How to Make a Vintage Book Planner

2940036194435_p0_v1_s600My final copy of Mollie Makes US Edition arrived in the mail today. Sadly, the US version ends with this December issue. New things to come, but until then I’m keeping busy with workshops in the barn, crafting, collage, and learning new techniques, a sixth contracted year of blogging for SCJohnson’s Family Economics, and scheming some pretty cool projects I hope to share with you soon. Here is my December Mollie Makes project. Enjoy!

Days of Fun: Vintage Book Planner

bookplanner.opener1Even in a time of electronic planners and memo pads, a good paper calendar is still in style and always practical to have. However, a planner with just the right look can often be hard to find. Craft your own unique datebook using a store-bought planner with a fun vintage book cover that can be re-used year after year. But don’t stop there- this project is just right for making one-of-a-kind journals, address books, sketchbooks, and covered note pads. These items also make the perfect gift for the busy ones on your holiday gift list. Each can be crafted to a size depending on your choice book and planner with overall project measurement adjustments as needed.bookplanner.beauty1 My project is based on that of a 5” x 8” vintage classroom text-book.bookplanner.beauty2 Here are some fun book titles I’ve found and used for my upcycled library of planners, guest book, journals, and more.bookplanner.beauty5MATERIALS

  • One spiral-bound calendar planner aprox. 5” x 8” x 5/8”
  • One vintage hard-cover book aprox. 5-1/2” x 8-1/2” x 3/4”
  • One 12” x 12” sheet of heavy scrapbook paper in a coordinating pattern and color (I used WeRMemory Keepers “Farmer’s Market :Urban”)
  • 1 sheet of plain cardstock paper
  • Craft knife and straight edge ruler for cutting
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Clear 2” shipping/packaging tape
  • ¼” Double-sided extra-bond tape

STEP 1  Shop the office supply store for a spiral-bound planner that suits your needs keeping in mind the general size of a book you hope to use for the cover.bookplanner.step1STEP 2  With planner in hand, search antique shops, flea markets, library sales and thrift stores for a vintage the approximate same size (or slightly larger), including the spine area where the spiral wire will tuck.bookplanner.step2STEP 3  Use a craft knife and straight-edge ruler to cut away the book pages, taking great care not to cut through the book spine fabric.bookplanner.step3STEP 4  To make panel pockets for inserting the cover of the planner, measure the end-paper area of the inside book cover, ¼ in from the fold of the cover. Cut the cardstock to those dimensions to create a template.bookplanner.step4STEP 5  Divide the scrapbook paper in half. Position the template onto one half of the scrapbook paper and measure ½” beyond the template on the top, bottom and right or left side, depending on the final placement of the pocket. Repeat to create two pocket panels.bookplanner.step5STEP 6  Turn the scrapbook paper backside up and reposition the template ½” from the top, bottom and one side edge. Use the ballpoint pen and straight-edge ruler to draw heavy lines along the template edge and beyond to the end of the scrapbook paper. Repeat with second paper.bookplanner.step6STEP 7  Trim away two corners of the scrapbook paper panels at 45-degree angles where the pen lines intersect.bookplanner.step7 STEP 8  Press a strip of packaging tape on the backside of the scrapbook panels along the edge with no pen line and trim away excess tape from edges. This will create reinforcement of the paper to avoid tearing with prolonged use.bookplanner.step8STEP 9  Fold back ½” flaps and run a strip of double-sided extra-bond tape along the top of each.bookplanner.step9 STEP 10  Place folded panels on each side of inside book cover, ¼” from the fold of the cover with the openings toward the book spine and press to secure creating pockets for the planner cover to slide into.bookplanner.step10STEP 11  Trim away small sections of the planner cover if necessary to fit into panel pockets.bookplanner.step11STEP 12  With book cover folded backwards, slide the front and back covers of the planner into the panel pockets.bookplanner.step12bookplanner.closer1STEP 13  Optional: Use packaging tape to laminate a front and back section of a page from the original book to make a bookmark.

bookplanner.step13If your vintage book has a library card pocket, carefully remove and re-adhere it to the crafted panel pocket.bookplanner.beauty4Here are more of my upcycled books, crafted as described above, some using contents from the original book, food packaging, even colorful junk mail postcards.vb1 vb2 vb3 vb4 vb5 vb6 vb7 vb8

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17 Responses to How to Make a Vintage Book Planner

  1. #1 - Becky Smith says:

    Love, love, love this project!

  2. #2 - Lola Azul says:

    Great!! I love it. Thanks a lot!!

  3. #3 - Susanna says:

    What a lovely project, and such a great way to re-use beautiful books. I am inspired, thank you.

  4. #4 - Audrey Watt says:

    Such a lovely idea, I will be having a go. Many thanks.

  5. #5 - Jan says:

    Oh my gosh!! This is beyond fabulous! I love this idea!!

  6. #6 - Jill Ruskamp says:

    I love this project! And, so sad to hear the US Mollie Makes isn’t “making” it. I had finally found and bought my first copy here! It’s so hard to get a hold of the UK one. And you were a great match for them.

  7. #7 - Cheryl says:

    Hi Cathe,
    I just love this project! I took my first bookbinding class this summer and have been collecting vintage children’s books similar to yours to use to make journals. I never thought of using them to make an appointment book . . .love this idea! In our class, we learned Coptic bookbinding and I really enjoyed it but it does take a lot of time to sew each book. I like the option you used in this tutorial of making a pocket and sliding the “book” into the cover. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so very much for sharing this. I really enjoyed seeing all of the books you’ve made and always find inspiration on your blog.
    Have a great day!
    Cheryl

  8. #8 - Raesha says:

    Seriously love this SO MUCH!! I want to make eleventy million of these. Can you tell my boss I have to go home RIGHT NOW so I can make these?

  9. #9 - Rebekka says:

    This is such a clever idea!!!

  10. #10 - Judy says:

    Fabulous idea. Great gift for Christmas for co-workers and family
    Thank you

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  12. #11 - sandie says:

    How clever is that?! Thse look brilliant 🙂

  13. #12 - berta says:

    Cathe, another great idea! Thanks for sharing. So sad about the Mollie Makes! The first magazine I have “subscribed” to in years! And it will be gone 🙁

  14. #13 - Alys Milner says:

    These are terrific, Cathe. So inspired.

  15. #14 - Nana Rogers says:

    Love this idea! Love to re-purpose books that are beyond being usable as books too. Thanks for another crafty idea to try.
    xo Nana

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