Custom callout styles based on Bootstrap

April 2, 2020


The Bootstrap docs have nice callout styles that aren't part of the official distribution. Since I wanted to use them in my own site, I created my own extension. They are based off Bootstrap's callout SCSS file.

Here they are in action:

Custom callout styles based on Bootstrap

How to use this on your own site?

First and foremost, this requires having the Bootstrap SCSS files as part of your project. My site also uses Jekyll, so the instructions are targeted as such. But, most of these steps should hopefully be applicable to other projects using SCSS.

Folder structure

The SCSS files for my project are located in the _sass folder:

├── ...
├── _sass
│   ├── bootstrap
│   ├── bootstrap_extensions
│   │   ├── _callout.scss
│   │   └── ...
├── ...
├── css
│   └── base.scss
└─ ...

_sass/bootstrap contains the source files untouched, while _sass/bootstrap_extensions contains my customizations, such as the callout styles.


The content of _callout.scss is fairly short. A mixin called callout-variant changes the left border & heading color based on the specified color. The Bootstrap variable $theme-colors is used to generate the color variant classes like .callout-primary.

// Content of _callout.scss

// Callout component based off the Bootstrap Callout
// See: https://github.com/twbs/bootstrap/blob/master/site/assets/scss/_callouts.scss

.callout {
    padding: 1.25rem;
    margin-top: 1.25rem;
    margin-bottom: 1.25rem;
    border: 1px solid $gray-200;
    border-left-width: .25rem;
    @include border-radius();
    h4 {
      margin-bottom: .25rem;
    p:last-child {
      margin-bottom: 0;
    code {
      @include border-radius();
    + .callout {
      margin-top: -.25rem;

// Callout color variant
@mixin callout-variant($color) {
    border-left-color: $color;
    h4 { color: $color; }

// Create the color variant classes, e.g. .callout-primary
@each $color, $value in $theme-colors {
    .callout-#{$color} {
        @include callout-variant(theme-color-level($color));


css/base.scss contains the import statements and the front matter block (---) that Jekyll requires so that the SCSS files are turned into usable CSS for your site:

// Content of css/base.scss

# This ensures Jekyll reads the file to be transformed into CSS later
# Only main files contain this front matter, not partials.

/* Bootstrap */
@import "bootstrap/bootstrap";

/* My bootstrap extensions */
@import "bootstrap_extensions/callout";


Now, I am able to use the classes in HTML. Here's the corresponding HTML for all the callout styles shown in the intro:

<div class="callout callout-primary">
  <h4>A primary callout</h4>
  <p>My primary color is red. It's probably too similar to the Danger Callout!</p>

<div class="callout callout-secondary">
  A secondary callout.

<div class="callout callout-success">
  A success callout.

<div class="callout callout-danger">
  A danger callout.

<div class="callout callout-warning">
  A warning callout.

<div class="callout callout-info">
  An info callout.

<div class="callout callout-light">
  A light callout.

<div class="callout callout-dark">
  A dark callout.


Now, you should be able to try this out in your own project! It helps to use the source SCSS files and extend with your own. Customizations are a lot more maintainable this way.