Dark and Moody Insect Bullet Journal Setup for July

Sharing my dark and moody insect bullet journal setup for July. Probably not the most common theme or colour palette for a summery July bullet journal setup, but here we are! Leaning into monotone greys and blacks, I turn insect stamp sets into a faux entomology field notes journal. Now, admittedly, I don’t particularly care for bugs and insects, but I am really happy with the way my vision turned out. This wasn’t my first choice for a July theme (I’ll be using my first choice for my August setup), so considering I put this together last minute, I am really happy.

I share my video over on YouTube, so you can check out my process. Here, I am sharing my supply list as well as some tips and tricks for stamping in your notebook.

Dark and Moody Insect Bullet Journal Setup for July

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Insect Bullet Journal Supplies

Dark and Moody Insect Bullet Journal Setup for July

So, how did I end up with a dark and moody insect bullet journal setup for July? The short story is I joined a parent group at my kids’ school and I don’t have the personality to play along apparently. After that implosion, things just got to be super overwhelming. The end of June signifies, for me, big changes and I really struggle with change. I have also taken on more responsibility at work, and apparently have lost the ability to say no – not just at work but in general.

I have been working on my initial July theme since the middle of June, but when it came time for the hand lettered cover page, I just couldn’t get it right. This leading to me being very hard on myself and second, even third guessing, my choices. The negative thought spiral was getting louder and deeper, so I decided to take a step back from it. This, of course, left me with no theme, or an idea for a theme, for July.

Thanks to my unhealthy coping mechanism of shopping, I had a stack of stamps to choose from. I landed on the insects because I hadn’t used them yet, and they look so cool. The addition of the script stamps was easy and then the washi tape, from the Washi Tape Shop specifically, were individual insect stickers. So really, this theme came together by itself.

The colour palette just so happened to reflect the colour of my soul at the time. Just joking! Nothing that dramatic. Just thought a grey theme would look great with the insect stamps.

Monthly Bullet Journal Setup

Tips for Recreating

While this setup isn’t exactly light on supplies, you wouldn’t need nearly as much if you are choosing to recreate your own dark and moody insect bullet journal setup (looking at you, October). I could’ve done the same setup with only the Entomology set, since it has the insects and the script. I do like the “Documented”, “Recorded” and “Noted” headings but those you can write in. Same goes for all the headings and the days of the week. You can easily letter those or print them out, using a font that fits your theme, and glue them in your journal.

I am working on a more bite-sized stamping tutorial, breaking down the different aspects of stamping, so stay posted for that. But I am happy to share some basic tips here too:

  • Pigment ink is my preferred stamping ink – yes it takes longer to dry but less likely to bleed through or ghost (when I used 100GSM journals, pigments inks had far less bleed through and ghosting than dye inks which are water based)
  • Make sure your acrylic block matches the size of your stamp
    • This is to ensure even pressure when stamping so that your image comes out crisp, clear, and complete
    • Rubber stamps are a bit more forgiving but it you’re not sure, you can use almost any hard surface that your stamp will stick to
  • Don’t sweat the small imperfections
    • Stamping is a master class in not getting caught up in tiny mistakes
    • This theme was great because any rogue ink marks ties perfectly into the rough theme of the setup
  • When using stamps for the first time, have an extra piece of paper nearby as the first stamp almost always fails
    • This is due to residue from the manufacturing process
    • Stamp that first image on the scrap piece of paper and you are good to go
Insect Bullet Journal Setup

Onto the Next Chapter

I have been sharing my setups later and later every month. My apparently busy schedule (busy procrastinating more like it! IYKYK), is catching up to me and blurring my already warped sense of time. I have been setting timers for everything to get a better sense of what, for example, 10 minutes feels like. This is a topic for another day though.

For now, my dark and moody insect bullet journal setup for July is done and, most importantly, my journal is ready for me to use! I don’t share my journal after the fact, for many reasons to be honest (safety and sensitive work information being the main ones), but I do rely on it a lot. I’m excited to see how this black and grey monotone palette works out for me, and even more curious to see it in my Year in Colour layout – in my mid-year bullet journal setup which is coming soon. But I have last year’s for you to check out.

If you’re still reading, thank you so much for your time today! For more July inspiration, you can check out my 2022 and 2023 setups, as well as my June setup to get a better idea of how I use the layouts. If you choose to recreate this theme, I’d love to see it! You can tag me over on Instagram @natashamillercreates or email me if you’re more comfortable that way.

Thank you so much for your time today!

Dark and Moody Insect Bullet Journal Setup for July

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