Sharing a super fun and easy book layout tutorial. This is such a great layout and is a perfect example of simple details making a big impact. You don’t have to be the world’s best artist to have pretty journals and I am so excited to show one example of that today. I created this layout to document my favourite fiction and non-fiction books, but this can also be used as a monthly/yearly “To Be Read” spread, a month/year in review, and so on. It’s so versatile and so easy to create. The colour palette I used is similar to my September 2022 Bullet Journal setup as I love these colours for a book theme. I have the video tutorial here for you, but I like to provide a written tutorial for reference as well. So, let’s get into it!
- Archer and Olive Traveler’s Notebook (NML10 for 10% off – affiliate link)
- Tombow Monoline Drawing Pens is size 05 and 03
- Crayola SuperTips
- Amy Tangerine Alphabet Stamp Set (Discontinued)
- Studio L2E Tall and Skinny Alpha Stamp Set (Discontinued)
- Versafine Pigment Ink in Onyx
- Tim Holtz Distress Oxide in Antique Linen
- Tim Holtz Mini Blending Tool
- Scissors, glue, cutting knife
- Tags/Paper for listing books
Easy Book Layout Tutorial
Sketch your book stacks
Turn on some music a show, or an audiobook, and start sketching your book stacks. Start sketching about a third into the page from the edge. You can start from the center as well if you’re more comfortable. Then start drawing rectangles stacked on top of one another. Draw short ones, long ones, thin and thick, just vary the different sizes of the rectangles as you go. Draw 6 books stacks across the 2 pages.
Add details to your simple rectangles
Start adding details to your basic rectangles. Decorate the spines of your rectangle books using as much detail as you want. Adding simple lines along your books is the easiest and quickest option, but if you feel into it, add whatever detail you like.
For a fun visual element, have the pages side of the book showing out just by drawing lines to indicate pages. As an added touch, curve the edges of the rectangles for these books. You can also add a thin border around all but one edge, curve that remaining edge, and add your pages for a book lying on it’s side.
Next, add some colours, alternating and varying them as you go. You don’t want the colours to be too uniform, unless that is the look you’re going for! Those aesthetic colour coordinated bookshelves come to mind (which I admire but could never have because I can’t keep that clean 😆).
Cut your book stack dutch door
Using a small pair of scissors, craft knife, and cutting board, start cutting your dutch door. I use a small pair of scissors to cut the bigger pieces, and then go in with a craft knife for the details. As an added touch, I cut out the white in between the books too. Doing so allows what’s underneath to show through a little and is another fun, visual element. This is especially nice to do if you are adding colour to the background. If you are leaving your background white (or whatever colour your notebook page is), then you can skip this little step.
Fill in the background (optional)
Using Distress Oxide in Antique Linen and a Mini Blending Tool, I add some colour behind the stack. I wanted the layout to feel more vintage, but you can use any colour you want, or even leave it blank.
Add your headings
Using the Amy Tangerine Alphabet Stamp Set (discontinued unfortunately), I added the “Favourites” heading. You can hand letter, print letters, or use a different stamp set to create this heading. When stamping the “Favourites” heading, make sure to leave some space between the heading and the book stack. A bit of the card will stick out so you will want to leave some room. The Studio L2E Tall and Skinny Alpha Set was perfect for adding the Fiction and Non-Fiction headings down the sides. Again, use whatever you have to add these headings.
Glue the dutch doors
Using thin glue tape, or a little bit of glue along the outer edge of the book stack and along the bottom, glue down the dutch door creating pockets. These pockets will store the lists you will be writing down.
I found a library card printable that I am using for my non-fiction favourites, and then a tag for my favourites. I liked having the different papers. It reminds me of grabbing whatever I have nearby to use as a bookmark. It also adds to the messy aesthetic of the book stacks. I also add my borders to finish off the layout.
Easy Book Layout Tutorial Thoughts
This was a lot of fun to create and I am so excited to share it with you. As mentioned above, use this to document your favourites every year, every month, as a memory keeping layout, etc. If you are feeling extra industrious, turn it into a card and slide a gift card into the pocket and gift to an avid reader. Now, while I keep mentioning how easy this is to create, I do appreciate that time can be an issue. So if you like the idea of the project, but not drawing all the rectangles, I have the printable available down below!
If you decide to recreate this layout, or use the printable, I’d love to see it! Tag me @natashamillerletters on Instagram. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here, on YouTube, or over on socials.
Thank you so much for you time today!