For Christmas, I decided to give my sister in law a Happy Planner. But more then that, I decided to customize it with lots of places to store important papers. I had seen that her monthly planner was stuffed full of papers, so that was why I had the idea.
(I apologize for the clarity of many of these photos – apparently it wasn’t bright enough. And I can’t retake them because I already gave it to her)
Happy Planners are disc bound planners that are colorful and creative. They’re not something most men would want but they’re very practical. Crafters and people into scrapbooking like them because they’re fun to decorate.
I started with a simple design (sugar & type). Since I wasn’t sure about her tastes. This is simple and classic and easy to make your own.
I started the customization using primarily stuff from the Dollar Tree or stuff I already had around the house.
Note: If you want to do your own Happy Planner, pick up small pair of very pointy scissors & a standard hole punch. I used the cardboard cover that are used in the store to protect it as a guide. You can either punch right thru it, or do what I do, use it to mark where you want to punch and then punch, after punching just cut out the area to go into the ring. I tried the happy planner punch and I didn’t like it – it jammed on the first use. (I’ve since bought a Circa punch which I like much better.)
Note: Dollar Tree (which i may call dollar store) Decorative Adhesive Paper Tape is what I’m calling Washi. It’s not proper Washi since it’s not masking tape. But I like it better for this because it’s thicker and isn’t transparent. If I mess up when hole punching, I can just cover up my mistake and repunch. You can’t do that with translucent masking tape. I highly recommend buying a roll or 12 next time you’re at the Dollar Tree.
To give her more writing/doodling space and to cover up the unnecessary 2016 calendar. I used scrapbooking paper & a repositionable glue stick (so it’s undoable). The opposite side has a list of our family’s birthdays. She’ll likely need to make her own for her side of the family. Birthday “washi” tape from the Dollar Tree reinforces the printer paper. (No photo for obvious reasons)
I wanted to protect the cover page a little so I added a clear protective sheet by cutting down a transparency & hole punching it. I discovered that the transparency I used is very staticy-so for my own protective inner cover I used a laminated piece of cardstock that I had decorated. If I had used the transparency, my planner would be covered in my loose hairs.
I tried to make a replacement cover out of a dollar tree plastic folder. but I punched it wrong so I ended up with 2 fronts instead of a front & a back. It makes a good guide for punching so I gave one to her and kept one for myself.
Now it’s time for the fun part:
I wanted to give her a lot of pockets to hold papers and stuff.
This double pocket folder is for my niece’s school stuff. I had decided I wanted to keep the outside edge of the pocket, so I cut it down using a 2016 page as a guide. I made sure I was in the bottom right corner when cutting. I used paper cutters because I can’t cut a straight line. scissors would work as well.
I then joined the two pieced together with more Dollar Tree Washi. I used a school design even tho it didn’t match so she could find it easily.
I also cut the flaps at an angle so they wouldn’t be caught when I hole punched it.
I made a plain one that I intended to be used for stuff related to my brother. I used the “most masculine washi I had” 🙂 The folder I had cut down was slots for a business card. So I covered it with a Star Wars sticker. It’s pretty boring.
Since I don’t know she will be using it, I wanted to provide her a variety of methods to store stuff.
This first Pocket is very simple. It’s a cardboard folder cut down and a pocket created using double-sided adhesive tape.
The next one is more complicated. It’s made of 2 folders placed together so they form 3 pockets. they don’t go that great together, but it was the best I have.
It’s hard to tell in this photo, but you can see the center pocket here.
For my own planner, I do a variation, but I start with the pocket like the green one and add a solid cardstock divider – so I get 2 pockets instead of 3.
what’s a planner without stickies?
This first set came with my planner since I had bought a box kit with extras, but I gave it to her.
But that’s not nearly enough stickies.
I found this sticky note set at Walmart – it was hole punched for a standard 3 ring binder, so I covered the ends with washi.
There’s enough room on the back for a few of these to-do list stickies also from walmart.
These stickies are from dollar tree. (I bought my own set of the “sticker notes” and I don’t like them – they leave residue)
And since you don’t want to carry a whole pad of stickies in your planner. I made her this little sticky organizer. She can carry whatever stickies she needs and keep the rest at home.
And since I’ve given into my love of stickers, I had to convert her.
I gave her an assortment of Happy Planner stickers. (I have value packs so I pulled out a few pages for her)
Random planner stickers some from the Dollar Tree
and some from Amazon.
Random little stickers to decorate or to use however she feels.
Colorful alphabet stickers.
Stickers to put reminders of her vet appointments etc.
I didn’t know if she used a devotional or ever had a need to carry a small booklet with her, but I made this – just in case. I didn’t do a very good job, but I gave it to her anyway. (You can see how it would work in the second photo.)
She’s going to need to find her page, so I made her this bookmark. It can also act as a dashboard if she puts sticky notes on it.
For pens, pencils and misc, I made her this case. It’s actually a dollar store cosmetic bag combined with a dollar store headband. She can easily loop it over her planner to have it with her where ever she’s at.
Note: Elastic ribbon is much easier to work with then this. It’s basically a giant pony tail holder and when I cut it the satin started to unravel. So I ended up breaking out the hot glue gun and the double-sided adhesive tape to secure it.
This is basically how it works with the elastic ribbon.
- Cut off the wrist strap.
- On both sides of the case, cut a very small slit.
- use a bobby pin or a yard needle to thread the ribbon thru the slit.
- Tie a knot.
- Figure out ribbon length by making it either exactly the right size or slightly smaller then it needs to be to go around the planner without stretching.
- cut the ribbon.
- thread the ribbon thru the other hole
- tie a knot
It’s way too convoluted to explain how to do it with giant pony tail holder. Just get elastic ribbon, either from craft store/section or from hair accessories.
And of course, she needs stuff to put in it. the paper clips came from walmart and everything else came from the Dollar Tree. Not pictured were some cute dollar store pens that I forgot to include.
All the stickers go together nicely in a dollar store document envelope. (except the alphabet stickers, but she can cut them down to fit if she wants to – I did).
Extra pages (including some of the Home Planner extension pack (I kept the parts I wanted) go in another envelope.
Everything fit into the box my planner came in – with some squishing. So it looked nice when she opened it.
She was quite pleased at it. The only thing I regret was that I didn’t know her favorite colors were black and hot pink. If I had known, I would have raided Dollar Store for hot pink anything, but since hot pink is such a bold color, I limited it to the one I made for my niece’s stuff since i wanted it to be seen easily.
She took it to work that night and her coworkers wanted me to make them one also. 🙂
she was pleased that it was pretty, practical and of course the effort I spent. It was definitely a Christmas win for me 🙂