For once, I did some shopping around Black Friday – but this time for a few bullet journal stationery supplies! I had a theme in mind already for my 2022 bullet journal, but first I needed a few things to make it come to life, so I made sure to order things in time before the holiday rush. Read below to see what I purchased, and what some of my thoughts on the supplies are! I’m so excited to use these bujo supplies in my bullet journal setup for 2022 to gear up for another year of journaling and planning.
I also do an unboxing of my new bullet journal supplies as I go through my Black Friday affordable stationery haul in a video, share my first impressions and do some product demos and color swatches on my YouTube channel and you can find the video below.
NEW BULLET JOURNAL
I was in search of a new journal for 2022 since I knew I’d have to move into a new notebook for the new year. I only have softbound flatlay notebooks, and my last one spectacularly fell apart. I’d seen Maisie Lane Co’s journals around YouTube and Instagram and after scanning through their site I came across this lovely A5 Sage Green notebook. I liked that the front covers don’t have designs, and instead the design is on the spine, which is a gold foil doodle of sage leaves. Each of Maisie Lane’s journals allow for personalization on the front cover and you have 2 lines to write whatever you want with a selection of colors and font styles. You can also request to see a preview of what the personalization will look like, which is awesome!
The cover is a soft vegan leather, which feels nice and thick. I really feel like it’ll better protect the pages. It has 192 pages of thick 160 gsm semi-smooth white paper. My previous journals have been about 144 pages and 100 gsm, so I’m excited to have more pages so hopefully I can stick with one journal for the whole year. Sometimes my markers have bled through in my previous journal, and this paper definitely feels thicker and sturdier. And it also has dot grids! I ran out of dot grid journals, and wow I really missed the guidelines when creating spreads.
This journal also has 2 sage green satin bookmarks, which is great so I can leave it on whatever weekly spread I’m working on. It also has a back pocket flap at the end of the notebook, which is handy to put whatever notes or scraps of paper I want to keep there. What I didn’t expect was this cute ruler that’s included in the purchase! I like that it’s the width of this A5 notebook, so it’s perfect for setting up spreads.
Overall, I’m really happy with this purchase! I only wish the green shade was a little darker – I expected it to be the color of the tissue paper, not the actual green you see on the cover, but that’s okay.
Archer & Olive is well known within the bullet journal community, as are the Acrylograph pens they came out with in the last year. I debated buying a full set, but those were $38 for 10 pens. The individual pens retail for $5.29 each and with the Black Friday sale, they were 2.90 each. Instead, I purchased 2 since I really don’t need that many pens, and I wasn’t totally sure if I’d end up liking these pens or find them easy to use. I’ve watched multiple videos about how to use them but still wasn’t fully sold. The pens come in 2 sizes, 3 MM and 0.7 MM, and I bought 2 in the 0.7 MM since I can draw smaller details but also easily fill in bigger spaces. I stuck with two classic colors, Goldenrod and Cool grey.
To figure out how to use these pens, I took my current journal to activate and practice with the pen. First I took the Goldenrod and shook it to get the ink going. These are water-based acrylic ink pens, so it’s basically a paint pen. Elizabeth from Plant Based Bride recommended about 20-30 seconds of shaking and that did the trick! I pushed down on the page a little bit and did a few strokes until the ink started flowing out.
I actually found it pretty easy to work with once you get the ink activated. It’s like writing with any other pen or marker and it was really smooth. The color is matte and the ink is wet when you first apply it, especially if you’re filling in spaces, but it does dry pretty quickly.
I also tested both pens on white, Kraft, and black dot grid paper to see how the colors would fare. The gold pen works well on all three colors, but it was definitely not as vibrant on Kraft. The cool grey did not show up well on the Kraft as expected, but it showed up beautifully on black paper too!
I’m really excited to start using these more in my spreads since they are versatile colors. It might also convince me I need more of these pens in my life. 👀
DOT GRID NOTEPAD
I also purchased the A5 Neapolitan notepad from Archer & Olive. I was originally going to buy a whole bunch of kraft paper since I wanted to use it for collaging, but I thought the notepad was a better decision because it includes extra white paper, and also has kraft and black paper too! The papers are also have a dot grid, so I can align it into my Maisie Lane journal and write or draw over it! It’s also the same size as my notebook so things can fit together. I actually did some strategizing with this purchase haha. These pages are also 160 GSM and has a total of 160 pages in the pad. The pages are also perforated so it’s super easy to tear them off and use them elsewhere. They feel about the same weight in my hands, so I think it’ll be a very similar experience even though they’re different brands.
To test this paper, I swatched my Sakura Pigma Micron in black that has the 05 thickness. Next, I also swatched the goldenrod Acrylograph and then the cool grey. When I flipped the page, there is no ghosting or bleeding at all! So there’s a big difference between 100 and 160 gsm.
I tore a Kraft and black page out to see how easy it would be and it tore off perfectly with no extra bits. I wanted to also test the acrylographs on the colored paper, so next I swatched pens on the torn out papers. First I did the Pigma Micron and then swatched the Goldenrod acrolygraph pen. Both of them show up well on the kraft paper. I also wanted to see how white gel pens would work on this, since I had some really thick kraft papers which was difficult to write on. Those were almost at the thickness of card stock however, and even with the better quality, these pages still feel like paper. I took my Sakura Gelly Roll pen in 10 and it glided easily across the page.
Then I moved onto the black paper. I’m excited for the black paper, since I’ve never really used it in my notebooks before so I have a totally new element to experiment with. If you were a 90s kid, you probably remember buying black notebooks to use all your colorful gel pens on and I definitely lived through that trend, so this is also nostalgic. I’m really excited to use these pens on black paper in the future.
