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Happy Planner customization for SIL

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.

It’s an 18 month planner, so I pulled out July – November 2016 & placed it in a clear plastic envelope for safe keeping.

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.



Booklet holder

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 🙂


ScanNCut projects & organization

I’m really enjoying my Brother ScanNCut. I’m learning a lot. Here are some of the projects I’ve done recently and also some organization things I came up with. My SNC storage drawer is getting quite full.

ScanNCut Projects

  • I’ve redone my Pandorica box – this one is made from paper with photos’s of the moon’s surface  on it so it looks cooler and actually opens. It’s big enough that I can store my standees in it but the lid won’t close all the way.
  • I’ve also adapted an gift tag tutorial into a holder for mending kits – and then I further adapted it so that the hole is the star trek insignia. (what can I say? I’m a geek.)
  • Today I tried something new. Layering vinyl. The pig rabbit below is made of 4 colors of vinyl. It’s not perfect but I had the idea of adding a little random shape to each color in the same spot so I can use it to align everything and save vinyl. It didn’t quite work out like I had planned so I have more ideas for next time.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – it’s permanent adhesive so I have sticker anxiety. 😀 As a kid, I never wanted to put my stickers anywhere in case I changed my mind.
  • The Wonder Woman eagle below is a test. It’s just going to decorate the box I store my Wonder Woman costume in, and the full size version will be cut out of heat transfer vinyl to make me a new shirt. I’m hoping it can work on an athletic tee so I can swim in it – but I’m not holding out hope.  I think I’ll need to get a special HTV for that
  • Yesterday, my sister and I created a bunch of  onesie designs (stencils and a couple glitter HTV) for my new grandniece (great-niece? – I never can remember). I don’t have photos. When I say we, I mean I did most of it but she weeded and had final call on fonts etc. This is when I realized how annoying it is to try to turn normal fonts into a stencil font.



This weekend I had some idea for organization.

  • I’ve decided to start using that ugly paper that I have so much of. For some reason, K&Company thinks stained wallpaper designs deserves to be in a Best of Book so I’m stuck with quite a lot (I didn’t look closely enough before buying. Some of it is quite pretty but the majority of that book is ugly. Before my sister came Saturday, I cut out the designs I had created on Friday by that time in the ugly paper so she could see what they would look like and we could fine-tune wording & fonts.  (no pictures – sorry). I also drew the wording we were going to use for glitter HTV on the back of an ugly sheet so we could see how much to cut off the roll. That piece of paper is now separating my possibly useable craft paper scraps from the “what am I going to do with all these” scraps.
  • Earlier this week, I was showing my sister my ScanNcut as we planned and I lost the protective cover to my old mat.  As a temporary solution I covered it with transparencies. But on Saturday, I had a brainstorm. I took a piece of that ugly paper and covered it with Contact Paper (both sides) – now I have a cover that will be hard to lose. (I bet the cover went behind the craft cabinets.)
  • My new mat is looking pretty ragged after the workout we put it thru. We used both mats because we discovered that freezer paper didn’t like too many curves & it would rip so we used transparencies (I have a random box leftover from a project) for those. But I decided to decorate my new mat’s protective cover with bits of vinyl so I can spot it easily. That’s a Star Trek TOS Science’s communicator fail pictured.
  • Yesterday, I had to keep flipping my computer around so my sister could see the fonts I had selected. For some of them, she kept changing her mind (can you show me the other font again?) They started running together so today I made a Font Book for my wall. Well, it’s a font book if a font book can be 3 pages and be taped to a wall. (actually, the pages shown are taped to my window shade).
    Those are the Canvas built-in fonts upper & lower case drawn on the backside of ugly paper. I have a numerals as well – but that’s on a different section of wall.  I did uppercase first and it worked out well because I was able to choose the width of the text blocks and then the lowercase & numerals had the same height to make comparison easy.  I pasted in the quick brown fox sentence & Canvas got rid of all the spaces, which actually worked out quite well since I was able to select/delete/paste easily.
  • My main ScanNcut stuff is a plastic drawer unit – that’s where the manuals, vinyl and mats (and the rhinestone kit I’ll never use) is stored. My tools (I bought the Cricut set and it’s great) are stored in a dollar store pencil box. My brayer goes in a basket cause that can be used for other crafts as well.
  • When I first got the ScanNCut, I made myself a notebook so I can store the settings I need for each type of material. It & a pen fits neatly in the pencil box as well. I got the bright idea today to start taping my test cuts to the page so I can see what the thickness was for comparison.

Anyway that’s some of the stuff I’ve been up to instead of doing what I should be doing (mainly laundry). I’m totally considering decorating a Tee shirt with the pig rabbit on it in Heat Transfer Vinyl. 🙂 Or even a polo so I can wear it to work. 🙂 & maybe a wonder woman polo as well. 🙂


Doctor Who Mini-Standees and Pandorica

It’s no secret that I’m a geek. It’s also no secret that I love Doctor Who. And since this blog is called The Inept Seamstress, you’d expect I’d have some type of crafting ability.

I don’t. Not really.  But I’m good with computers. So I ordered a Brother ScanNcut for some of my projects. It sat barely used for months until I got this idea.

I made Doctor Who PaperDolls – or if you prefer, mini-Standees. I took some promo photos, and added a paper doll base (half-circle) in Photoshop, printed them on photo paper, then uses my Xyron adhesive roller machine thingy to attach them to some card I had lying around (notebook covers) and then cut it out using my ScanNCut.
If you want to steal this idea, make sure you Scan to Data first so you can check everything carefully, and if necessary fix it in Canvas. Whatever you do, don’t eject your mat while you’re trying to fix the cutting file.  It may not come in the same position. Also try not to move your object around while fixing it in Canvas.

I totally screwed up the Pandorica, but I was able to recover. It was a 2 part cube with spiral cut out. Each part of the cube was a top and 2 sides with tabs to connect them.
The first half around I forgot to connect the spiral to the cube so it had a circle cut out. I used my Xyron to apply adhesive to it and I stuck it on green cardstock. Green because my reference photos were showing green ragged spirals.
The second time around I fixed that and I remembered to mirror the cutting file so it would have a bottom. What I hadn’t paid attention to was the paper template I had adapted had 2 tabs on 1 side. Unfortunately, the tab with the slits was on the other half and they didn’t line up,  I’ve since redone the cutting file so I would have it for the future.

Unfortunately, I didn’t use enough glue on the spiral on the fixed one (I was afraid of making a mess), so that may show wear.

If I were properly crafty, I would have made it out of a dark gray or stone print paper and/or would have used ink to age/texture it, but I used what I had. It’s still cool even with all the mistakes.

I may decide to upload the cutting file (fcm) if any fellows geeks are interested.

I did a music video using some video I took and the below photos. It’s not that great but you might find it funny/touching.


This is gallery of all my creations and detailed photos of the Pandora