Hello Planning Mashers!
There are so many different pages you can create in your Bullet Journal and today we’ll be looking into pen swatch pages.
It’s going to be a fun and very creative post where you’ll learn why you need these pages in your journal and get tons of inspirations on how to make it special.
As a Bullet Journal enthusiast and a complete stationery addict I love nothing more than checking new stationery finds, and seeing new colors. I think it’s always so inspiring!
Hope you agree with me, let me know in the comments.
But there is more than just aesthetic pleasure when it comes to pen swatch pages.
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What Are Pen Swatches
That’s an easy one. Originally swatches were basically like mini samples, so you can see the color and texture of the material.
For pen swatches in your Bullet Journal, it’s the same – so you can see how the pens work, what colors they have, and how they work on your Bullet Journal.
But of course, with all the creative people out there, it got a little bit out of hand and people started getting super creative with the way they make their pen swatches look.
We’ll see several awesome examples in this post.
Why Do You Need A Pen Swatch Page
It might seem like these spreads are just for show-off, but it can’t be further from the truth.
Well, I mean yes, it could be made just for a show-off, but there are many other reasons why you should have one in your journal.
- Check The Color
The first and most obvious reason is to see how the colors look. They often are slightly different on the paper than they are on the pen, so it’s always a good idea to do a swatch.
Plus, often if your paper is not pure white, the color of the paper will affect how the color of the pen looks.
- How Pen Works On Your Journal
Does it bleed or ghosts on your journal pages? Is there feathering? How fast do they feather
Not all journals are created equal, and some pens can really ruin your Bullet Journal pages. So before you start using a new pen, be sure to do a little test at the back of your journal to see that they are compatible.
- Keep Track Of Your Pen Collection
If you’re into Bullet Journaling, chances are you might have more pens than you need, and probably some of them are never used.
But if you create a pen swatch spread, you’ll always have one place where you can check all the colors you have without going through ALL the pens.
- Faster Monthly Setups
When you create a monthly theme it’s important that you have your colors coordinated. That way it will definitely look better.
This will be easier to do if you have all the colors in front of you and see which ones are a good match. Believe me, it’s so much faster that way, than just trying out tons of different colors trying to find a few matching ones.
How To Create A Pen Test Page
To be honest it’s pretty easy and can be quite fast as well.
Here are a few tips:
- Create a pen swatch at the end of your journal
- Try adding color names or numbers so you can easily find the pen afterward
- For brush pens try to do some drills to show how thick the brush tip is
- If you just want to have all your pen colors in one place – consider having a separate journal for that
- Despite the example below, to create a swatch page all you need is a line of color, or maybe color a little square to see more color
- If your pen has two different tips try to swatch them both
These are just some concepts I try to follow when I create my own swatch pages.
But remember – your journal your rules, you can create them any way you want.
And speaking of that, let’s get right into it.
Stationery Swatch Bullet Journal Pages
These can get pretty elaborate, but please don’t be scared – you don’t actually have to make them the same.
What I like the most is that there are so many different types and different elements you can include in your swatches. Every artist has their own approach and I think you can definitely check out all these ideas and find out one thing that works best for you.
We’re starting from my own swatch of my Tombow Dual Brush pens.
I actually have a whole separate notebook where I’m swatching ALL my pens so I can have a good view of all the colors and materials I have.
Another great swatch spread for some of my favorite pens – Tombow Twin Tone.
I love how it looks so fun and creative while using very easy shapes.
Zebra Mildliners are definitely my favorite pens ever, so of course I had to include this swatch spread.
I also feel like these pens are probably the easiest to doodle so this is definitely a fun way to swatch these highlighters.
It’s always a good idea to test your pens on different types of paper if you’re planning to use it, since some pens don’t really transfer so well to other paper colors.
I’m also in love with how creative Isabel is with this swatch spread.
Another beautiful swatch of acrylograph pens (which you can get with 10% off if you use my affiliate code MASHA10).
There are no pen names or numbers here, but I really like how Nicole created little botanical elements for each color.
Beautiful ink and I love how the illustration shows different lines you can create and how they would look.
I also appreciate there are just big squares of color, pretty useful to see it in big chunks.
As you can see, your swatch spread doesn’t have too difficult, just create little squares with color and space to write the numbers of the color is ok.
I also like that she has a little area on the top for some favorite color combinations.
Speaking of color combinations, you can definitely create swatches with your favorite color combinations.
I love how Zebra Mildliners look on kraft paper, by the way, even more soft and muted.
As you can see, there are several approaches to a pen swatch. You can do it for all the colors, or you can do it to check the pen quality and how it works inside your journal.
I like all the different categories and ways to evaluate a pen; it might be a good guide for the future.
Beautiful color representation here makes me want to buy those Uniball Signo pens.
Of and it’s a great idea to test those on black paper; the metallic pens look the best on the black paper, I think.
Another beautiful swatch for the pastel Tombow Twin Tone pens, which are some of my favorites.
I like that these doodles represent so well both tips of the pen.
I know I’ve already had so many swatched for Zebra Mildliners, but this one is so beautiful had to include it as well.
I like how it had all the colors so well represented, but there are also doodly elements of the actual pen drawing.
Another excellent idea is to do a pen swatch by color.
I also love how all pens are actually doodled. So much detail and an excellent visual representation of all the pens.
Just because it’s a pen doesn’t mean you can’t play it off as a set of paints on your pen swatch.
I like that there is a little journal with the names on the color sets.
Another fun way is to divide your colors by type like here it’s pastel colors.
It’s a fun idea to do it in crystals since it’s a pretty easy doodle to do, and there are so many variations.
Great swatch of acrylograph pens.
I love all those patterns, and I think it’s a great way to make a swatch fun and creative but also pretty simple.
I love this super fun swatch of these absolutely adorable Stabilo Highlighters.
I like that there are bit swatches of the colors and the colors together, so you can see how well they match.
Beautiful swatch page with all the information you need for your brush pen.
I like that there is a stark contrast between the thick and thin lines you can get from these brush pens.
What an incredible idea to make a swatch page like a mandala.
And if you don’t know how to do it, check my post How To Draw Mandalas In Your Bullet Journal.
One more Zebra Mildliner swatch; it’s so cute I just had to include it.
And it’s this zebra up top, just so adorable!
That’s my pen swatch for the Dingbats pens.
I try to make a spread like that for all the new pens I get, so I know what they are and what might be the best way to use them.
Pilot Flixion are beautiful pens, and I love that they are erasable.
Also, this is such a cute idea to do a pen swatch in tiny cute doodles.
One more cool example of creating different palettes out of your pen collection.
I love that each different palette is also named; so cute.
I don’t have these pens, but now I want them with how beautiful and bright the colors are.
The colors also stand out even more with the black of the doodles.
A good idea for a swatch for brush pens is to write something with that pen.
That way, you can get a better idea of the size of the brush and the lettering you can do with it.
It’s such an amusing idea to draw the pens using the pens to show off the colors.
Also, it makes me want to get those Frixion pens.
Another unique swatch spread by Isabel Hoops.
I specifically love this one because she showed the color would look layered.
If you have a set with too many colors, just little circles like these can be enough.
Of and I definitely recommend this set of Crayola Super Tips, it’s very affordable, and you can see it has ALL the colors.
Do you do swatch pages in your Bullet Journal? What’s your favorite kind?
Let us know in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob!