Time is flying as I get ready to share my May Bullet Journal Setup 2023. This month, after a lot of back and forth, I decided on a tulip theme for May – groundbreaking, I know! Lol! But I just had to make a decision. Over on YouTube, I have the full setup video for you, where I talk through some of my decisions and choices. I also have free printables for you in the From Blank to Brilliant Library. This month, I have some digital images, and a couple of printables. I made one into a card so that if you’re in a bind, print it off, cut and glue the envelope, and you’re ready to go. You gain instant access when you sign up for my newsletter. Lots of changes hopefully coming soon – not to content but to the website and the library, so that is the best way to stay informed. But otherwise, let’s get into it.
May Bullet Journal Setup Supplies
- Archer and Olive B5 Dot Grid Notebook (Affiliate link – NML10 for 10% off)
- Archer and Olive Acrylograph paint pens (Affiliate link – NML10 for 10% off)
- Art Philosophy Premium Gouache Paint
- The Pigeon letters Studio Round Brush in size 4 (Affiliate link)
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Distress Oxide Ink in Vintage Photo
- Stampers Anonymous and Tim Holtz Burlap Stencil
- Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pen in N15
- Archer and Olive Bullet Journal Ruler (sold out)
- Stickers – my own. Digital images are available in the From Blank to Brilliant Library
- Scrapbook.com Subway Lowercase Alpha Stamps
May Bullet Journal Layouts
Normally, I try to keep my creative bullet journaling a little more minimalistic. But for me, bullet journaling is an outlet and April was a bit of a stressful/emotional month. So I decided to go a bit extra in my setup, including painting, stamp inks, stamping, and stickers. For this month, I include a cover page, a calendar page, a notes page, and a weekly setup with a dutch door and space for reflective journaling.
Let’s begin with the cover page. I start with a bright and cheerful tulip design. Tulips were the first flowers I bought for myself this season. They were on sale at the grocery store but inspiring nonetheless. I searched more tulips online to get more angles and found a bunch of different tulips and, as I often do, got carried away with drawing a bunch of them. The tulips lead me to a pink, coral, yellow, and green colour palette which ended up working so well.
I outline the tulips with the Acrylograph paint pens, added my Distress Oxide, layered the stencil with the Distress Ink, and, once dry, paint the tulips. By mixing the gouache paint, I am able to get the colour palette I initially chose. I wanted the paint a little lighter, so that the Acrylograph borders pop more, but, it is what it is. If you want more information on paint mixing, I have a paint mixing tutorial that you can check out to help you out.
I add the title using faux calligraphy with a black Acrylograph and call it done. On the left hand side of the page is the dashboard “Embrace Imperfections with Self-Love”, and that is exactly what I did throughout this setup.
My go-to page in my monthly setups – my calendar page. I add the stamping ink details to this page as well, tying it in with the cover page. Hand letter my month and calendar headings, and pop some washi and stickers to complete the page. On the right, I’m including two boxes – one for to-dos and one to record what’s coming up in June! I am really trying to be better about looking ahead and planning ahead – especially for work. So I will be trying/adding different layouts throughout the months as I try to find my groove. Let me know if you have any suggestions for monthly layouts.
Since January, I have been trying to incorporate habit trackers again. I am proud to say I made it 5 months (4 months?!) before calling it a day on the habit trackers. I feel so guilty when they go unfilled and that is not their purpose so I am not using them for May. Instead, I have a double notes page to capture all of my thoughts and ideas. Basically, a brain dump, but with a more generic name. I go in with a bit of stamping ink and the stencil for theme cohesion, faux calligraphy for the page title, some borders and it’s done. I didn’t want to take up too much space with creativity at this point, but if I choose to draw in this space later on, then so be it!
There are a few factors that went into deciding my weekly layout. Number 1, May is going to be super busy so decided on a dutch door allowing for more space to write everything down that I need. The second reason for the dutch door – It’s almost time for a new bullet journal setup and I am trying to use as many pages as possible before moving into my new journal (which is likely to be July).
The 3rd reason, is to incorporate a space to do some reflective journaling. I shared a video and a post a couple of weeks ago about the 5 W’s Method of Reflective Journaling and thought I would try this method for May. May isn’t likely to be an easy month so having that space to reflect on what is happening could be very beneficial.
May Bullet Journal Setup 2023 Wrap Up
And that’s a wrap on my May setup. I’m going to try and finish the rest of the weekly setups for the month. Especially, while I’m still in my feelings so that I can just have it all ready to use. I feel like the summer is the slow season for bullet journalling. Let me know if you’re going to continue on throughout the summer months or are you going to take a break. We have some travel plans so I will try and get setups done before that but life happens. Journaling is meant to reduce stress so I’m not going to stress if I can’t get them done.
As always, thank you so much for your time today! If you choose to recreate any of the designs, please tag me as I would love to see. You can tag me @natashamillerletters.
Thanks again and talk soon!