been obsessing with how bright colors look on black paper and this is an amazing example!
Beautiful quote and the pattern here just proves it.
It’s literally just lines, yet there is a pattern to it. Very simple design but extremely effective.
Stina is one of my favorite artists when it comes to minimalist black-and-white journals, and you can see from this page why.
The pattern is absolute perfection, like the lettering and everything else on the page.
Have you ever done a geometric Bullet Journal setup?
Which of these patterns did you like the most?
Share with us in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob.