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What is a pastel notebook?

A pastel notebook is a notebook with a colorful, pale, or light-colored cover. Pastels are known for being soft, muted shades that create a soothing, elegant look. Using pastels for a notebook cover provides an eye-catching pop of color while still maintaining a gentle, understated appearance. Pastel notebooks come in a wide variety of shades and colors, allowing you to choose the exact look and feel you want for your journal or sketchbook.

The Origins and History of Pastel Notebooks

Pastel shades first grew in popularity in the art world during the 18th century, though the pigments used to create pastels have been around for hundreds of years. Pastels allow artists to layer and blend colors easily, creating a soft, blurred effect. The Impressionists embraced pastels along with other art forms that broke from realism. Using pastels for notebooks and stationery grew out of this artistic movement and the popularity of pastels in the art world.

Notebook covers were historically brown, black, or navy leather. Pastel notebooks emerged as a way to add a pop of color and new aesthetic to traditional notebooks. While many notebook brands today have embraced all colors of the rainbow, pastels remain popular for their soft, understated look. Even brightly colored notebooks will often have pastel accents or interior pages.

Why Choose a Pastel Notebook?

There are many reasons pastel notebooks stand out:

  • Adds subtle color – Pastels add a splash of color without being overpowering. They are soft and understated.
  • Soothing aesthetic – The muted shades of pastels have a gentle, relaxing effect. Pastel notebooks evoke springtime and femininity.
  • Variety – Pastel notebooks come in a huge range of shades like lavender, mint, peach, pistachio, rose, seafoam, and more.
  • Creativity – Pastel notebooks encourage creative freedom with their artsy, non-traditional look.
  • Elegance – The lighter color shades have an elevated, sophisticated style.

Pastel notebooks are the perfect choice for writers, artists, students, note-takers, and anyone looking to add some color and creativity to their work. The versatility of pastel notebook shades means you can easily find an option that suits your personal taste.

Popular Pastel Shades for Notebooks

Some of the most popular pastel shades for notebooks include:

  • Mint Green – Mint green has a crisp, refreshing look. This cool pastel shade is energizing.
  • Lavender – Lavender notebooks evoke spring and femininity. This shade is calming and elegant.
  • Seafoam Green – The pale, green-blue seafoam shade is associated with the ocean. It has a relaxed, spa-like effect.
  • Pink – Pastel pink notebooks range from barely-there blush to popsicle pink. This color represents playfulness.
  • Yellow – Pastel yellow is cheerful and sunny. Soft yellow reminds people of fresh lemonade.
  • Blue – Pastel blue can be sky blue or a faint robin’s egg shade. This color is refreshing and tranquil.

Even within each pastel shade, there are endless variations. You can choose a green with yellow undertones or one with blue. Pink can lean peachy, purple, or orange. The range of pastel options allows you to dial in on the exact notebook color you love.

Features to Look for in Pastel Notebooks

Once you’ve chosen your ideal pastel shade, consider these features when selecting a notebook:

  • Paper quality – Look for acid-free, fountain pen friendly, or thick paper. This prevents bleeding.
  • Page layout – Choose lined, dot grid, graph, or blank pages based on your needs.
  • Size – Standard sizes are 3.5″x5.5″, 5″x8.25″, and 8.5″x11″. Mini notebooks and travel journals are also available.
  • Binding – Spiral, thread-bound, glue, and lay flat bindings each have pros and cons.
  • Extras – Some notebooks include pockets, bookmarks, elastic closures, or pen loops.
  • Covers – Hardcover pastel notebooks provide the most protection. Faux- and real leather covers add luxury.

Thick, high-quality paper prevents ink bleeding while a lay-flat binding allows you to open the notebook fully. Little extras like pockets or bookmarks add convenience. Combine your pastel shade pick with your must-have features to find the perfect notebook.

