The Dilemma: I need a datebook/ planner/ calendar, whatever you choose to call it. My summer is filling up faster than I can believe, and there are no store-bought planners that start in June. I’ve checked office supply stores and bookstores with no luck.
The Solution: If you can’t find it, make it. All you need is:
-a small binder (one that fits half pages not full pages)
-sewing machine (with leather needles or use an industrial leather sewing machine)
First I cut the rivets that bound the 3-ring binder to the cover. They are tough to dig out, but as long as the 3-ring binder stays intact, that’s all you need.
Next I used the cover of the binder as the template for the leather cover. I got the leather at a fantastic surplus store, Ax-Man, in St. Paul. I decided to make the rough side of the leather the outside of the planner. I liked the rugged look of it, and it will show wear less.
I then cut two holes in the binding of the leather cover for the screws. You can pick up scrapbook screws at Michael’s or a scrapbooking specialty store. They are the right size and easy to apply.
Using the smooth side of the leather for contrast I attached a triangular piece for the flap to keep the planner closed. The closures I used are tough to find. I think they are called “sabertooth” closures.
I also added a pocket in the back to keep all my little notes somewhat organized.
Now to the contents. I made a one-page calendar for each month and made a table for each individual week. I used cardstock for these pages. I think it holds up a lot better than printer paper (but I applied hole reinforcements anyway). The pages are easy to pop into the 3-ring binder.
For some reason the ink printed red on the brown cardstock instead of black like I had on the computer. Sometimes malfunctions add interest :)
I also added a notes section at the back, which has already come in handy for spur-of-the-moment to-do lists and the like. Those seem to pop up quite often!
I used a pyrography tool to burn my initials into the inside cover of the planner.
And there you have it—a rugged yet functional planner.