DIY Journal Planner Update

Back in April I wrote about making a planner (here) and then I wrote another post about making the signatures (here). I have since made a second book that is better than my first attempt.

image This is both journals. The left one is the second larger journal. And the one on the right is my smaller first attempt.

The new book is more for writing and less for work. My first one still works well due to the smaller and more portable size. I have hopes of reworking and making a new cover for it. The second journal is 9×17 inches and holds eight 8.5 H by 5 3/4 W signatures.

The signature paper is good quality copy paper in 8.5 by 11 folded in half. I used five sheets and then added a second insert of five sheets. Make sure to do two seperate inserts. Five sheets fold better than using ten sheets. Make sure you have a good even crease before you punch your holes. Put two together face down flattening the crease and put four evenly spaced holes. I kept trying to measure, but I did better eyeballing it. I used the inner core of some paracord my husband had lying around to sew them up. I started with the first hole inserted from the back holding about an inch and a half tail and sewed the holes up. To make sure the stiches held I went back through the stiches and tied it off.
This the inside of the signature.

The outside of the signature.

For the cover I used some green buffalo suede I ordered from Distant Drums Online. A store I found on Ebay, super nice folks and great customer service. My husband with the help of Youtube Darkchild 57’s high capacity travel journal video. Cut the leather and set the cover to hold eight signatures of ten sheets each or 160 pages. If you want to try this, I highly recomend watching both of his journal making videos. He offers a lot of great tips. We did add a pocket to the front cover and we haven’t put the buttons on. Once those and a few other loose ends are tied up it will be finished.

It took all afternoon to set up, cut, sew and put everything together. Cost wise I would say $15 for the leather and there is enough leftover to make a second cover for my work planner, $7 for the 500 pack of paper, $1.47 for the elatic cord and the paracord was scrap from another project. So $13.25 plus time spent with my hubby makes it a one of a kind special.


Cheers, james


DIY Planner Update

Well still putting my cover together so I’ll put that in another post. My orginal page format isn’t working with the smaller pages. So I am going to try a two page format. Date and events on first page, notes and next day to-dos on the next. I will post a pic once I get started.


The page format seemed to work better with a larger page size, 9×6. Otherwise my writing was all squished together and unreadable on the more portable smaller size. I have been doing some digging into making planner templates, but they don’t seem to fit my needs. So I will try this until I need to do differently.

Cheers and my aplogies for being so out of sync with my normal posting schedule. james

D I Y Planner/Journal thing

Haha made you look.

No seriously I have recently come back to the need for tracking my day and things I need to rember to get done. In a former life, I kept a calendar and kept track of everything I did, phone calls, appointments, things I worked on, important deadlines, etc. Then when I moved into a new line of work it didn’t matter so much to keep up with my time.

Well last week, I really needed to rember what I did on a specific date and I had almost no clues to follow. Thankfully the day’s events were pinned down well enough to satisfy. But I was freaked out enough to want to go back to keeping a work calendar. So I started looking online at various diy planners and how to make leather journals, so I married the best of both together. I will be making a two section blank page notebook. I plan to use a modified daily calendar style by writing the date and the times. I tried doing it for a couple days on scrap paper and it seemed to do pretty well. I included a notes section along with two smaller sections for to dos. Although the paper I’ll be using will be smaller. It may mean breaking it between two or three pages as needed. I will use it for a week or two and let you know how its working out.

To get started I was going to use a cardboard backing for sturdiness, yes I was going to cover it with fabric, until I could procure leather. Life is better with leather. Then my hubby, (love him) decided he had a leather belt pocket that would gain new life as a cover. His ideas for the cover and my thoughts on the cover are kinda sort similar. But he’s into more technical constructions than I am. So he will figure it out and amaze me one more time. It would be so cool to be mechanically inclined.


Here are my two notebook pages, twelve sheets each for a total of 48 pages. The dimensions are 6 inches tall × 4 1/4 inches wide. This is a pretty handy size. I can tote with me or I can leave it on my desk at work. I used sketch pad paper and stitched the sheets using the inner core from paracord (long story on why I have this, but very handy stuff). For the stitching I started on the inside and made sure to catch the loop of the previous stitch on the outside. This way the pages will lay flat.


I also wanted to see if naked or covered was better. The cover is a page of scrapebooking paper. It isn’t as thick as I thought it was. However this is my first attempt at making something like this. Mistakes are valuable because you learn what doesn’t work. (Feel free to qote me lol.) So all that is left is the leather covering for the whole notebook. And then using it and letting you guys know how my design worked.

I will save that for a second post. Cheers, james

P.S. I hope this gives anyone in need of a planner, journal, diary, or book of paper the inspiration and motivation to try your hand at diy.