Build Your Own Planner With The Stash You Already Have and Our Freebies

Welcome to The Cherry On Top.

We've got that planner we promised along with a pretty super, simple step by step tutorial and of course some free inserts so you can start building your very own planner, too.

I save just about everything from my crafty stash.  Even the packaging?  Especially, the packaging!  Often times it very rigid.  More rigid than the paper we can buy for our projects.  Like the backing for some templates I bought years ago.  I often use cereal boxes and other kinds of boxes when I need something very rigid for covers of projects like this one.


The first step is to cut out your cover pages.

Use whatever inserts you plan on using as a guide to design your front and back covers or use our free ones we are providing you.  They should print out to the traditional, American planner size of 8.5 by 5.5 inches.  However, depending on your printer, you can always make the jpg smaller or larger to fit your needs.

I traced around my planner insert leaving plenty of room around the edges for the holes of which we will fasten our project.


I cut both sides because it was that thick and very dense.  Just perfect for this!


Then trace your first cut out to make your second so they are exactly the same.  If they are not perfect, no worries.  You'll have all of those pages in between and if it's just a little off, you won't even notice.



Due to the thickness of my cover boards, I had to go back and smooth a couple of places around the edges.  Do this carefully with scissors or even a nail file.


The next step, is to cover those cover pages.  I'm using Echo Parks, For the Record 2.  The colours are bright, versatile and very fun.


Check out all of the goodies that come with this pack. Letters, stickers galore, beautiful papers, journal cards...



Find your favourite papers and adhere them to your cut boards.  Make sure you figure out exactly where you want to cut, then use your covers as a template.



Once your paper is cut, adhere it.  I used both double sided tape as well as glue.



The black and white is my inside cover for the back page.  The large flower motif is my cover page.



The small flower motif is my outside, back cover and the fun advertisement page is my inside cover page.

Consider where your holes will be before punching.  If you are using some kind of ringed binder, then make sure your holes will line up right.  I'll be using individual rings for mine.  I measured the distance between my holes so that it was even on the margin.   


The hard covers were just not hard enough so that I could get a standard hole punch to work.  Thank goodness for that.  I don't have any other tools and would have had to use something else by means of rigging.  Hehehe...If this is your problem, you could use a pencil or other share pointed object to get a hole started then insert a pencil and gently twist until you have a nice smooth-ish hole. I often use that technique.


You may choose to use washi on your project.  I chose the one that fit best with my papers.  Washi is great for hiding slight imperfections, it will reinforce your edges that may get a lot of wear and tear, it's a fun contrast to your project or perhaps a cohesive element if you use it repeatedly and it helps keep your paper covers in place if the glue fails to do so.


Line up your washi and set it so that you can fold it over the edge and apply the other half of the washi to the opposite page.  Just like pictured here, below.



Look at that!  All washied, the holes are punched and we are ready to try out some binding ideas.



I wanted to see what it would like with metal rings.  I use these for so many projects.  I must always have them on hand.  They come in a variety of sizes and sometimes colours, too.  You can find some with soft, colourful coatings and also without the hinge.



If you don't have the metal rings, consider using ribbon.  I thought it looked so darn pretty with the ribbon.  It added a lovely, soft textural touch that complemented those pretty flowers.  The thing is, your pages won't turn quite as easy and every time you have to add another insert, you'll have to untie, rethread....but it is only once a month and it does look pretty smashing.




I threaded it through the holes to get this look.  You can decide where the bows will go, front or back.
If you do decide to go with the ribbons like this, don't tie them too tight or your pages won't turn properly.  Leave a bit of slack and it will work great.



Stingy, stingy me.  I very often use the covers of my scrappy stuff.  Sometimes for the opposite side because it's usually a lovely, plain white and more than often to cut out all of those lovelies.  Just look at that pretty flower, doily, sewing machine!  Dying to be used, right?!



Although there are awesome, rigid sticker cut outs in this collection exactly like the ones on this cover, they are larger. Too large for my project, in fact.  The ones from the cover of the collection are smaller and fit perfect.  Get out those fussy scissors and use it all.


 So, that's the cover.  Fun bright, layered up, textured, blinged out and ready to go.  Plan your clusters and play with the layering before you start gluing.  Consider using foam tape or thick glue dots to give your project dimension.  It may  not be practical, but it's pretty!  Hehehe...It's more than likely that these elements may get a bit torn, twisted or even fall off, but we'll see how it goes.


If you are looking for practicality, then by all means, skip the layers.  To get the butterfly to pop out, simply cut it out and fold it gently right down the middle. I added three tiny adhesive pearls to the middle.  I thought those metal looking bird and bird cage would go nicely with the metal rings.  I also used a touch of black here and there for cohesion and dabbed around the edges of all of my elements with a white ink pad for even more cohesion and to soften everything up.  I love the sparkly, so I added a touch of coloured glitter glue here and there.


If you missed the blog with the free inserts, this snowman, pocket page is for all of your receipts, coupons and loose papers you may need in your planner.  It's really easy to make. Click here for the tutorial on how to make it.


As you can see, I fudged a bit with my hole placement on one of my inserts.  Consider leaving plenty of room around your inserts so that it comes out like the page on the right.  No huge mistake and easily remedied.  The stickers you see here are also free.

Aren't they just so cute, bright and fun?  You can download them here or by clicking on the image, below.


 planner inserts

I recently joined a private group on Facebook, called Artful Planner Club.  If you are interested, send in a request. We talk, share pictures, give advice, tips...

There you have it!  A super tutorial on how to make your very own planner the size you want it, with goodies that you already have and some fun freebies to fill it.

We will back back soon with February's, free inserts.

Everything on our blog is for Personal Use ONLY.  It is not to be resold or claimed as your own.

If you do download something, leave us some love, share our blog, + and or Pin us. It's the best way to say thanks for all of this great free stuff.

Happy crafting!