Faux-Watercolor Happy Planner Pages with Tombow Brush Pens

Want to know a not-very-well-kept secret? Happy Planners and Tombow Dual Brush Pens are a match made in heaven!

I’ve been having fun practicing brush lettering in my Happy Planners for months. The Tombow Dual Brush Pens are perfect for creating gorgeous lettering, and the Happy Planner paper is thick enough that the pens don’t bleed or shadow. It’s perfection. But, we’re not here to talk about fun lettering today.

I’ve seen several people around the paper crafting community use brush pens to create a watercolor effect, and I finally decided to try it in my Happy Planner. It’s really out of the box, but so, so fun!

(I’m not going to link to anyone, because I’ve seen so many people try this technique. I have no idea where it originated, or even where I saw it first. I’m sure if you Google, you’ll find tons of blog and social media posts!) 

How to use Tombow Dual Brush Pens to create a watercolor look:
1. Use the pens to color on plastic material, like a Zipoloc Bag. Go crazy.
2. Spray the plastic with water using a spray bottle.
3. Put the inked side of the plastic onto the paper like you would a stamp.
4. Use a heat tool or hair dryer to dry the paper. This step is optional, but I’ve found the paper wrinkles less when I do this.

A few notes + tips:

  • I experimented on several pieces of blank paper before I moved to my planner. I would definitely recommend this, so you know how much ink to use, how much water to use, and so that you get a feel for the process.
  • On that note, it took more water than I thought it would. At first, I was trying to be very sparing so the page wouldn’t get too wet. Experiment and see what works for you!
  • This DID bleed through the paper. If I experimented more I may have been able to find an ink-to-water ratio that didn’t bleed, but I’m not sure. I keep an undated Happy Planner just for experimental projects like this one.


After I created the water color look (and it had completely dried), I used black and white stickers and washi tape to plan my week. I kept the stickers neutral so the week wouldn’t be too overwhelming.

This was such a fun, out-of-the box layout in my Happy Planner! Re-pin on Pinterest if it’s something you think you might try, and if you do try something similar I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @katietheplanner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *