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

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

I don’t know about you, but I’m over the monthly planner inserts that I keep seeing.  Most of them don’t fit my personal aesthetic.  So, I decided to try my hand at making my own using MS Publisher.  Once you have the Publisher file set-up the way you like, it’s just a matter of reprinting the file on another set of pages.  Let’s assume that you have a monthly planner file ready, in Publisher, Word, Acrobat, Excel – whatever strikes your fancy.  How do you print the monthly inserts in a way that emulates the pros?

Today’s supplies list

  • 1 piece of 12X12 patterned cardstock
  • 1 piece of 8.5X11 white 65# cardstock
  • Computer, printer and editing software
  • Paper trimmer
  • Pencil
A 12X12 piece of scrapbooking paper.

A 12X12 piece of scrapbooking paper.

1. Choose a piece of Scrapbooking paper

Scrapbooking paper is usually beautiful and covered in patterns.  You’ll want to select a piece that meets these qualifications:

  1. Blank on the back
  2. At least as wide and as long as the file format calls for
  3. A pattern that you like/love
  4. A pattern that you’re not likely to use in your regular crafting (this is a good opportunity to use up those random pages you like, but don’t know when you’ll be able to use)
  5. Cardstock-thick – not regular patterned paper-thin
A piece of scrapbook paper trimmed to standard letter size.

A piece of scrapbook paper trimmed to standard letter size.

2. Trim your paper

My printer is picky.  If the dimensions of the page in the feed don’t match the dimensions specified in the file format, it will dig its heels in and refuse to play.  I don’t feel like putting up with that, or babying my printer, so I trimmed the page down to standard letter size using my rotary trimmer.

I also grabbed an extra page of Recollections white cardstock from my stash before heading to my printer.

The left half of my two-page monthly planner spread, printed on the blank side of the scrapbook paper.

The left half of my two-page monthly planner spread, printed on the blank side of the scrapbook paper.

3. Print the left half of your monthly planner spread

Just insert the page into the printer – make sure you’ve got it faced in such a way that your printer will print on the blank side of the scrapbook paper – and print!

The right half of my two-page monthly planner spread, printed on Recollections 65# cardstock.

The right half of my two-page monthly planner spread, printed on Recollections 65# cardstock.

4. Print the right half of your monthly planner spread

I selected each side and sent separate print commands because my printer is just that cranky.  When I had the right side printed correctly, I flipped it over (my printer doesn’t duplex) and printed a page of dot-grid paper on the back.  This will become the first page of my September bullet journal.

Both sides of my two-page monthly planner, trimmed.

Both sides of my two-page monthly planner, trimmed.

5. Trim your pages

For my layouts, I added guidelines around the edges to help me line the pages up with my trimmer.  I simply trimmed those off, and I had a two-page monthly planner spread sized to fit my Carpe Diem planner.

Lining up the holes to punch using the manufacturer's inserts.

Lining up the holes to punch using the manufacturer’s inserts.

6. Get ready to start punching

If you have a punch ready for your planner, you can just punch and call it good.  If, like me, you depend on a single-hole-punch, you need an extra step.  I lined-up the manufacturer’s insert with my new pages, and marked where I needed to punch my holes.  Then I lined my hole-punch up to those holes and punched.

Next week I’ll cover rounding the corners, setting-up and adding the monthly tab, adding the headers, and finishing-up the monthly layout.

 

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