How to Best Create a Beautiful and Useful Vision Board

Creating a vision board is a great project to help bring focus to your upcoming year. Both, in making the vision board and then referencing it throughout the year can be a great reminder of they year you want to create.

Every year for the past five years I’ve made a vision board to go with my “word of the year”.

Have you heard of word of the year? Simply, you pick a word that you will think about ways in which you can add it to your life in the upcoming year. For 2021, I picked the word COURAGE. Lots of changes have happened in my life over the past few years. Many difficult, some amazing, all needing the courage to walk through. A vision board is a perfect way to visually symbolize your word where you can see it.

Why create a vision board?

  • Soothing– it feels good to get our thoughts onto paper using our hands.
  • Beautiful-simply put.  It can be a beautiful thing to create and look at which makes us happy.
  • A Reminder-when you see your thoughts/ideas in “real life” on the page, it feels more real and alive. It can guide us through the year, reminding us of our intentions.
Woman showing close up of collage magazine cut out vision board tip-in inside spiral bound notebook with word of the year.

Thinking about creating a vision board? Here are some tips:

  1. Choose pictures you love. They don’t have to have deep meaning or be exactly connected to what you already know. Sometimes the meaning can unfold as your year plays out. Not everything needs to “make sense”.
  2. Think about the color palette. Have similar colors dance around the board. This will make it more cohesive and tell its’ own color story.
  3. Use scale. That means how large or small the pictures/words are. Variation is good. So is thinking about how large/small your board is. A larger board can support larger images and a smaller board, smaller images, in general.
  4. White Space” is important. These are calm areas where not a lot is going on. They give the eye a place to rest and what images/words ARE there to have more of a focal point. What doesn’t seem important actually really is!
  5. Don’t overthink it. That’ll take all the fun and joy out of it. Trust yourself. Be free. There’s lots more creating to be done. Not just this one. So don’t put too much pressure around this one project.

Here’s a look at my vision boards examples from the past five years:


Vision board tip-in inside 3 ring binder notebook with a word of the year.
Created as a multi-layered tip-in with washi tape. It folds into the small 3 ring binder you can see in the left-hand corner. I created this one with a lot of my own artwork.


Spiral bound notebook magazine collage vision board with a word of the year.
Created inside a spiral mixed media art journal


Spiral bound notebook with word of the year enjoy vision board.
Created inside a spiral mixed media art journal with tip-ins made with washi tape.
Open view of two tip-ins inside a spiral bound notebook with a vision board to show word of the year.
The inside view.


Collage vision board with word of the year on canvas and acrylic word.
Created on a canvas with spray adhesive, magazines and an acrylic custom made word, “restore”.


Magazine collage vision board with word of the year glued on canvas.
Created on a canvas board with spray adhesive and magazines.

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