National Stationery Week – Bullet Journalling

Guys it’s one of my favourite weeks of the entire year – National Stationery Week! A whole week to celebrate paper, pens, planners and stickers. Today I wanted to talk to you about Bullet Journalling because it’s been a planning revelation for me since I started it in January.

If you are not familiar with this style of planning, I recommend watching Ryder Caroll’s video about the analogue system he invented. Since then, it has become something of a trend with lots of creative people turning their BuJo’s into places to doodle and decorate.

March-Bullet-Journal-Spread As a fickle planner (you’ve probably seen me change my planner set up lots!), I find Bullet Journalling to be the one that has stuck the longest. The reason for this is the flexibility – you design every page yourself, so if one spread doesn’t work for you, just amend it the next week or day! It allows you to create pages for anything that you want to record, track or note. I have doodle pages, lettering practice pages, calendars, sketches, brainstorms and even budgeting and sales trackers.


I am exploring colour and lettering in my Bullet Journal and it’s been incredible to have just one planner for my personal life and business. It is busy inside, but it’s kept me on track and really suits my goal focused way of working. If things get written down, they get done for me!

You can basically use any notebook for a Bullet Journal, but I love one with dotted pages. Here are some links to the notebooks and pens that I use:

Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook

Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook Limited Edition Copper Version

PaperMate Flair Pens

Artline Stix Brush Pens

I also made a video on my Bullet Journal which you might like to take a look at to see it in more detail.

Once my pink BuJo is full, I shall be using this limited edition Leuchtturm Copper Notebook. It’s just really beautiful!


Finally, I’ve been working hard behind the scenes this month on some new stationery themed pin ideas and I can’t tell you how excited I am!! It’s been really tricky deciding on colours, but I can tell you they will be shiny and pretty special. They take around 3 weeks to produce once I have finalised the designs, so keep an eye out and let me know what you think!

Are you a Bullet Journalling fan? What are you using to keep organised this year? Don’t forget, you can keep up with National Stationery Week online by searching the #NatStatWeek tag!



*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

Adventures In Bookbinding

It’s National Stationery Week here in the UK so I thought I’d share a little more of my bookbinding journey. A couple of weeks ago I took a class to learn how to make a hardback journal and I feel so proud of the results.

I started my bookbinding adventures last year when I took a class to make a Japanese stab bound journal. I use this journal for calligraphy and hand lettering practice.


Then I took a class to make a long stitch book which I blogged about here.


I knew the process of making a hardback book would be a lot more involved, but Edel took us through it step by step so we could finish a book within a day. It was hard work but such fun and made me appreciate the old bookbinding techniques that are still used today.


Here are some phone pictures I took on the day of each step of the process. We worked over 7 hours to create our books.


We used some Victorian equipment and techniques in making our books and I expressed my curiosity as to what glue was used before PVA and paste were invented. Apparently animal glue was common in bookbinding and is still used in some studios today.


We hand stitched each section of the book which you can see below. Did you know that paper has a warp and weft just like fabric?


We had the privilege of talking to experienced bookbinders who were also using the studio for restoration projects. We were able to ask about thesis binding for the University and to take a look at old manuscripts and journals from the 1800s.


I’m so proud of the finished result. Of course it has its imperfections but that’s all part of learning a new skill. We left the class feeling that traditional bookbinding is in fact a real art and I am grateful to have historic studios in Cambridge to learn at.

Claireabellemakes-Hardback-JournalThank you for letting me share my bookbinding efforts with you today. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing my experiences and I’d love to know if you have any experiences with bookbinding!



DIY & Giveaway – Hand Stitched Bicycle Notebook


Today’s post is a little DIY and giveaway to continue my National Stationery Week celebrations! Ever wanted to know how to make your own notebooks or journals?

I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite designer-makers (HarrietStacie and Rachel) to share some notebook DIYs and you will be able to win the notebooks we make by entering the giveaway below! If you don’t win, you can make your own using the tutorials. Be sure to share them if you do!

To make my hand stitched bicycle notebook, you will need:

  • A4 Kraft Card Stock
  • A4 White Paper
  • Needle and Thread
  • Bone Folder
  • Bulldog Clips
  • Washi Tape or Stamps to decorate
  • Craft Knife or Scissors

Step 1

Take 1 sheet of kraft card stock and fold in half using your bone folder to score the centre. If you don’t have a bone folder, you can use a letter opener to press along the fold.

Repeat with 8 x sheets of A4 white paper. These will be your notebook pages.


Step 2

Place your folded paper inside the kraft card stock, which will be your notebook cover. Secure in place will bulldog clips, so the paper doesn’t move.


Step 3

Make holes with your needle along the centre fold of the white pages, all the way through to the card cover. This can be a little tough, so you could also use an awl to start the holes off. It also helps to have a cutting mat underneath.


Step 4

Using 3 strands of embroidery thread, stitch through your pre-made holes using a back stitch. Be sure to go through your cover card as well as all the pages. Knot each end of the thread to secure the stitching.


Step 5

Collate supplies to decorate the notebook! I used a bicycle stamp and some spotted washi tape after being inspired by the fab Oh Squirrel stationery.



Step 6

Once you have finished decorating your cover, you may wish to trim the pages to ensure they are in line with the cover.


And there you have your finished handmade notebook and you’ve picked up some simple book binding skills!


Fancy winning the bicycle notebook or one from these amazing makers? Just fill out the widget below (or on any of the other blogs) to be in with a chance! There will be 4 winners, each winning one of the handmade notebooks.


And please check out the fab DIYs by Harriet, Stacie and Rachel!

Hello Harriet / Stacie Swift / OH NO Rachio

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a super weekend everyone and don’t forget to enter my other stationery giveaways here and here.



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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates.

National Stationery Week 2013

22 – 28 April is National Stationery Week in the UK! It seems like every week is a National-something-week at the moment, but this one is right up my street and aims to “Get Britain Writing”. Having just joined Anna’s Post Circle (along with 170 others), I now have another excuse to buy pretty stationery.

Here are my fave finds in the lovely world of stationery….

Rose Digital Collage Sheet P…


Large Plain Notebook – The B…


Modern Stationery Set . Hell…


120 Handmade Tandem Bicycle …


Pink, Linen, Aqua Garden Jap…


Map Envelopes A2 with Labels…


Medium Aqua Chevron Paper Ba…


Vintage WOOD QUILL or Dip Pe…


Rubber Stamp – Enjoy laser c…


Button Rubber Stamp


Wooden Rubber Stamp Set – Al…


Typewriter Print: You’re…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

I also want to recommend some great stationery subscription boxes:

The Green Gables Eco Stationery Club which fellow craft blogger Hannah Ackroyd has reviewed here.

Green Gables Eco Stationery Club

The It’s Paper Dear stationery subscription box by Zie of Darling Dear is a fabulous surprise box of goodies including notebooks, pencils, stickers, journalling cards and more. I love getting this as a treat and reviewed a box on my blog here.

It's Paper Dear


I also want to give another shout out to Vivid Please, one of my favourite Etsy shops for stationery and quirky gifts. You can read my interview with them by clicking the image below.

Vivid Please Prints

Lastly, what do you think of my stamp bunting card? I tried hard not to cut into the Queen’s head!

Stamp Bunting Card

Any finds you’d like to share with me? Post in the comments below!