In my newest journal I’ve given myself the challenge of trying out some new and interesting techniques to mix things up a bit. One of those is the ‘dutch door’ phenomenon. If you’ve never tried making dutch doors in your bullet journal this is the guide for you. Read on to find out how to use dutch doors in your bullet journal.
What is a Dutch Door?
A dutch door is quite simply a page in your journal that’s had a bit cut off so it’s smaller or a different shape. The term ‘dutch door’ actually comes from real dutch doors which are just like stable doors which are split meaning you could open the top or the bottom of the door separately. I’m not sure who first came up with this idea but as with anything in the bullet journal community people have taken the idea and run with it!
What’s the Point of a Dutch Door?
You definitely don’t need to add a dutch door in your bullet journal but it is a fun way to mix up your layouts. I’ve really enjoyed setting myself the challenge of using a different style of dutch door every month in my monthly layouts. But what are the actual benefits of using them?
It might sound a bit weird that cutting out a bit of your journal adds space but it does add more space to your actual layouts. If you’re struggling to fit a weekly spread on two pages add space by making the days with dutch doors so you can flick through them and still see all of your weekly goals and tasks on the sides of the page!
If you have to draw less of your spread then it follows that it’s going to save you time to have a dutch door. It might take longer if you’re going to draw a really complex design but once you get the hang of dutch door layouts it can save time.
You can also simply use a dutch door to add a bit of creativity and fun in your journal! My July dutch door has no other purpose than to tie in with my theme. I mean it’s just half an avocado! But it looks cool and it was really satisfying to create. [picture coming soon follow my Instagram to see the beautiful avocado first!]
Step by Step Guide to a Simple Vertical Dutch Doors in Your Bullet Journal
The first way I tried making a dutch door and the simplest way to start with a dutch door is just by cutting off exactly half the page vertically. My favourite way to use this design is for a double sided monthly log. It’s a really simple way to separate work and personal events and this is how you do it. You will need:
- A pencil
- a ruler
- A good pair of sharp scissors or a craft knife and mat
Step One: sketch out the layout with a pencil to make sure you’re going to cut the right page. You can use the pencil to scribble where the cut will take off the rest of the page and just make a note on each page of what will go where. Once you cut you can’t go back so make sure you’re happy!
Step Two: Cut (!) half of the page off in a straight line. Take your time and use a good sharp pair of scissors to make a clean cut. I also like to carefully round off the corners so that the edges don’t catch and fold and so that I don’t get paper cuts! If you’re using a craft knife then make sure you have a mat right under the page you want to cut.
Step Three: Draw out the layout! Use the piece of paper you’ve just cut off underneath the dutch door to catch any pen so that you don’t mark the page underneath.
How to Create More Dutch Doors in your Bullet Journal
The vertical dutch door is the most simple but of course there are a lot more ways you can create a dutch door. For horizontal dutch doors or if you don’t want the dutch door to be the whole vertical length of the page then leave a little tab so that you don’t have to cut too close to the binding. Then use some glue roller tape to stick the tab down neatly.
For decorative dutch doors sketch the design and cut a little outside of the line. It can also be a good idea to draw the design before cutting it out.