DIY : Customize Your Plain Journal

above: an after-picture of my agenda

I'm quite a forgetful one, and my whole life is depended on how good I manage my routines - specifically, how good I

write

 them. It's quite hard for me to remember things (!) and to put plans on priority order... so I've always been a diary slash agenda slash journal person. It's essential for me to have a loyal agenda in which I'd happily write down everything I should remember. The thing is I don't really like the "serious" look of the black agenda I purchased recently. I love how it has a classic leather cover, but the page separator and papers are simply plain. Look below : 

It's neat, it's clean, but it's like a 'dead' sculpture (I know

it is

 a

dead one, but it doesn't have to looked dead all the time!). I want to make it looked more colorful and alive, just like a real, simple piece of art. So I made a simple customization on my agenda until it transformed into the very first picture above.

Writing will be way more interesting and you can do a little show-off to other people too (like communicating something that sounds like,

can you believe how fun writing on a fancy agenda is? 

- without even say a word :P). B

elow I posted a tutorial if you'd like to know (or try) something similar with your agenda!

Tools and Raw Material. 

Here are the basic things you need to prepare :

your very own agenda, a double-side cellotape, scissors, cutter, paper-punch, and some colorful origami / custom patterned papers.

 Now we can start. 

To get a significant effect without having too much hassle, we just need to do three big steps. Follow me?

(1) First of all :

change the page separators

. Having all-black-colored page separators is boring indeed, and you could either purchase some colorful one at the bookshop, or customize the existing ones. I choose to do the last one. I used some extra origami papers that my dad sent from Japan last time, which has very rich hand-drawing patterns that I love. It doesn't have to be thick, because what we'll do next is sticking the paper with the real page separator that originally comes with the agenda. Very easy, and it will make a strong separator as well.

(2)

I cover the edge of my old page separator with double-side cellotape, and then slowly stick up the origami paper into it. Make sure you do it precisely so the origami won't misplaced. 

(3) After it taped tightly, use the cutter to cut off the remaining origami from the basic page separator. Just follow its original shape while cutting. 

(4) You should end up with something like this. Because the origami paper that I have isn't so wide, you could see there is some uncovered space in the bottom of my black page separator. Just leave it behind because we will soon fix it. 

(5) Okay, now use the paper-punch to make some holes. Because the original page separator already has six existing main holes, you just need to punch them there. 

(6) Now repeat the number (2) and (3) again on the back side of your page separator. I'm using plain origami papers now, just to give a different impression. Stick stick!

(7) Cover the bottom side with leftover floral origami paper. Stick it and cut the rest. 

(8) Remember about the remaining uncovered space I said at picture number (4) before? Now we're going to cover it up, using the rest plain paper that I already sticked at the back. So the page separator will consist of two different element. I think the plain side kinda gives a balance for the full-floral pattern one, and so the contrary. Lovely!

(9) Do the same steps to other available page separators. Mine got 5 pages, so I made 5 different version using multiple kind of papers too. Quite a colorful combination!

(10) This is the second big step :

give some personal touch.

I love seeing small signs of something that very "me", so I slip on a plain paper with postage stamps on the front page separator. It represent my love for letter-writings. And as I love bowknot, I attached one small sapphire blue ribbon at the top. Now it looked sweeter.

(11) Are you sick of having boring bookmarks? I made up a sort-of bookmark to tag specific page (like the one I'm writing on, or the one that mark up assignment list page, etc), using cute envelopes in bright yellowish color! I collected some and I picked two of them for this project. 

(12) All you need to do is punch some holes on its edge! 

(13) 

Now the last step :

change the paper, and add extra details

! On the picture above you could see I replace the common filling paper with one that has cartoon decorations, or another plain one in bright colors like mustard, peach and orange. I also write down "miscellaneous" at the bottom side of my previous page separator, just to make it looks even more

handmade

(14) For the back part of the cover, I choose another cute paper and randomly cut some scalloped-shape into its edge. And then I stick it on the cover. Not bad. 

And... done! 

Now you're done already. This is how my agenda finally looks like, from the front side to the back part. It only took me about less than an hour to finish everything... And now I have better feelings each time I open it up to write down something important or simply ramblings about my days. Because more than looking good, what's more essential is to communicate and express your creativity through any possible platform and media you're engaged with. I hope this tutorial won't bore you as hell! Just drop me some words of you tried to make one or having difficulties in-the-making. Have a sweet time and Happy Blogger Day 2011!

CRAFTClaradevi Handriatmaja