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Sunday, February 10

Technique Class - Doodling Borders

Doodling is lots of fun... most of us do it without even thinking and sometimes we're quite surprised by the end result.  I think it's because we don't worry too much about what we're drawing, we just let the pen wander over the page without worrying if it looks right.
Doodling is also a great way to add borders to your paper craft projects.  The single, most important thing to remember about doodling borders is REPETITION.  What you draw doesn't have to be perfect, the pattern just has to repeat itself.  Let me show you what I mean....
I have lots of different sorts of pens, mostly because I buy them when I come across them.  I try to keep a wide selection of nib sizes so that I can create very fine lines right up to very thick, bold lines.  Different pen nibs will give you different results, so make sure you have a go with lots of different types of pens.  Oh, and you certainly don't need to purchase the most expensive brands... check out what the local newsagent or office supply store carries, you'll be amazed at their range.  (If you're a scrapbooker, make sure the pens you are using are acid free.)
Let's start with a little heart border.  For this I used a brush tip pen.

All you need to do is draw a "V"...

... then draw a few more.  I use a ruler to keep my hearts evenly spaced.  Don't actually push your pen up against the side of the ruler or your doodling will have a funny flat edge rather than being nice and fluid.

If you've spaced the hearts far enough apart, you can add some more doodling between each one.

I added a dot...

... and then a couple of dashes.

You will have noticed along the way that none of my hearts were perfectly symmetrical, my dots didn't line up evenly and my dashes were all over the place.  However, when you look at the doodling as a whole you don't see any of those individual imperfections.  When you go on to create a card with lots of other elements, the imperfections in your doodling are even less obvious!

This next type of doodled border is my favourite because it's so quick and easy and looks great on most projects.  All you need to do is draw a line.  Don't use a ruler and don't try to keep it straight.  Don't draw it too quickly and don't wiggle your pen around, just relax and draw.

Now draw another line over the top of the first.  Let it flow nicely, crossing and touching the first line you drew.  You can add as many lines as you like, even varying the thicknesses, until you are happy with the results.

Our next border is very simple but also looks great.  Using your ruler as a spacing guide, draw dots at regular intervals.  You can either use a nice thick pen to place a single dot or actually draw a tiny little circle.

Try it again with little crosses instead of dots, or squares, triangles, spirals... whatever you can think of.

Now turn your paper on it's side and again using the ruler as a guide, draw some long stretched out "S" shapes.  You can either leave a little space between them or actually touch them together.

Now you have a whole lot of simple doodled borders.

If you want to get creative or add extra embellishing to your doodled borders, go back and add extra little bits here and there.  For the two line border, I filled in the spaces with small diagonal hatch lines.

I added a couple of dashes between each "S" shape.

Three dots fit nicely between each of the little crosses...

... and it was easy to place a dash between each of the dots.

I used a fine line pen to draw a rough heart shape around each of the "V" shapes.

Let your imagination, and your pen, run wild to create your own unique borders on your paper craft projects.  It's lots of fun!  And remember, it doesn't have to be perfect... just repetitive!

Photos and instructions copyright Beccy Muir.
All rights reserved.


  1. Great tutorial on a easy way to do your on borders. Thanks for sharing. Hugs

  2. These are absolutely fabulous Beccy! Thanks so much for all the detail and the great pics! I love these ideas!

  3. Thank you for explaining this is such an easy way, I think even I can do that :)

  4. Thank you for this fabulous tutorial. I really love doodling on cards but never felt brave enough to try it, maybe now I will give it a go.
    Sue xx

  5. So simple but so effective. Thanks for sharing, Jx

  6. Amazing Beccy, thanks for this super little tutorial. Sure will cheaper than using stickers...great outcome and will be doodling in my spare time..xx

  7. What a brilliant idea and a great tutorial.
    Will have to try this one out myself
    Thank you so much

  8. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have doodling books that I bought years ago and haven't thought of doing that in ages. Thanks for the reminder. Your borders look great!

  9. Great tutorial Beccy. I am always wary of going freehand but your technique with the ruler is one I will try. :-) xx

  10. Wow, what cute borders and you've convinced me it can be simple! Thanks!

  11. I have always wanted to do this but never had the courage, I will have to try it, great tutorial, so glad you made it,,,,hugs

  12. Oh wow what a fantastic tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing. I have done the dots, dashes and x's before but not the little hearts and s's. :-)

  13. Thanks for this lovely tutorial Beccy, snall dashes have been the only ones I have used, so here goes now. hugs Ursula.

  14. Thank you so much, Beccy for this tutorial. I love to make borders but I am always to afraid... love this ideas and you will see them more often now :)

  15. Thank you for the great ideas Beccy. I love to doodle, but just haven't... you've made it seem less intimidating :D

  16. fabulous tips!!! I luv to doodle and will have fun giving this a try....thanks for sharing with us...

  17. It all looks so easy.....but I know it isn't lol. I have tried a few times but always been dissappointed with my results. I think we have to be brave and just go for it.......I will try and be brave. I love the idea of random lines around the edge...will go for that I think. Thanks again Beccy:) Viv xx

  18. Nice ideas. Thanks for the inspiration! xxxx Marianne MW

  19. Thank you for this cute tutorial! I am definitely not an artist but this seems doable. You inspire confidence in me! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  20. Now I know what I'm doing wrong - I'm concentrating too hard and not being repetitive!!!! Thanks for a fab tutorial Beccy and I'll have to be brave and give doodling another go.
    Helen x

  21. I LOVE this! I took a class like this several years back and haven't really done anything with doodle borders or lettering. I think I am going to play with that a little today! I'd like to pin this as well.

  22. Wow or Wow! That is work! Very beautiful however - Great demo on doodling - thanks a bunch!

  23. Thanks for the doodling samples!

  24. Thanks for the tutorial on doodling Beccy! I'll have to give it a try-you make it look so easy even I can do it.


  25. I love the appearance of doodling around borders of pages or cards, but have always been afraid to try! I'm going to try out some of your examples, super!! Thank you!

  26. I love this technique. Who would have thunk we could use doodling on our projects? It reminds me of school. Doodling is so much fun.