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diy: watercolour notebooks

diy watercolour notebooks | south by northEveryone loves a notebook, right? I couldn’t resist picking up a couple of plain ones the other day. I’ve jazzed these up with a bit of watercolour stencilling.

You will need:

– a couple of plain notebooks
– watercolour paints
– a paint brush
– jar of clean water to rinse your brush
– square and circle stencil
– paper towel

diy watercolour notebooks | south by north

Start by placing your paper towel under the cover of the notebook that you are painting, this will protect the paper below. Decide where you want your first shape to go, and press your stencil down firmly. Saturate the tip of brush with colour, and fill half of the shape. You don’t wan’t your brush to be too wet for this, otherwise it will seep way under the stencil and the colour will be weak.

I tested colours on a piece of kraft paper first, to see how they would come out and practice getting the right water consistency on the brush. You might need an extra paper towel to dry your brush inbetween colours.

Without moving the stencil, rinse your brush and move on to the next colour, making sure they overlap to get a nice blended colour.

diy watercolour notebooks | south by northCarefully lift up your stencil, wipe it clean and then move on to the next shape, choosing a different colour combo. Have some of your shapes overlap the edge, to give continuity to the pattern. You will notice some bleed under the stencil, personally I quite like this slight ‘imperfection’ in the shape.

diy watercolour notebooks | south by north

Keep going until you have covered both of your notebooks, don’t use them until they are completely dry.


diy watercolour notebooks | south by north


  1. I love the simplicity of these notebooks. I would like to try this. May I ask where you found these plain notebooks?

      • Thank you. Is Officeworks a store or website? I am not familiar with the name, but would like to be!

      • Thanks for your reply. I am in the US, so postage would be excessive. I will have to keep looking. Thanks for your replies.

  2. Pingback: Watercolour inspirations | alittletypical

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