Planners are such a personal thing, so make your own durable laminated planner cover!
With all the options for planners, calendars and bullet journals out there, it’s kind of nice to be able to make and customize your own. It even nicer when you can add and take out pages and design it so that it works for you.
This planner is letter size. If you are looking for something smaller you will have to cut to size. It’s no big deal though.
Design and Personalize Your Cover
I decided to use my alcohol inks to design my customized planner cover. Of course you can use any paper. Scrapbook paper, cute wrapping paper, a fun art print, your kids drawing… there are so many possibilities. I had thought that I had bought holographic foil cardstock, but apparently it was not cardstock, it was adhesive backed. The good thing was that it worked anyway.
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Certain types of paper work best with alcohol inks. Yupo paper is one, also I have found that photo paper works well too. The paper has to have a glossy surface. Thats why the mirrored cardstock and foil works well. I have also used it on aluminum, like in this succulent wreath.
To personalize the planner cover, I designed the year and my name using my Silhouette Cameo and cut it out using adhesive craft vinyl. The craft vinyl is in Tiff Blue from ATSMCraft and it matches my color scheme quite well!
Since using alcohol inks is not an exact science, I made a few pieces and chose my favorites for the cover. My second favorite went on the back cover. I trimmed the 12 x 12 sheet to 8 1/2 x 11. If I were to do it again, I’d trim it to 8-3/4 x 11-1/4, so that my laminated margins were a bit smaller.
Laminate The Planner Cover
The most important thing with making your own planner cover is durability. I noticed that the planners I got at the store, or ordered online from Erin Condren or Purple Trail have a thicker laminate than what I had at home. For the planner covers, you need to use a 10 mil lamination pouch. Since, I had a hard time finding this at the office supply stores, I ended up ordering these ones from Oregon Laminations.
For this planner cover, I used and old Purple Cow, very basic laminator that I purchased at Costco many years ago, and had success. I ran the cover through four times, right-side up, upside down and on each end. There are a couple spots in the middle of the cover where I can see that the laminating pouch didn’t attach. It’s not noticeable and does not bother me at all.
That being said, the thicker lamination pouches might not work in basic laminators. This one, from Fellowes, specifies that it works with 10 mil laminating pouches, but it’s a bit more of an investment than a basic laminator.
I had read that you can laminate using a heat press machine. I tried this with varying success. The plastic rippled and created bubbles, but it could have been user error.
Another option for thick laminating is to take it to a print shop and see if they offer those services.
Put Your Planner Together
To put the planner together, I used the Happy Planner system from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI.) I like that you can buy the punch and the disc rings and basically build your own! I found everything at Michael’s, but they are sold at other stores as well. There are a variety of size and colors of disc rings. You will need 11 for a letter size (A4) planner.
Putting your new, gorgeous, laminated planner cover on is so easy with the ring system. Just start popping the rings in! Now that you have all the supplies to make it, you can change out your covers when ever the mood strikes!
Other ideas you will love:
- How To Add Pages To Spiral Bound Planners
- Handmade Tropical Flower Planner Stickers
- How To Start a Bullet Journal
- Brush Lettering Supplies and Resources
Make your own planner cover using thick 10 ml laminating sleeves and alcohol inks.
Alcohol Ink Cover
1. Protect your work surface and wear gloves. Alcohol ink smells strong, so work in a well ventilated area.
2. Drip a light colored alcohol ink onto the holographic adhesive backed foil or yupo paper. Using the felt stamp, pounce the ink across the sheet.
3. Drip the alcohol ink onto the sheet to create your design. Use a light-hand with the darker colors (Indigo!) because they can easily overtake a design. When satisfied, set aside to dry.
4. Create the personalization using your craft cutter software and adhere to the dry alcohol ink sheet.
Assemble the Cover
1. Turn on laminator and let heat up.
2. Place your cover design into the 10 mil laminating pouch and center it.
3. Insert the pouch, folded end first into the laminator. If needed, run the sheet through the laminator a couple more times to make sure it is fully laminated.
4. Insert the edge of the laminated cover into the hole punch. Make sure it is centered and punch down. The punch is only designed for 3 sheets at a time, so make sure it goes all the way through and all the punches go back, before pulling out the cover.
5. Slip each disc ring into each slot. Add a laminated back cover and insides.
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- The Happy Planner Big Paper Punch Puncher Pink 11 Hole Punch
- me & my BIG ideas Metal Expander Discs, Rose Gold - The Happy Planner
- Adirondack Brights Alcohol Ink, 0.5-Ounce, Mariner-Indigo/Mermaid/Teakwood
- Ranger Ink Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink Brights Singles: Pool
- Alcohol Ink Applicator, Stamp Handle and Felt