It happens to everyone. You’re working on a layout and everything is going great…. But then you realize something is off about it, and then you see it – you’ve made a mistake.
When I first started my bullet journal, I did not think I would stick with it for this reason – drawing your own layouts increases your chances of making mistakes, and as a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I was convinced that any mistakes I made would drive me insane. However, I took a chance and used the system anyway, and boy am I glad that I did.
Not only have I learned how to deal with my mistakes and plan ahead to avoid them, but I also learned how to EMBRACE them. I no longer panic when something isn’t quite right, but rather, I have started seeing it as an opportunity to get creative. So, here are some tips and tricks you can use to get rid of your mistakes, or turn them into pages you might even love!
When talking about correcting mistakes, white out is always a good tool to have on hand. I only use it for incredibly tiny mistakes since the white does not match the color of my notebook pages, but oftentimes it will do the trick. It is especially effective on busier layouts where it is easy to overlook and has saved me countless time.
Another classic method of fixing mistakes is of course, to work them into your final product. Turn it into a doodle, or turn the whole page into a doodle page and just have fun with it. This one also works best for small mistakes, but it can add some unexpectedly cute features to your layouts, such as the little kitty I turned one of my messed up banners into.
An easy, and classic method of correcting massive mistakes is to simply take out the page. How many of you used to do this with your school notebooks? I know I did. Understandably, this suggestion is probably shocking and appalling to you. Ripping out the NUMBERED pages of your expensive bullet journal?! No way!
I like to think of this process as more of a surgical procedure. I usually cut along the first line of dots closest to the spine and either leave the bit of extra page hanging out, or tape it down using some washi. You want to make sure that you do not cut too close to the binding, because then you may have other pages start falling out.
Now, I am not one to get hung up on page numbers, so the skip doesn’t bother me, but if it is something you know will bother you, this method might not be for you.
Luckily, there is another method to cut your pages which leaves all of the page numbers in the right order. It is called the Dutch Door. This method creates a little “mini-page” or divider in between full pages which can be used for a variety of purposes.
You can accomplish this by either cutting or folding a page in half, in either direction, and making sure that you either cut or fold your mistake to the inside to hide it. If this does not make sense to you, I recommend going to Google or YouTube and searching “bullet journal dutch door” for tutorials and ideas – there are many of them out there.
When I first heard about washi tape, I thought it was overpriced and ridiculous. Now, I can’t imagine bullet journaling without it. Not only is it an easy way to add color and designs to layouts, but it is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to covering up mistakes, as seen in the photo of one of my monthly layouts. If you look at the daisy washi tape – you can see all of my scribbles underneath.
You can also use washi tape to tape the edges of two pages together instead of cutting them out. This creates a thicker page and a nice border if looking from the side of your journal. I primarily use this method for notebooks used for note-taking, but it can easily be applied to bullet journal as well.
Unfortunately, your page numbers will be out of order if you decide to do this, so keep that in mind. If you are looking to start, or build, your stash, check out this pack of 20 washi tape.
This fix is a little bit more useful than the others. The idea behind this one is that you glue or tape the edges of a sheet of paper onto the page to create a pocket on the inside of your notebook. Alternatively, you can fold pieces of paper in half, tape the edges, and glue the back onto a page.
There are many ways to make pockets – so feel free to experiment and figure out what works best for you. I use these pockets to store stickers, notes, business cards, and other small things. They are nice to have interspersed throughout the notebook so that the pocket in the back doesn’t get too bulky and shapeless. The best part is that you can make these pockets as large or small as you like, so they can cover anywhere from a teeny tiny spot to a whole page.
While we are on the topic of gluing things, Collage is another great way to cover up mistakes. You can add stickers, cutouts from magazines, and other random fun things to your layouts,and they will look purposefully placed – no one will guess that they are covering a mistake.
You can even turn the pages into scrapbook layouts if you want! Just cut some scrapbook paper to size and paste it right in, and fill with whatever you like. Some pages I have even completely covered in paper and turned into ‘art pages’ of a sort, because the pages underneath were beyond saving. In one, I even found some leaves outside and added them in.
I never would have thought to do this if I hadn’t made a mistake in the first place. It just goes to show – some mistakes can really be blessings in disguise.