I had a notebook a long time ago that was a dotted grid on each page, but the individual dots were embossed, so I could feel the texture of the dots. I used it for a lot of sketches, and I have a few more projects in mind, but I have no idea where to buy one. Has anyone else seen a notebook like this or used one before / does this type of paper have an official name / where can I buy it?

I've tried looking at local crafts stores and online, but I'm having trouble finding it. Everything I've seen is just simple dotted grid paper, but none of the dots are embossed.

3 Answers 3


I haven't seen paper with such an embossed grid, but you can use regular paper over a plastic grid that does that. They're typically called something like a "freehand drawing grid". There are several brands, like "FreeHand Designer" and "Accu-Line Grid". You put it under the paper. The surface has tiny pyramid-shaped bumps that keep your pencil going in a straight line. This is what the surface looks like magnified:

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You can find them on Amazon, as well as other places. Here are a couple of links to get you started: FreeHand Designer and AccuLine Grid. They're available in various sizes.


Being drawn to the crafty aspects of Bullet Journaling, I find your question very interesting and have put a lot of thought and online research into this topic, both for my own curiosity as well as to hopefully help you in your search.

First, there are three types of basic grids which will be discussed here:

  1. The vertical-horizontal grid-of-squares pattern, which I will call the Checkerboard Grid, for lack of finding a single common term for it, is the configuration of Bullet Journal dot grids. The perfectly spaced lines and perfect right angles assist the journaler in creating evenly spaced, straight vertical and horizontal lines for layout design. (Leuchtturm’s dots are 5mm apart, while NUUNA’s are 3.5mm). The remainder of my answer is built on the assumption that this is the type of embossed-dot-grid ‘notebook paper’ you are referring to in your question; forgive me please if this assumption is in error!
  2. The “Square On Point” Grid (to borrow the quilters’ term) is exactly like the Checkerboard Grid, but with diagonally (45°) rotated squares.
  3. Isometric Grids, which have lines representing all three dimensions (length, width, and height) with no right angles involved, are typically used for drawing three-dimensional objects, making them useful for architects.

In my searching, I did find some dot-embossed full-page and note card size card stock (exactly like what @Danielillo posted above), all but one of which feature Isometric Grids. There was one lone dot-embossed cardstock with a Square On Point Grid.

As I was searching, I loosely collected these examples that I found into this Pinterest Board for your perusal.

So, as far as my modest search skills took me, I found no sketching-worthy papers featuring embossed dots in a grid of any sort, and none of the dot-embossed cardstock products I found feature the Checkerboard Grid.

Therefore, I am thinking you may ultimately need to consider making your own embossed dot grid paper. You did not mention exactly how you use such a specific paper in your sketching projects (I am super curious, are you willing to share?), but the main advantage of making it yourself would be the ability to customize the design for your particular purposes. Also, you can make it to your standards, on any sort of paper among the entire range of paper qualities, from the finest handmade artisan paper available, to readily available printer paper or card stock, to repurposed newsprint or other scrap paper. Of course, you would need to experiment to determine the type of paper that most successfully forms the quality of embossed dot you seek.

The first challenge would be finding a stencil of the desired design and dimensions. This could be of plastic (especially mylar) or metal, but whatever the material, it would need to be of a proper thickness to elevate the design on the paper an adequate amount; among the references I reviewed, the usual thickness for an embossing stencil seems to be 7mil to 7.5mil. There are thousands of stencils available online, for many areas of production, including scrapbooking, cake decorating, tee shirt graphics, fabric design, sign and vinyl cling production, and embroidery (including sashiko, which often uses a dot grid very similar to a Bujo dot grid), to name a few.

I did find a few dot grid stencils which appear to be pretty close to the design of a Bujo dot grid. I also pinned these on the above mentioned Pinterest Board, for your ease in viewing the range of what is available. Some are specifically for Bullet Journaling / Bujo, but those tend to be quite small (such as 3 to 4 inches square), so I am not sure how helpful they would be. Dots in a Checkerboard Grid are not widely found, but dots in an Isometric Grid seem to be a common design.

I did stumble upon an Etsy vendor who offers custom-made stencils, up to 8” square, which is a great resource that could make the rest of this answer moot: https://www.etsy.com/listing/584925906/personalized-stencilcustom-bullet

If none of the above sources pan out, there are ways to create your own bespoke stencils, which may or may not interest you depending on how far down the DIY rabbit hole you are willing to fall... You can do this by simply printing out a dot grid, then transferring the design to a piece of 7mil mylar and cutting the dots out with an exacto knife, or punch tool. Another technique uses a heat cutting tool.

The problem with free-hand cutting is of course a relative lack of accuracy, unless you are a very gifted craftsperson. For a more professional and accurate result, which I think would be important for a dot grid, you could also consider a home-use stencil cutting (or “die cut”) machine. I continue this line of reasoning below...

The second challenge would be learning how to actually use the stencil to create embossed dots on your chosen paper. The most direct and cost-effective way is by using a hand-held tool called a “stylus”, a technique known as “dry embossing”. For your purposes I am pretty sure that “dry embossing”, which simply pushes the paper into the stencil to create a raised design, is the method you would be looking for. (The other method of hand-embossing paper is called “heat embossing”, which involves stamping a pattern onto the paper with a rubber stamp and ink, sprinkling a meltable powder onto the still-wet ink, knocking or brushing off any powder that does not stick, then melting the remaining powder with a heat gun, leaving a raised impression of the stamped design. I would be surprised if this would function well in combination with sketching, but one never knows...!) Here is a good YouTube demonstration of the Dry Embossing method done by hand with a stylus.

In this modern world, hand-crafted dry embossing with a stylus is considered an ancient skill. Third Millenium Home Crafters commonly have electronic devices which cut stencils and emboss paper from computer-based designs, far more neatly, accurately and quickly than can typically be accomplished by hand. Now this answer is veering uncomfortably into a whole area of crafting that I cannot claim to be an expert in - I neither own nor know how to use such a machine. But they are on the list of resources at your disposal which might solve your embossed-dot-grid-paper dillema. So from here, I will merely point you toward some resources for further study, if you are interested. Check out these articles reviewing and rating machines that die-cut AND emboss:




As is always the case with Arts and Crafts questions, there are many possible paths to the desired outcome... It’s a long answer, but you may discover that the funnest and only resource for Embossed BuJo-Style Dot Grid Notebook Paper is YOURSELF! I hope this is helpful...


Bazzill Dotted Swiss

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Available at michaels.com or Amazon

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