As you may have gathered from some of my recent posts, I’ve gotten very into planner stencils lately. This post has the types of stencils I think are useful for daily, weekly and monthly spreads, but can be also used for lists, meal planning – the possibilities are endless.
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Stencils are great for
- Checklists – in the sidebars of monthly or weekly spreads, full page checklists, checklists in the vertical columns of your weekly planner, on a monthly planning page – basically anywhere!
- Incorporating different fonts if you’re handwriting is messy and your spreads are starting to all look the same
- Make it quick and easy to draw up monthly calendars
- Weekly layouts you mightn’t have otherwise thought of
- When you don’t have a ruler
- Savings trackers
- Habit trackers
- If you want to keep your planner neat
- If you’re drawing up the same spread all the time
- Want to try a new planner supply
- Want to keep your planner neat
1. Row & Column Stencils
The most functional stencil on this list! Row and column stencils help you quickly rule up spreads by not having to count the dots – especially helpful for monthly and weekly spreads.
I ranked and compared 5 different brands of row and column stencils in this post.
2. PA Alphabet Stencils
This brand has my favorite alphabet stencils. The size of the letters are just right for bullet journaling and there’s a variety of font styles to choose from.
Some ways to use alphabet stencils:
- Dates of the week
- Month of the Year
- Days of the week
- Monthly spread cover pages or section divider pages
You can find alphabet stencils in other stencil packs such as these (but P.A. offer more variety in the fonts and not all of the ones listed below come with coordinating number stencils).
3. Sunny Streak Stencils
This brand has a few stencil collections to choose from:
- Monthly layouts #1
- Weekly layouts #2
- Weekly Layouts #3
- Assorted mini stencils
- Habit trackers, mini monthly calendars and flag banners
- Time saver
I purchased the weekly layouts 2 stencils off Amazon which are for A5 dot grid notebooks. The placement of the stencils on a 5mm dot grid isn’t exact. For the spread in the photo below, I actually just used one of the daily boxes and traced around that 7 times. Too hard to get a photo to show what I mean but not all of the lines aligned perfectly with the dots on the page.
So while the stencils aren’t perfect, they still produce nice spreads
One stencil I think is essential if you like doing boxes for each day on your monthly calendar, is a stencil with the boxes already measured out. I have other stencils where you trace a thin gap in the stencil but with the Speedy Spreads you just draw the border on the inside of the boxes.
The Sunny Streak time saver stencils have a mini monthly calendar template.
4. Flags & Ribbon Stencils
Ideal for titles such as the month on a calendar, day of the week, lists, your index page etc.
5. Helix Circle Maker
I mainly use the Helix Circle Maker for annual planning pages and habit trackers, but you can use it for weekly spreads as well. See this post for a tutorial on how to use the Helix Circle maker
Related post: 12 Bullet journal annual planning page layout ideas
6. Shape Stencils
There are plenty of options for shape stencils. I’ve ordered this one (hasn’t arrived yet!) as it has the most variety I’ve seen with flag banners, alphabet, icons and basic shapes like squares, rectangles and circles in multiple sizes, straight edges, scallop borders etc.
If you’re looking for more sturdy stencils, these Etsy shop have some brass stencils.
I haven’t tried them myself but those shops have so many positive reviews I’m thinking about placing an order.
7. Habit tracker stencils
If you like to include habit trackers in your weekly layout, you’re probably well aware of how time consuming they are to set up. I prefer stencils with the boxes already ruled up, then I don’t need to worry about smudging the lines when I use a ruler.
Ink by Jeng habit tracker dot grid stencil
8. DIY Stencil
If none of the stencils on this list appeal to you or you want to make your own, see this post for a tutorial I did on how to make your own stencil using Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Apple Pages.
9. Erin Condren
Similar to the PA Calligraphy stencil, Erin Condren has one too. I prefer the Erin Condren calligraphy stencil over the PA calligraphy stencil as the letters are smaller.
Most stencils are very bendy plastic like this one, or solid metal where the part where you put your pen isn’t big enough for a 0.7mm pen tip. If it’s a choice between bendy plastic and metal, I would rather plastic and then just carefully hold the stencil in place while I use it.
Update: They appear to no longer sell the cursive stencil however do have this this one with all the essential shapes to make different spreads.
10. More stencils
I only have a few stencils, there are tons more to choose from:
- Happy Planner line it up and check it off (can be used for other vertical weekly planners, not just the Happy Planner)
- Happy Planner journaling stencils (again, could be used for other planners, not just the Happy Planner)
- Day to Day (Maggie Holmes Discbound) Icon and alphabet
- Moxie Dorie (journal guide, tidy slider (for lists), budget finance, cursive days, fitness, time scheduler, cursive months
- Sunshine Sticker Co layout stencil for 5mm notebooks
- Sunny Streak time saver stencils (instead of counting out the dots, this one has done it for you)
- The Paper Studio planner stencils (habit tracker, icons, page dividers, lines)
- PA Essentials lines, numbers , basic shapes and icons)
- Make your own stencil material for the Silhouette Machine (adhesive and non-adhesive)
- Heid Swapp Alphabet ruler
- Sunshine Sticker Co. monthly layout stencil
- Ink by Jeng habit tracker dot grid, Hobonichi 4mm grid, Icon stencil,
- Zonon B5 stencils
- Zonon A5 stencils
- Zonon assorted stencils
- Zicoto stencils
I don’t recommend using highlighters with stencils. Stencils can easily slip and the ink pools at each line / join that you draw. I exclusively use erasable pens with stencils as I can wipe any residue on the stencils off with a tissue. I tried using non-erasable pens once but the residue wouldn’t come off and permanently stained the plastic stencil.
More bullet journal tips
- 10 Useful printables to add to your planner or bullet journal
- Highlighter swatches and thickness comparison (38 brands compared)
- Planner Necessities: My Top 3 All-Time Favorite Gel Pens
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