Popular Pastel Notebook Brands

Many top notebook and stationery companies offer a selection of pastel notebook options. Some of the leading pastel notebook brands include:

  • Moleskine – Classic Moleskine notebooks come in understated pastel shades. They have durable covers and acid-free ivory paper.
  • – This trendy brand offers spiral pastel notebooks with cheerful accents like “I Am Very Busy” on the front.
  • Rifle Paper Co. – Known for their floral prints, Rifle Paper Co. has faux leather pastel notebooks with feminine style.
  • Papyrus – Papyrus makes luxury stationery including faux leather pastel notebooks with shimmering accents.
  • Sugar Paper – Sugar Paper has chic pastel notebooks with gold foil accents and touches of glitter or confetti.

Some stationery subscription services like Papier also allow you to design custom pastel notebooks. This lets you choose every detail like paper type, layout, binding, and matching accessories. Look for pastel notebooks from brands you already love for quality you can trust.

How Are Pastel Notebook Covers Made?

Pastel notebook covers are made using a few key methods:

  • Dyeing – Fabric like cotton can be dyed in pastel shades using fabric dyes. The depth of the shade depends on the dyeing time.
  • Printing – Pastel patterns and graphics are printed directly onto notebook covers using digital printing technology.
  • Painting – More artisanal pastel notebook covers may be hand-painted using pastel paints or inks.
  • Paper – Some covers use high-quality pastel colored paper rather than fabric, leather, or other materials.

Dyeing and digital printing allow for uniform, consistent colors across large batches of notebooks. Handpainted or paper notebook covers provide more uniqueness since variations are harder to avoid. The cover material also impacts the texture and durability. Leather or faux leather will be soft and robust while paper has a lighter feel.

Pastel Aesthetic Design Tips

Ready to use your new pastel notebook? Keep these tips in mind for a stylish, cohesive pastel aesthetic:

  • Choose a pastel pen or pencil in a coordinating shade to match or contrast with your notebook cover.
  • Select washi tape, paperclips, or sticky notes in pastel accents to accessorize.
  • Add pastel floral or abstract prints on the first pages or as weekly dividers.
  • Pair your notebook with a pastel leather case or bag for an instantly pulled together look.
  • Stick to two or three shade families for palette cohesion instead of all different pastels.

A mint notebook, pink pencil, and peach sticky notes instantly has you channeling a pastel aesthetic. Keep accessories minimal for a streamlined feel. Varying shades within the same pastel color family (light pink, dark pink) also looks cohesive.

Pastel Notebook Ideas and Uses

The soft, colorful look of pastel notebooks make them perfect for almost any writing, note taking, or creative pursuit. Some top ways to use pastel notebooks include:

  • Journaling – Pour out your thoughts and feelings in a pastel journal with thick, opaque pages.
  • Bullet Journaling – Plan, track, and decorate your days with a pastel bullet journal.
  • Sketching – Pastel art journals make a lovely background for portraits, fashion sketches, or watercolors.
  • Taking Notes – Stay organized in class or meetings with a pastel notebook.
  • Lists and Planning – Meal planning, habit tracking, budgeting – a pastel notebook helps keep it all tidy.
  • Dream Journal – Record dreams and lucid dreams in atmospheric pastel notebook.
  • Gratitude Journal – Write daily gratitude lists to cultivate positivity.
  • Recipe Book – Collect favorite recipes or meal plans in a charming pastel cookbook.

There are so many creative ways to incorporate pastel notebooks into your daily routines or creative projects. The uses are truly endless!


Pastel notebooks provide a feast for the eyes and mind. Their origins come from the pastel pigments used by Impressionist artists seeking new forms of creative expression. Today pastel notebooks allow anyone to add a splash of color to daily writing, note taking, journaling, or sketching. The huge range of soft, muted pastel shades lets you select a hue that suits your style and mood. Plus, pastels inherently create a soothing, elegant aesthetic.

Look for quality pastel notebooks from top stationery brands in your favorite shades. Accessorize with washi tape, pens, clips, or sticky notes for a cohesive pastel theme. Then unleash your creativity within the pages. Pastel notebooks offer endless possibilities for organizing, dreaming, list making, musing, and bringing beauty into your everyday life.