ALPHABET LETTER STAMP SET
The rest of these purchases are Amazon purchases. I try not to buy TOO much from Amazon, but these were things I’d been wanting to buy for awhile and they were at reasonable prices for me, so it was easier to buy it in one place and have them shipped in one package.
I’ve been wanting alphabet letter rubber stamps for so long! I already have my theme and layouts planned for 2022, and I’ll definitely be using these stamps in it, so I finally gave in and purchased a set for myself after seeing so many of my favorite bullet journalers use them in their setups. I bought this set for $14.99 and I also have Amazon Prime, so everything that was part of this order came in 3 days from me placing it. Not bad considering it was the week of Thanksgiving, I wasn’t expecting them to be on time given the large volume of orders.
I really like the little wooden box the stamps come in and it closes with this clasp. The inside of the cover does have these weird dings and holes in it, but it doesn’t really bother me. If anything it just adds to the vintage look! I think what really appeals me to these stamp sets is that it looks like a letter press! I’m not sure why I have an appreciation for letter presses, but I do. The letters on the wooden blocks are a little hard to read, and there were sets that were lighter, but I can live with it. It comes with a full set of both lowercase and uppercase letters as well as numbers 0 through 9 and some commonly used symbols like an ampersand an exclamation point. A part of me wishes the stamps were larger, but I didn’t find any letter stamp set that was larger than this one, so this size seems to be the standard.
Occasionally, the stamping can be a little inconsistent depending on how much ink the stamp absorbs, but I think it adds to the charm of using these stamps. They look perfectly imperfect on a page, which is exactly why I purchased them. I also didn’t want to spend too much time writing out headers in a similar serif font, so this saved me the stress of doing that.
BLACK INK STAMP PAD
I also bought a simple black ink stamp pad since I no longer have any stamp pads at home. This is a Tsukineko Full-Size StazOn Multi-Surface Inkpad. I didn’t opt for any special colors just yet, but I would consider buying a gold ink pad or other colors in the future. They recommend keeping this plastic covering when not using the ink pad, so I’m going to be careful with this insert instead of casting it aside like I was originally going to do. Luckily I sometimes read instructions! I bought this for $9.99 on Prime, but as of this week of recording and publishing, it’s now $6.99 on Prime!
I brought back my test pages to see how the stamps and ink would fare on the white and kraft papers. And of course, right as I started using the stamp pad, I got ink on my thumb. It did wash off pretty easily, so that was a relief.
I decided to spell out the word “TEST” since you know, I’m testing these out. I pressed the T pretty hard into the ink, although after subsequent tests, I don’t think you need to go in that hard. You can see that the stamp picked up the ink really well and it comes out nice and dark. It also didn’t leave too much of a border on the edges from the stamp, which was awesome! The stamps are about the size of one square on a dot grid page, which works well for me since that’s typically the height that I write in.
Overall, the stamps and ink came out really well onto the page. One or two of them left a very faint border from the block, but I kinda like that effect since it makes it look imperfect and gives it more of a vintage, rustic feel.
To clean off the stamps a bit, I just continued to stamp it onto the page until no more ink remained. In hindsight, I should’ve properly cleaned them off, which apparently you can do with soap and water (so long as you don’t soak the samps in the water), so I’ll keep that in mind moving forward.
I will say though, after using this a little more, I hate the smell of this ink pad. It has a weirdly perfume-like smell that’s not entirely chemical? It gives me a headache so I definitely cover the ink pad when I’m not using it. I likely won’t buy this brand again solely for the smell since I’m pretty sensitive to scents.
VINTAGE SCRAPBOOKING PAPER
Next up are these vintage scrapbook papers! I normally would not buy these, but I don’t have any old books or pages that I’d be willing to tear out, and I thought these had really cool designs.
I’ll start with the larger sized set first and there are 150 pieces in here. These might be a little pircey at 14.99 but the pages are pretty big compared to other options. I like that there were multiple paper packs, and they’re about 17 by 12 centimeters, so they’re actually pretty big. I can work with that in my A5 notebook. You can see that there are different designs and words written across the pages, such as anatomy, menus, and even excerpts from Alice in Wonderland! Each set also has this clear sheet on top to protect it, which I could also use in collaging. I collect a lot of materials from my packaging and other supplies that I could use in the future since I want to be able to reuse things.
Then I moved onto the smaller pack, which has two small boxes of Vintage Style scrapbooking stickers. These are 110 pieces and it retails for 6.99$. You can see that there are a variety of designs in these packages. There are maps, stamps, and other signs and some of them are slightly transparent so they’ll be really cool to layer with other elements. I bought these because they were stickers and could adhere easily onto pages in theory, but I did read the reviews before I gout them. A lot of them complained that these scrapbook papers had a clear backing on the back but then you couldn’t even peel it off to stick somewhere. I’m not sure why these are advertised as stickers, but they are definitely not. There are also different flower images, signs, shopping tags, and other small items. Again, you can’t peel any backing to give way to a sticky side that you can stick somewhere, so that is disappointing. Luckily, they glue onto pages easily but I wish they did have adhesive.
And that’s it! Keep a look out for my 2022 bullet journal setup post and video to see how I used all of these supplies! I generally like to only buy things I know I’ll use rather than adding unnecessary things to my art supply collection. I want to be intentional in what I purchase so I actually use the things that I buy! For safekeeping, be sure to Pin this blog post so you can refer back to it any time. 🙂