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Sunday, February 7, 2016

DIY: Custom Cover Agenda/Planner

For my last year of college , I started to think of all of the things on my "to-do" list and all of the important events that will be coming up.  Then I started to look at a new planner or agenda to buy that was affordable, but chic looking.  I have previously owned the Large Lilly Pulitzer Agendas for the past two years.  I loved the adorable patterns throughout the pages with the fun stickers.  However, it was far to thick and bulky for my liking.

Then I began to research new agendas that were more simple, less busy, but with a lot of space for writing.  I prefer to have both a monthly view as well as a horizontal weekly layout to write on.  I fell in love with the Erin Condren agendas for numerous reasons: they were chic, fun, and well designed.  I did not love, however, the price tag with the Erin Condren agendas (Pictured Below).  For one agenda, it cost roughly $50-$65 (not including shipping).

For this reason, I began to seek the DIY route.  I found an awesome tutorial on pinterest called "DIY Erin Condren Life Planners interchangeable cover" which sparked my inspiration.  If I thought that I had more use for a laminator, I would have considered investing in a machine.  However, I only foresee myself making these planners a few times at most.

My DIY version is the lazy way to create your own custom agenda!

Here is what you will need:
1) An 8.5 x 11" agenda of your choice with a double spiral binding (I bought mine on Amazon here) - When I purchased it, it was only $15, but the price has recently gone up.  The brand is Blue Sky The Color of Imagination  and I believe they sell these at Target.
2) A 1/8" hand hole punch (I bought mine on Amazon here) - $4.19
3) Scissors (optional)
4) Tape (optional)
5) A printed and laminated copy of your customized planner cover (I will explain more later) - $2.00

First, you will need to find the agenda of your choice.  I wanted one that was more slim and the size of a regular notebook which is how I chose the 8.5 x 11" Blue Sky agenda on amazon which is similar to THIS.

Next, you will need to buy a hole punch that is 1/8" big to make the holes for the double spiral binding which can be found HERE.

Now you need to design your cover for the agenda.  I went with a picture collage theme (inspired by the Erin Condren version).  There are two loves of my life: my cat, Lulu, and my boyfriend, Blake.  I simply inserted pictures onto a Word document, re-sized the images appropriately, and arranged them the way that I liked.  Then I decided to add some text and put my first and last name with the year below it.  I originally went with 6 pictures, but then decided that I wanted to fit more images.  I also designed a Lilly Pulitzer cover with my monogram as a potential second cover.

First Design
Second Design
Final Design
Once you come up with a design in Word that you're happy with, simply save the document in a location that you will be able to find it.

Then you will need to print your document.  Instead of using a laminator, I simply got this page printed and laminated at my local FedEx Kinko's.  If you choose to do this, go to Kinko's to upload your document to print.

When you click the link above, this window will open:

You want to click the button "Upload from your computer" and add the document.  Once your document is done uploading to the website, you will select "Continue to print options".  On the next page, you should see the cover you created tot he right and a toolbar to the left with various printing options.  Scroll down until you see lamination and expand this section.  You want to make sure that you select "Lamination with one quarter inch border".

After you add lamination to your document you will add the item to your cart and pay!  Most of the time, you can google "Fed Ex Kinko's discount" and there will be a 15% off code.  There is a Kinko's store within a 10 minute walk from my place on campus so I picked up my item the very next day.

While you are waiting for your item from Kinko's, you can go ahead and remove the stock cover from the agenda you bought.  In order to take the cover off, I opened the cover of my agenda and pulled it behind the back cover.  The spiral binding on my agenda is like a hook so I simply pulled off the front cover and slid the hooks off.  Once the cover is off, DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! You will use the cover as a stencil for your new over.

Once you receive your laminated cover, take the old cover and tape it down to the new cover (this should be face up as it will appear on the agenda) as shown below:

Then you will take your sharpie and draw a dot inside each opening.  

Once you have all of your dots drawn, you will take your hole punch and punch out each spot that you marked.

At this point you are almost done! Now you just have to simply pull the spiral hooks over each hole on the new cover as shown below:

And voila! You have your own custom agenda for less than $25!  

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of my tutorial!  If you have any questions about certain steps, don't hesitate to ask! I will be more than happy to answer your questions :)

Happy Crafting!


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