Don't buy a planner because it's pretty, buy it because it's purposeful.
What do we mean?
When shopping for a planner, we mostly look for two things - functionality and flourishes. We want it to be practical AND pretty!
First and foremost, a planner should do the work of keeping us on track with our schedule and tasks, but especially in the case of a Christian planner, we want it to also keep us accountable to our daily devotions and help us invigorate our faith.
Second, a pretty planner just sparks joy. Amen?
But often, we can lose sight of the practicality because there are a host of pretty planners out there that are nothing more than expensive calendars with some extra flourishes that often distract us from its function and lure us in with their beautiful designs. They're pretty at first glance, but in the long run, don't serve a great purpose other than giving you a fancy place to write down your to-do list each day.
Yes, you can find one that does both, but if you've found a planner you love for its function but it doesn't have the flourishes you'd hoped for, don't overlook it – look at it's simple pages as a blank canvas!
If the pretty side of planners is what you crave, we're here to tell you, can you can have the flourishes and function with a little DIY decorating compliments of your creativity and your local art supply store to have the best of both worlds in your planner.
Here are 7 ways DIY decorations will take an undated Christian planner from classic to colorful!
Time to prep your pages and grab supplies.
1. Use monthly labels to prepare your pages. You don’t want to waste your time flipping back and forth, trying to figure out where you left off. Having monthly labels makes it simple to mark down future events or quickly check which day of the week is your friend’s birthday.
Most of your customizations will be to spark your creativity, but this one is a little more practical. Your journal should bring joy and balance to your day, so making sure it remains organized is critical! Before you begin using your journal, you’ll want to add your monthly labels and fill in the dates.
2. One of the most versatile supplies you can pick up is gel crayons. You can use them to mark a verse in your Bible without the color bleeding through the page and then use them to design and decorate your planner pages simultaneously. These are a favorite for us because they are blendable and brighten up a page but not so bold that it distracts your writing.
You have a lot of options with gel crayons. Use gel crayons to draw regularly, blend them with your finger or a piece of paper, or you can even use a little bit of water to create a watercolor effect. Use these to outline your days, make a styled background, or highlight a word or phrase.
Trying to design your page? Checkout planner inspiration on Pinterest.
3. Once you get started with washi tape, you won’t be able to stop buying it. There is an infinite number of designs available to match whatever theme or look you are trying to achieve. It’s excellent to segment off special days, separate a to-do list, or style your pages with a little more flare.
When customizing your planner, it’s about making it work for you. Using Washi Tape does more than customizing the look to add aesthetic organization to your days. Try using it to line the edges of a page for a finished look or add it to the corners of a page you’d like to be able to find more simply. These washi tape DIYs are quick and straightforward- you don’t need to be artists or creators to figure them out.
4. Don’t skip the scrapbooking aisle. Using scrapbook paper and accessories will let you create a colored background for individual days or even block days off your calendar that you want to leave reserved. Try blocking off the day to protect your Sabbath. Scrapbooking scissors often have different edges, from curved to crinkle cut, and can be used to go the extra mile on those details.
When gluing anything into your planner, you’ll want to make sure the paper is thick enough to handle the glue without getting soggy. Most scrapbook papers are thick and perfect for this activity. Use a thin layer of white glue or rubber cement to secure your form to your planner pages and let them dry before writing on them.
5. Invest in some quality stickers to use for designing your page and for covering up your mistakes. Mistakes disappear into a perfectly curated page with the simple addition of a sticker. You can also find stickers of months, days, and dates that will save a bunch of time instead of numbering your calendar yourself.
You won’t always be sitting at home with a caboodle full of decorations and pens, drinking your coffee, and sprawled across your kitchen table. You can tuck a page of stickers into the back of your planner, and it will be the most comfortable decoration to carry with you. Don’t forget you can also use stickers to mark off items on your to-do list as a hurrah when you’ve completed a task.
Adding a color pop?
Mix it up with different accessories.
6. Most of what you do will involve using colored pens or brush pens if you’re trying to level up your planner. Having an array of different writing tools will inspire you to try various illustrations or designs when you plan out your page. Gel pens write smoothly but can take a little longer to dry, so make sure you don’t swipe your hand across the ink!
Brush pens take a little bit of practice, but once you get used to them, you’ll be writing beautiful hand-scripted Bible verses and detailing your pages with ease. Practice on scrap paper pieces before you use them in your planner, and you’ll feel more confident writing directly on your page. If you’re a little nervous about using them, you can always write on a separate sheet of paper and glue it in like a scrapbook styled page.
7. If you’ve followed the bullet journal trend, you know that you can’t survive without stencils. You can find stencil sets for just about any shape or size and use them to add details or outline new spaces on a blank page. Stencils are especially helpful when planning out to-do lists or putting your weekly verse centered on the page.
When using stencils in your planner, you can always trace the stencil first with a pencil to decide if you like the way it looks. If not, just erase and try out another one. That way, you’re not dealing with a permanent stencil that you don’t particularly like on your page.
Remember, just be yourself!
Those other planners you see on social media are gorgeous, but yours will be perfect because it is a testament to your growth and relationship with God. You’ll be able to look back and see the depth of your study and the experiences your family created. You will create your own aesthetic, and your pages will be uniquely you. Don’t critique your planner; instead, enjoy the process and delve into your creativity.
- Monthly Labels
- Gel Crayons
- Washi Tape
- Scrapbooking Paper + Accessories
- Colored Pens + Brush Pens
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