Sunday, July 20, 2014

Project: Altered Moleskine Planner

Today I have a non-card project to share!  It's July, and my last year's planner just ran out (I like the 18-month academic planners, since I'm a teacher and my life is scheduled around the school year).  I love Moleskine notebooks, so this year I bought the 2014-15 18-Month Weekly Notebook Planner.  It's the extra-large size, so it measures 7 3/8" wide by 9 13/16" high, and it was about 1/2" thick before I altered it.  It has a soft cover (very thin and flexible but sturdy), and mine is the traditional black color.  If I could have found it in a fun color I would have, but it didn't matter much because I was planning to alter it anyway.  I love organizers and planners, and I find that I am even more excited about using them when I customize them with my own covers, artwork, and inspirational quotes.  So here are the before and afters!  Some photos are better than others because I was taking photos in my stamp room on an overcast morning.

 This is the front cover as it was when I bought it.  Above are some matted layers that I prepared for the front and back (top left), and the inside back pocket (top right).  I used mostly turquoise cardstock, and the 12x12" patterned paper pad that I used is my all-time favorite one so far:  Que Sera Sera by K & Company.

This is the inside of the back cover.  It has the typical Moleskine pocket on the right side, and I had just begun adding my patterned paper in this photo, by lining the inside of the pocket.

The inside of the front cover.  Pretty plain, but just wait!  ;)

Here's the finished front cover!  My goal was to keep the layers and embellishments as flat as possible because I'm going to be stuffing this book into my bag every day during the school year and I don't want it getting caught on things.  The colors are even more vibrant in real life; again, the lighting was weird today.  I used some pink alphabet stickers by October Afternoon, and SU brads.  I also used the Apothecary Arts stamp set and coordinating framelits to do the title panel.  For each of these "upholstered" pages, I used a cardstock mat layer that is exactly the size of the page (7 3/8" x 9 13/16"), overlaid with a piece of patterned paper that is 1/4" smaller (7 1/8" x 9 9/16").  I used a 1/4" corner rounder punch to round the outside corners of the patterned paper, and then I rounded the corners of the cardstock by hand with scissors after adhering it to the page, since I wasn't sure the page corner was exactly the same diameter as my punch. 

Inside the front cover.  The left side has dimensional butterfly stickers on it, and the stamped quote says, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." --Pablo Picasso.  I love that quote - so true!

On the right side is my name, and a reminder to myself as I make my plans and to-do lists.  I tend to be very task-oriented, and when things happen to mess up my plans it can be a bit stressful.  So I wrote, "Remember to let adventure, joy, memories, derail your plan now and then."  :)

This is the next page after that.  It was originally a list of time zones and other stuff that I will never need to look at, so I chose to cover it up and turn it into something that I will use.  These two pages hold Post-it notes of various sizes, in fun colors.  The top quote says, "The best journeys are not always in straight lines."  The quote at the bottom says, "There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart.  Pursue those."  I also added some enamel dots to the bottom of the right-hand page because they are just fun to run your fingers over and such joyful colors!

This is the inside of the back cover.  The left page says, "Believe in yourself," and has a couple of dimensional butterfly stickers on it.  I've left the rest of it blank so far, but I may create a piece of stamp art to mat and adhere into that space.  On the right is the pocket, now covered with patterned paper, some floral stickers, and a quote that I created in Microsoft Word:  "Do something today that your future self will thank you for."

Here's the back cover, not much going on here except I wanted to show you how I worked around the elastic that was already part of the notebook.  In the close-up below I'll explain:

I measured where I needed the hole to be to accommodate the elastic, and made pencil marks on the wrong side of the matted layer so I would know where to punch.  I used SU's retired horizontal slot punch to create the holes, and made a small straight cut from the hole to the edge of the cardstock, so that I could get the elastic into the holes.  I used Scor Tape to adhere the paper to the cover of the notebook, making sure to adhere all the little edges and corners around the cut very well, so it won't peel up.  The cut is barely visible now, especially when the elastic is in use because it covers the cut.  Perfect!

I hope you enjoyed a look at my project today!  I had a lot of fun working on it, and I know I'll be excited to use this bright, colorful planner for the next 18 months.  Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

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