Bullet Journal Under $5

I’ve seen a ton of people say they can’t start journaling because they can’t afford a journal or supplies, to that I say – Dollar Tree! Yup that’s right, you’ve caught me, I’m a Dollar Tree addict. Not only can you find the best organizing bins there but you can also find some great bujo supplies! Check out all these awesome supplies they have for only one dollar, stickies and pens galore!

Dollar tree bullet journal finds

First let me start by saying  your journal is just that, YOUR journal. Don’t compare yourself to others. The only thing that matters is that it sparks joy for you!

budget bullet journal

Now that I got that out of the way, here’s what I grabbed for my bujo on a budget…

Dollar tree bullet journal finds!

So I spent the full $5 (plus tax) on these items, however you can really do it for $2 – all you need is a pen and a notebook! (If you have a hard limit of $5 you can skip out on one of the washis – I bought two rolls of washi tape because I couldn’t help myself!) I was surprised with the quality of the gel pens I bought – they write so smoothly I might have to go back and get a few more packs! I also bought a bottle of Mod Podge to add a a custom feel to my journal. Check out my finished product! I Mod-Podge’d a paper bag over the cover and I love it! You can also use wrapping paper, gift bags, fabric or anything else you have lying around the house to make your bujo yours!

DIY Bullet Journal on a budget!

So how do you bujo on a budget?



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  • Right now, I am using a college-ruled notebook I bought on clearance for .25 and 3 colors of pens I have on hand. I use black to write out my tasks,events, notes, etc., blue to mark things off as completed, and fuchsia for special notes. I use a combo of black and fuchsia for lists.

    I have been feeling a bit bad that I don’t have a “pretty” BuJo and I am not gifted at art, so I see a lot of BuJos and think I can’t stack up to those. Comparison is self-defeating. I remind myself that I rather have a functional one than a pretty one from unnecessary spending. I really enjoy what I am journaling and the fun lists I am making. This sparks joy for me.

    Thanks for posting this! I do look forward to checking out the dollar store offerings or maybe using an occasional Amazon gift card for some supplies at some point. Until then, I still enjoy doing my BuJo as something that is just for ME.

    • That’s great, Maggie! It really is what works for you. As long as it makes you happy – that’s all that matter 🙂 I’m not very talented in the art department either so a little washi goes a long way for me!

    • Dollar Tree fanatic over here! I usually frequent a few of my local Dollar Trees, they can be hit or miss but this one happened to be a gold mine for Bujo supplies! They also had some cool things in the teacher(?) section that could be used to bujo as well 🙂

  • Wow, I love how your cover came out! If you zentangle, you can add to it; if not, it’s awesome the way it is. I love Dollar Tree! I’m going to check out those pens over the weekend, while I run errands.

    Truly, thanks for sharing!

  • I love this idea! I always covered my school books with paper bags so I could decorate them, the same could be done on the cover of this (although I love it plain too!). A strip of washi running up and down about and inch from the edge that opens would be pretty. I already have mod podge, washi, and way too many pens so all I would need is a notebook to do this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I’m using a $0.67 Mead 5×7 notebook and a Sharpie fine-point pen I already had. Augmented by two rolls of washi tape and a 50-pack of colored pencils I bought last year.

  • I didn’t know Dollar Tree has washi tape! However I would get a notebook from somewhere else. For some reason the composition notebook I got there a while back smelled like chemicals. 🙁

    • Yuck! Try Walmart or Target, I’ve seen composition books for around a dollar at both. Target and TJMaxx usually have Moleskines on clearance too!

  • I love this! I myself have gotten all caught up in scanning pinterest for hours, looking at the absolutely stunning bujos, causing me to feel defeated and hating my journal because I lack that artistic ability. However, I have found with some washi tape, stickers, and pretty colored pens (all things I can find at the Dollar tree) I am able to make my bujo pretty. Also, I bought some sticker sheets and sooo many free journal printables on pinterest as well. I still scan pinterest for pretty bujo spreads and ideas (which is what brought me to your site) but I have stopped being so hard on myself (and my journal!)
    Thank you for sharing your awesome ideas!

    • It’s all about what works for you! I myself have only been using my normal pen and highlighters to dress up my journal. I was taking up too much time worrying about the perfect spread and adding flair. Also make sure to subscribe to our email list to gain access to our resource library – so many great freebies in there!

  • I like most started with the graph composition book. Best $.50 I ever spent. I have tried others as were suggested. Even after a pay raise and 2 years later, I find this book works the best for me. My pens/pencils gradually were replaced by better, a bleeding factor. The bullet journal was never intended to be as intricate as it has become. Personalities are what made the mundane listing & planing turn to a joy rather than a chore. These creations are the highlight of my day. Thank you!

    • Yayyy Annie! I’m so glad you’ve found something that works for you 🙂 I love using old fashioned spiral bound school notebooks too!

  • Love this! I have the supplies but my question is about the paper bag(which I’ve been saving to make journals for me and my kids) how do I use the mod podge to make the paper bag stay on the notebook? Do I just smear it on it and let it dry? Do you have a step by step guide? 🙂 Thanks in advanced!!

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks for reaching out 🙂 You are correct! Just smear the mod podge on the notebook and stick the bag directly to it. It takes a little while to dry so you have some time to maneuver it around and fold it so it looks finished. I had trouble with a few of my corners sticking well so I peeled them up a bit and added more mod podge!

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