DIY Monthly Printable Planner Tutorial – Free Printables

Bullet Journal PlannerI’ve been working on this printable planner design for months now and I’m so excited to share it with you today! My foray into planner design started in January when I found myself in need of a new planner but totally uninspired by what I found in stores. I’m a DIY kind of girl at heart so I dove in head first and came up with my first rough draft, emphasis on the word rough. It was already January and I was basically Planner-less so I started small, one month at a time bound into a Moleskine style notebook. Each month my little monthly planner notebook got better and I started to really fall in love with the idea of having twelve separate notebook planners for the months of the year. Every month I could customize the cover to my mood or the changing seasons, and I didn’t have to carry around an entire years worth of plans. I’ll definitely be designing a yearly notebook planner that will contain only the month spread, to meet longer term planning needs.Printable Bullet Journal

These notebook style planners are easier to make than they look and I think if you give them a try you’ll love them as much as I do. I’ll be providing a free download of these planners via the mailing list, it will include the current month and the next two consecutive month in a randomly chosen cover style. I will also be adding a wide variety of printable planners with different cover styles to my Etsy shop, in addition to printable DIY patterned notebooks. The patterned notebooks can be made following this tutorial as well but instead of printing on the inner pages you would use the paper of your choice (plain, lined, grid, or dot grid). If you have any ideas or questions please comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Note – For a much quicker and easier mini binder version of this planner simply print the pages out following the instructions below and instead of sewing down the seam you will cut down the seam and punch holes along the left side to match your desired binder ring setup,

To Make This Printable Planner you will need:

  • A printer, preferably color (I used this one, the color/print quality is amazing for the price)
  • 1 sheet of heavy Cardstock paper for the cover (I used this)
  • 5 sheets of 24lb white printer paper (I used this)
  • A utility knife, you can use scissors but the lines may not be as clean
  • A metal ruler (I used this one)
  • A cutting mat of board
  • 1 needle
  • white Thread
  • 5 pins
  • Craft glue stick
  • Corner Rounder (Optional)
  • Washi tape for binding (Optional)
  • Fine Grit sandpaper for smoothing page edges
  • February 2018 Free Printable Planner zip file

A Note on Printers

Please be aware that printers vary widely in quality, ability, and color of ink. While my inexpensive printer prints true to color I have noticed subtle inconsistencies with the page alignment despite making sure that the files I am working with are perfectly aligned. However the differences between printers should produce only subtly different results and should not affect the outcome of this project in any noticeable way. I have specifically designed this planner so that it can be printed on virtually any printer but if you experience difficulties you may consider having the file printed at a print shop.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep One – Unzip the file for your chosen month, each zip file contains the planner pages and 1-2 cover options- all in PDF format. Print the planner cover on a sheet of heavy cardstock and set aside. Print the 10 interior pages onto your 5 sheets of 24lb printer paper starting with page 1 on the first side, page 2 on the back side etc. If you don’t have a printer that prints the back and front of a page simultaneously you’ll want to make sure that you are printing one page at a time and rotating the page correctly so it prints in the right direction on the correct side. Keep these pages in the order they were printed in.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep two – Use your ruler and utility knife to carefully cut the excess off of your cover page by following the dashed lines. I’ve found it works best to turn my ruler upside down so the metal is flat against the paper. Hold the ruler firmly and begin slicing gently at first and repeat until the cut paper separates. Pushing too hard with the utility blade can move the ruler and ruin the cut.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Three – Fold the Cover paper in half with the pattern on the outside of the paper. Smooth the crease so that it’s flat.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Four – Take your inside pages and separate them into two stacks for easier folding. The first stack should contain the first two pages and the second stack should contain the last three. Fold the first stack in half so that the favorites page (page 1) is on top and the first half of the monthly calendar page (page 4) is on the inside. Fold the second stack so that the second half of the monthly calendar page (page 5) is on top and the weekly spread that shows the entire weeks dates in chronological order (pages 9-10) is on the inside. Place the folded second stack into the fold of the first stack and smooth the crease.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Five – You should now have a folded cover and a 10 page folded booklet, place the booklet inside the fold of the cover and line up the cover along the dotted guidelines at the top and bottom of the favorites page.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Six – This photo shows the dotted lines you will be lining the cover up with. At this point you have the option of sewing down the spine with a sturdy sewing machine (faster) or binding the booklet by hand as shown below.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Seven -Hold the cover in place and open the booklet to the center page. Push a pin halfway through the crease from the inside roughly 0.5 in from the bottom of the cover or 1.25 in from the bottom of the visible inner  pages.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Eight – Push the other 4 pins halfway through the spine crease, spacing them as evenly as you can.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Nine – Thread your needle with 20 inches of thread pulled through so that both sides of the thread are equal in length. do not knot the thread at this point. Remove the top pin and push the needle through that hole from the outside in. Pull the thread through until 0.5 in of double thread is left on the outside of the booklet (see figure 11)

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Ten – Use a craft stick to apply a thin layer of glue to the fold and press the two ends of thread down until they are glued flat against the spine. Let the glue dry.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Eleven – Continue sewing in and out of the wholes keeping the thread tight. When you reach the bottom come back up and when you have reached the area where you started sewing pull the thread tightly and glue the ends down on top of the area where you glue the first  pieces of thread.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Twelve – Using the cover edges as a guide, gently cut off the excess of the interior pages on the top, right, and bottom sides.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Thirteen – This image shows the booklet after the page excess has been removed.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Fourteen– You can use Washi tape to reinforce the binding, simply fold it over the spine so that it extends evenly onto the front and back. Trim off the excess.

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the EarthStep Fifteen -I like to cut my corners using a corner rounder. Be careful with low capacity cutters, if they’re overloaded or if the corner is not placed into it perfectly it can create a jagged cut. If you need to smooth out the edges of your pages take a fine grit sandpaper and gently sand them smooth.

Printable PlannerThat’s it! Pretty simple right?

Here are a few photos of some of the inner spreads- my favorite part of this planner is the expense tracker. What’s yours?Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the Earth

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the Earth

Free Printable Monthly Planner // Married to the Earth


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3 thoughts on “DIY Monthly Printable Planner Tutorial – Free Printables

  1. Ali says:

    OMGGGGG I TOTALLY LOVE THIS GIRL! I WAS TOTALLY NOT INTO CARRYING THE BAGGAGE OF A WHOLE YEAR IN ONE JOURNAL, WHAT AN AMAZING IDEA! I LOVE YOU FOR THIS!

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