Welcome to Stop #4 on the CM A Year to Remember Blog Hop! You should have arrived from Diana’s blog, and at the bottom of this page you’ll see the link to your next stop. Note: Many links to products on this page are my personal affiliate links.
Of course, these awesome papers, stickers, and embellishments will look GREAT in your family album this year, but I decided to take them in a little bit of a different direction . . .
A little back story:
Scroll down if you want to skip this . . .
I love mapping out my coming days, and I use my calendars to record highlights of each week–it makes me feel so much more productive, and it helps me remember what I’m doing so I can scrapbook the year with less stress!
I used to always buy the same planner each year because it was made from high-quality paper that I liked writing on, but several years ago that brand went out of business and I wasn’t able to find another planner that I liked as well.
I started making my own, painstakingly designing the monthly and weekly calendars digitally and then printing on the best cardstock I could find. This was a rather time-consuming (and sometimes frustrating), but I did usually end up with a planner that I liked and used extensively. However, this past year I noticed that I really didn’t use my weekly pages very much–I had already decided to just do monthly calendars (with note pages in between the months) for 2016 when I saw the preview of CM’s brand new products for January.
This year I was SO EXCITED that CM was going to have calendar grids and planner stickers and embellishments because this would be a WAY more fun way to make my planner for the year!
Half-size Monthly Planner
Notes: This planner goes from January to June of 2016. I plan to add July through December when the next series of CM embellishments for this line comes out. The finished size of this project is approximately 9″x7″X1.5″, measured from the outside of the binder. It’s a great size to carry around in a large purse or keep on your desk.
- 12-inch Straight Trimmer
- Personal Trimmer
- 2-Way Corner Rounder
- Tape Runner
- Black Dual-tip Pen
- Gray Dual-tip Pen (not currently available)
- Half-size 3-ring binder with 1-inch rings (like this Avery one on Amazon)
- 3-hole punch that will do half-size sheets (I bought this great adjustable one from Amazon when I was first making my own planners, and now we use it for 8.5×11 and 5.5×8.5, plus you can also adjust the holes to punch for other sizes.)
- A Year to Remember Paper Pack
- A Year to Remember Embellishments
- A Year to Remember Stickers
- Shades of Neutral Designer Cardstock (white)
- Shades of Pastel Designer Cardstock (blue)
- Gold (yellow) ABC/123 Stickers
- I measured and re-measured the calendar grids before deciding to cut each piece into two 9″x6″grids. (A big thanks to my hubby, who helped me think beyond the page size of my previous planners–I was going to make each into 8.5″x5.5″ and would have lost a lot of the cute border on these pages, but he helped me see the light before I made any cuts!)
I cut approximately 1″ off the bottom of the paper and 2″ off the top of the paper, then cut the large middle chunk into two equal pieces. This gave me 5 full rows and 6 full columns (3 on each piece) with a partial row on the top and partial columns in the middle for each month.
- Then, I used the Corner Rounder to punch an indented corner on the INSIDE corners of the pages (the ones in the middle of the grid). This was a functional decision–without doing this, the pages would not have fit into the binder. I’m so glad the CM Corner Rounder does corners both ways!
- Next, I punched the 3-ring holes in all of my pages. (I highly recommend that you test this out on some scratch paper before working on the real thing, especially if you haven’t used a hole punch to do something like this before. There are many great 3-hole punches that adjust for smaller and larger pages, but they take some getting used to!)
- After that, I used the Corner Rounder to punch a regular rounded corner on the OUTSIDE corners of the pages. This was a design decision–the rounded corners are professional looking and cute!
- Now that all of the bases for my monthly calendar pages were ready to use, I decided on an order and put them into the binder. I debated about how matchy-matchy I wanted to be, and in the end I have some pages that match the color of the month titles and some that don’t. Either way, they are cute!
- Next came the fun part: DECORATING! I trimmed the day-of-the-week sticker strips into pieces so I could use multiple colors on each month. Plus, this helped me to get Saturday and Sunday in the same grid space at the end of the week. (I tend to find that I don’t really write a lot on my “Sunday” planner spaces.)
Before attaching the month titles, I wrote in all the days’ numbers so I would know where the title would fit for each month–numbers were in black, and the slashes to divide Sat/Sun were in gray. (I used a straight piece of scrap paper to guide my pen as I drew the slashes.) I added the titles in whatever large space was left on the calendar.
- I needed a little something on the first page when I opened up the planner, so I added “2016 Planner” with Gold ABC/123 stickers to a piece of pastel blue cardstock and then matted that on a larger piece of white cardstock, and that is now the first thing I see when I open my planner!
- For the outer cover, I cut two 8.75″x6.75″ pieces of the adorable navy polka dot paper that comes in this pack as well as a few strips of the striped paper (two strips 8.75″x1″ and one strip 8.75″x1.25″).
I attached one of the smaller striped strips to each of the large polka dot pieces (the final width of these was 8.75″x6.75″) and then rounded the outside corners of the polka dot paper–these became the inserts for the front and back cover. The last strip of striped paper slid in to cover the spine of my binder. (Tip: You may need to trim this spine piece a bit skinnier, and be very patient when you’re sliding it in! That narrow space is a little difficult to slide paper into.)
- A couple of additional ideas:
Because we have LOTS of birthdays in our family, I needed more than the b-day hat and balloon stickers, so I also used the bookmark/banner embellishments to mark birthdays throughout the calendar.
For days when I’m traveling I like to put a colored strip across the whole travel period, so I used some .5″ tall strips to mark out travel.
I like to have notes all in one place, even if they aren’t notes going straight on the calendar. I picked up some inexpensive half-sized note paper that was already punched and slid it in between some of my month pages.
I’ve used different systems for writing in planners, and this year I’m sticking to a 2-pen situation: permanent, recurring events (as well as the SUPER important ones) will get written in black, and everything else goes in gray. I absolutely adore the smooth glide of CM pens!
The front cover might get a little something more . . . I haven’t decided yet. 🙂
What do you think? Would you or someone you know LOVE to use the Year to Remember stuff in this way? I’m already really enjoying this planner, and I’m excited for the “part 2” embellishment pack to come out later this year so I can finish off my calendars through December!
Your next stop on this fun hop is Lisa’s Workshop. Now, go enjoy the other blog posts, and be sure to circle back around the the main CM blog post so you can enter for a chance to win this awesome stuff!!
Full hop stop list:
You may see advertisements below this blog post. Anything below this statement was not published by me, nor is its appearance on this page an endorsement of the advertised product, service, or information.