My final two-page monthly planner spread, from scratch.

My final two-page monthly planner spread, from scratch.

If you haven’t seen steps 1-6, check them out here.

When we last looked, the layout was ready to be punched, so let’s pick up right there.

Supply list for this week:

(I’m not affiliated with Scrapbook.com or Studio L2E, just a happy customer)

Both monthly planner pages, with six holes punched and corners rounded.

Both monthly planner pages, with six holes punched and corners rounded.

7. Punch your holes (optional: round your corners)

You can just skip straight to this step from #5 if you have a 6-hole punch that’s aligned for your planner.  If not, pull-out that trusty hole punch, and center it over your marks, then punch-away.

I also like to have all my corners rounded.  It helps the page to look complete, to me.  YMMV.  I have a Fiskars corner rounder that I use for just this purpose.  When I use it, I flip it over so that I can see how the corner is aligned with the cutting edge.  I can’t tell you how many times that it looks like it’s aligned when looking at it from above, only to have the cut turn out weird.  So, pro-tip, flip the corner chomper over and make sure that the corner of the page is firmly seated in the corner of the chomper.

My tab-making system.

My tab-making system.

8. Punch the monthly tab

You can use an electronic die-cutting system, but these tabs live in my craft area, and my Cricut lives in another room. You want to be sure you punch it out of sturdy material – that tab will take a beating.

An array of tools used to heat emboss, "September," on a tab.

Heat emboss the month on your tab to keep it from fading or running.

9. Add the month to the tab

Remember, your tab will be the target of some abuse.  You want to be sure your imprint of the month’s name will survive.  I chose to heat emboss the word, “September,” on my tab with super fine black embossing powder.  Because the word is written in such delicate script, I prepped the tab by running my EK Success powder tool over it before stamping it.  The powder tool eliminates tackiness and static cling that can cause embossing powder to stick to places you don’t want it.

You could use an archival ink and laminate the tab.

Be sure you place your tab where it's visible and doesn't interfere with the layout on the reverse side of the page.

Be sure you place your tab where it’s visible and doesn’t interfere with the layout on the reverse side of the page.

10. Adhere the tab to the left side of the monthly planner spread

I used my ATG adhesive for this.  Some prefer stronger adhesive.  It’s a matter of personal preference.  Be sure you use something strong enough to stand up to being grabbed and pulled a few times a day.

If you want to play with mixed media and/or a distressed look on your monthly layout, consider distressing the edges of the page before you add the tab.  Once you adhere the tab, getting around it with a distressing tool or a pair of scissors won’t be as easy.

Add your headers and title

11. Add headers and title

I went with the obvious: September 2017.  I recommend using a stamp platform to do a better job of lining the letters up and getting a good image than what I did above.

This is where creating a custom monthly planner shines, I think.  Well, this, and I can pick where I want that goal column and adjust the margins all the way around, but I did that back when I designed the boxes before step 1.  Want to start the week on Monday?  Done!  Want a custom color scheme?  Done!  Want to use your own fonts?  Done!

My completed two-page monthly planner layout

My completed two-page monthly planner layout

12. Add dates, and you’re ready to plan!

Consult your phone or computer before you start.  Stamps can be fixed, but not as easily as stickers.  For example, why is that Memento ink pad positioned right there?  Not for artistic effect.  Nope!  I had a boneheaded moment and thought September had 31 days.  That’s what washi tape is for, right?

So, there you have it – a 12-step process for creating your own planner layouts from scratch.  Have you ever designed your own planner layout?  Tell me about it in the comments below!

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