Making Of : How I Create My Planner Stickers in Watercolor
Planner Stickers - A New Creative Obsession
I've been a planner and journal keeper for as long as I can remember, but only recently did I get into planner decoration and 'pretty' bullet journal layouts. As a creator of stickers, the logical next step (about five minutes after falling down the #planwithme rabbit hole on instagram) was to draw planner stickers myself.
First Planner Sticker Printable: Watercolor Textures
My very first printable planner sticker set was made from basic watercolor textures and patterns, as well as mail and to do list drawings. These were so much fun to paint, and I quickly went on to produce more!
Dessert & Food Illustrations
So when Valentine's Day approached and I found myself browsing (vegan) dessert recipes way more than any sane human should, the urge to draw cakes and sweets took over!
It started innocently enough with this fig cake I'd shared a couple of weeks before in Jeju's Espresso Lounge:
And really, once I start drawing a certain theme, I just have to explore it. That's how my whole beauty & makeup illustration series started. I was armed with a flurry of recipes that were too complicated to bake (I'm a noob), so drawing variations of those delicious cupcakes and tarts, chocolates and muffins was the perfect solution to satisfy my dessert cravings.
Dessert Illustration - My Watercolor Drawing Process
The illustrations were made in watercolor (with some very light pencil guidelines) on Fabriano Watercolor Paper - the Hot Press one is ideal for small illustrations like these that need to be scanned later on. Its paper texture is near invisible, so the colors turn out even and perfect for printing purposes.
Since I wanted these to be simple and sweet (yup), I steered away from too much realism, tiny details, and dark shading. Just lots of bright colors, a bit of watercolor texture and lots of Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Scarlet to keep the color scheme unified.
After scanning the small drawing, I proceeded with my usual Photoshop routine: Adjusting levels and White Balance, some color correction... and masking the background to make sure it was transparent and would appear a clean, uniform white in print. (comment below if you'd like to know more about my Photoshop process for watercolor illustrations! I'm happy to share!)
Then, the files went over to InDesign to be turned into planner stickers. Since I'm still exploring the world of planner decoration, I don't have a pre-made layout or anything of the sort. Since I don't use any of the popular planner brands like the Erin Condren Life Planner or Happy Planner - mostly since I already had a Paperblanks planner for 2017 laying around - I'm sticking with 1.5" inches wide boxes. Those work for most planners (and I use a height of 1.875" inches so they're suited to the Erin Condren weekly spreads) - and I can flip them around and use them in my Paperblanks planner, too.
Now I'm just waiting to buy new sticker paper (I'm living way too far out of the city and need to find time to take the trip to the closest art store!) so I can use these. Dessert stickers should be perfect for recipe note cards, right?
If you'd like to print these for yourself and your planner needs, too:
The set of three pages for weekly planner layouts is available as a digital download in my Etsy shop 'evydraws'. Just print them on sticker paper of your choice and cut them with a cutter or scissors.
A free bonus page with fewer boxes and more 'free floating' cupcakes & chocolates can be found in my 'printables' section.
Last but not least, check out the speed painting video for these illustrations on my Youtube channel:
Thank you for reading and I hope you'll be using that free printable! If you do - be it for planning, your journal or diary, recipe notes or gift tags - take a picture and tag me if you put it on social media! I love seeing my work in use!