Saturday 16 November 2013

Festive Planner - Instructions and giveaway

Back last weekend was the wonderful Frosty Festivities event at the lovely Jennifer's blog.  She had challenges and inspirations galore and there was a blog hop too where I shared my Festive Planner.  I promised to come back this weekend with instructions and a giveaway so here we are.

The giveaway is this Papermania Noel paper pack containing 20 12x12 sheets of 10 designs including 8 glittered.  The packaging also has 30 toppers on the back for an added extra.

I also promised to share the files for the inside pages of the planner and the silhouette files for the titles... and I certainly will but with a twist. (twist makes it seem planned and exciting rather than the arrgghh moment that I am in right now.

Last weekend seems an awfully long time ago because this has been a long week.  My 78 year old Dad had an accident on the farm where he works while using a bench saw.  Thankfully he hasn't severed anything but he came close.  He has to have plastic surgery on his hand this week to reattach the tendons in his right hand so he is having to learn to live one handed.  He has Parkinsons and diabetes and he is 50% deaf and a stubborn old goat so things have been a little.. ahem... stressful.  It meant that I didn't have the time I wanted to work out how to attach files within a blog post.  So, if you would like the word files for the inside pages or the Silhouette files for the titles, please leave a comment where I can get back to you and I will e-mail them to you.  Alternatively you can Google anything like "Festive Planner pages" and scroll through the images to find a range of things that might suit.

And breathe...

I started my planner by deciding on the size.  I wanted something that would fit in my large handbag but that would be easy to print things for.  In the end I went for inside pages that were half A4 so that I could get 2 from a standard A4 sheet.  Then I added an inch to 2 sides to get the dimensions for the cover.

I cut 3 pieces of sturdy A4 card in half to make the dividers (that's the green pieces) and then the slightly bigger versions in very strong card for the covers (the cream card).  The I chose coordinating papers for the front and back knowing I would have to use 2 pieces of A4.
I layered Mod Podge all over one side of the cream card and layed it on the paper.  I cut around leaving a half inch margin and cutting off the corners to give a neat finish.  The I used my ATG to run adhesive down the sides for the flaps.
I cut coordinating paper just inside the dimensions of the cover and inked the edges before adhering them with an ATG.  Any good strong double sided will do. Leaving the little border like this looks pretty but also means that the edges of the red paper are safeguarded a bit by not being right on the edge of the book.

For the inside of the front cover I attached a cut off rectangle on the bottom and edges to make a pocket for receipts.  I also added a little border at the top.  On the back cover I used a strip of sturdy card covered with green paper and attached with eyelets to make a hanging area for a small notebook.
The eyelets show through on the back (you can just about see them on the pattered paper because it has red berries on) so you could attach it to the red paper before you adhered it if you wanted to keep the back plain.  Then I went over the fronts with Mod Podge for strength.  Mod Podge does have a habit of showing up any areas that haven't been totally stuck down so its a good idea to use a brayer at each stage of the glueing.
I didn't like my eyelets showing so I did a bit of flat embellishment on the back cover.
My next job was to cover the divider cards.  This was strong card that I picked up from The Paper Mill when they had shops (sniff) and it was green on one side and white on the other.  I decided to only cover the blank side and leave the green side as the reverse because less layers means less corners to lift up and get caught in things.
I then cut a large parenthesis type label for the front of the divider in a more solid colour to take the title and decorated them with offcuts and washi tape and I kept to the same border punch throughout.  I still adore these papers from My Minds' Eye "I Believe" collection from 2011 - just the right amount of sparkle but not too much tweeness.  There is also a small amount of shine in the Mod Podge that I use but I mostly use it for reinforcement and strength so I went over each of the dividers too because they will be utilised every year.
I decided what I needed in my planner ahead of time and then I cut out the right amount of tabs for the sides of the dividers.  You just stick these together on the top leaving the bottom edge open to stick both flaps onto the document or embellishment or whatever.  Using my Silhouette Cameo I typed in the names for the dividers and then merged the letters together to create a continuous font.  I cut it once for the brown labels on the fronts and then cut it again but just half the size to go onto the dividers.
The last job was making the inserts and I wasn't too fussed about the papers for this because I knew most of it would be covered up.  Because these will be replaced each year I didn't want to use my favourite papers.  These are simply A4 pieces folded in half and adhered together to make a slightly stronger page.
I adhered the printed planners onto the inserts once I had decided what I needed on them.  I embellished the front and Mod Podged everything to within an inch of its life so that it would stand up to being handled and carried in my busy bag.
I then hole punched everything using the first page as a guide and decided on where I wanted things to go.  I went for the diary pages first because that tends to be the bit I refer to most!  Everyone will be different in their needs and the beauty of using book rings is that you can change it and add to it to suit you and how things change for you over the years.  You can see that I also added a little pocket at the front for stamps which is just a rectangle attached on 3 sides with a half circle punched out of the middle along the top edge.
 Here you can see my little notebook in place opposite one of the pages for planning food.  This page is for specific recipes and then the other side has 3 columns for "Fresh", "Frozen" and "Other".  It seems to be working so far... for now...

So that's how I made my book!  I hope you liked it and that it has given you some ideas for your own notebook. Any questions please feel free to ask. It doesn't use anything fancy because the Mod Podge can be replaced with PVA or just left out.  You can use recycled card from packaging and replace the book rings with a ribbon.  Really all you need is some pretty festive paper and a glue stick.  How about I provide the paper?

Just leave me a comment that will cheer me up after my stressful week, maybe something that you like about my blog, and I will pick a worldwide winner at 10pm next Saturday British time.

Time to make some more Christmas cards I think!

Bye for now


  1. It's a fabulously festive planner and your instructions are good and clear. I have some of that double sided card from the Paper Mill, in red and white. It's lovely and thick. Hoping next week has a bit les "Aaaarrrgghhh!!!!" in it xx

  2. Oh..I hope your dad is on the mend and this week is easier for you all! the Paper Mill... I loved filling up my box of thick card, it used to keep me going all year! xx A fab planner and great instructions too x

  3. So sorry to hear about your dad, I hope he heals quickly. Lovely journal and great tutorial x

  4. Loving the planner. I have a perpetual book that I use each year for Christmas planning, if only I could find what I did with it last year!!!

    Hope your Dad is progressing well and that neither you nor he are too stressed.

    You already know I love your blog and your crafting, so how about a joke from a 2 year old instead. What noise does a monkey make when it explodes?



  5. Your instructions are fab!! I'm going to "pin" your planner and put it on my Xmas 2014 to do list as life here is a little like yours .... manic! .... so I'm not going to add anything else to my list!! I hope your Dad is okay and you are now feeling a little less stressed ... looking forward to seeing you on the 30th!!! xx

  6. Great planner and like Sarah I will save this to do next year! Hope your Dad is ok now - I know what you mean a out stubborn Dads!

  7. I'm lovin' this festive planner--that little notepad is a GENIUS addition!

    Your blog is wonderful, Lisa-Jane; I really enjoy how you have a story with your posts. Maybe because I'm a little bit nosy . . .


  8. Your planner is so cool, I'm quite jealous of it! Don't put me in the draw for the paper because I have lots!

    I hope your Dad is doing okay, and that you are doing okay looking after him. You are a lovely lady! x

  9. This is such a clear and useful tutorial....many thanks....I really do think I need one.

  10. It is good to have creative outlets especially during times of stress. It is amazing how we carry on during these times. Great tutorial and your book will certainly come in handy. Speedy recovery for your dad.


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