I get so excited for Sunday evenings! I love having that time to relax after a long weekend, and unwind by rummaging through my planner supplies and thinking about the week ahead.
Sunday nights I like to spend a little one on one with my personal planner (currently my Happy Planner) and my online-project planner (kiki.k pause) – though I will be swapping these two around starting November.
I like to keep my work planner functional with very minimal decoration (I find beauty in simplicity as well as creativity); but my personal planner gets a little more TLC! Truth is, I need everything around me to be a certain style. From my home decor through to my stationery. Being surrounded by things I love brightens my mood and makes me feel special. That certainly extends to a planner I look at multiple times a day.
But finding things that fit your aesthetic isn’t always budget-friendly!
I find this to be especially true when trying to beautify your planner! There are so many amazing kits to be found on etsy, you need only scroll a few favourite hashtags to start questioning your own creative abilities! Though, as beautiful as those kits are, I find they can often stifle your own creativity and imagination!
And have you seen the cost of those kits?! Then add on international postage! It’s comes close to the cost of an entire planner! Though I understand that anything related to crafting or art (and very much planning!!) is an investment – I think perhaps you have to weigh up whether it’s worth it for you. If you have a business or are trying to work with companies, maybe the investment in stickers and other supplies is necessary. Or perhaps if you are memory planning with the intention of holding on to it as a keep-safe, then spending a small fortune can still be justified.
So how can you add a little puh-zaz to your planner spread? Lets look through a few of my spreads and chat!
Before we do though, I just want to make a point that even in my personal planner, I like to plan functionally. These ideas can be incorporated with whichever way you prefer to decorate and plan.
I tend to be drawn to pastels, greys, metals and large doses of glitter! Which is why decorating for the month of October, and choosing to create some basic halloween themes, has really taken me out of my comfort zone!
I’m going to try and list my favourite budget options with a few examples from October’s weekly and monthly spread.
Here we go!
Free printables: There are so many great free sticker printables online, or at a fraction of the cost of regular stickers! And no shipping charge! Also, you get to print out as many as you like! Even if your only option is to cut them out by hand, when you look at the price difference over 52 weeks – it’s worth the annoyance!
If you’re like me and don’t own a colour printer, there are still fantastic options for black and white stickers, especially sleek icons or script writing. Being in Australia, I found my cheapest option was to buy full sheet sticker labels off Amazon. Next time I’m going to try the transparent sticker labels, which will be far more generous at hiding my wonky cutting mistakes!
Print photos: This is my favourite tip! Along with printing personal photos, it’s so easy to scroll through millions of images and find those that fit your theme perfectly! For those with portable photo printers, ugh, so jealous! For anyone like me, print them out at a store that develops photos (Kmart, Harvey Norman, TEDs)! You can choose as many as you like, you can even pre-plan a few weeks in advance to print them all out at once. I’m no expert at sizing, and it really all depends on the planner you use, but I personally love mismatching sizes and layering. Layer photos over washi banners to fill in any sizing gaps.
I often collage my photos into 2-4-or-6 small photos on one print. Kmart is most convenient for me and it’s just 10 cents a photo!
Paper-pads: This is my second favourite tip! Paper pads are so accessible nowadays, and often there are plenty of cheap options at Reject Shop, $2 shop and Kaisercraft. If you’re going to spend the big bucks for a beautiful luxury pad, make sure you love every page. I splurged on a pad with gold-foil everything, and haven’t regretted a moment of it!
I love to cut out full or half boxes to fill in some of the space in my happy planner. I think this tip is affordable, very customisable, easy to write on, and also with almost endless possibilities. Some of my staples are solid color sheets (in pastels) so that I can add a pop of color to any theme; floral print because I can never get enough, and holiday themed. Little paper pads are often inexpensive with some very unique designs and textures; and can really eliminate the amount of scrap you have left over.
I like to block out my weekends with coloured paper and just write down the ‘big’ plan as I know I won’t be trying to fit too much into those days and prefer a basic overview of my to-do’s and plans.
Details from notepads: If you need lines or like a particular design on the pad, simply cut out to your required measurements and stick it into your planner. I often use part of a note pad to cover the side notes section, or just to add some pretty little details.
Quotes: Find your favourite inspirational quotes, quotes from movies or lyrics from a song and either print or write them out in a variety of fonts and designs. They are just as inspirational as sticker quotes, and far more personal.
Doodle images: I urge you to try a little doodling in your planner. It doesn’t have to be too committed! Start with something small such as an envelope icon; little scales; an apple; light bulb etc and then try to work up to a character you can relate to! You can place and personalise your own little mini you to add a little cuteness and personality to your planning.
Paint chips/ Colour samples: These are my favourite!! (yes, yes, they’re all my favourite) I always pick up a few each time I wander through Bunnings (read as 3x a week). You’re spoilt for color choice and it’s easy to take the time and find color combinations you love.
There are a number of DIYs you can do with these babies! As far as planning goes, these are great to cut into full box shapes, you can cut half boxes and round the corners; you can punch out little flags, circles, hearts whatever you want!
They’re also cute for writing your to-dos or grocery list and punching it into your planner for a pop of colour.
Solid washi tape: Invest in some solid-colored washi (in plain and glitter), I promise these will help with any layout you could create. I find myself reaching for my skinny washi most of all.
Explore cheaper chain stores: You will be surprised at the beautiful craft and stationery selections at The Reject Shop and a variety of $2 shops (especially icon stickers and list pads). They are also great for cheap seasonal stickers and washi! Kaisercraft stores always have a clearance section with a variety of stamps, washi and paper-pads.
Stamping: Icons and headings are so budget friendly! Purchasing good acrylic stamps is kinda important though, you want it to hold up after multiple uses and cleanings. But icons you use for daily and weekly tasks will save you a nice little amount!
Last tips – Get creative: I use a hole punch to punch out pretty paper for dots as part of my checklists. Takes less time than you think and it’s cheap!
I like to cut out a list pad to add into my notes section.
Rub ons are always on sale at both Spotlight and Lincraft! Try them out on your layouts, it’s a little more work, but as with any of these tips, it’s worth it.
Don’t worry so much about adding a lot of details and think more of placement, layering and colour coordination. Sometimes less really is more.
I hope this has inspired you to get a little creative with sourcing craft goodies for your planner needs! What low budget customisations have you used on your own planners?