Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Scrooge's Christmas planner

Hello again my lovely friends, I hope that you are all well and healthy. Don't I just sound like a sappy motivational speaker right now?? Just wait a second and I'm sure I can find more platitudes to throw at you while confusing you with my vocabulary of large words...

Or I could get right down to the heart of what I've come here to share with you wonderful people today. Now as I promised right before the batteries in my camera died, I am going to share with you all my version of a Christmas planner. But as always because money is more of a rumor than anything around here, it will all be done on a budget, using things that I already had lying around the house.

Just some of the things that go into making a Christmas planner

Now if you are like me, you obsessively stalk follow a lot of blogs. And if you're lucky like me, you'll have found some incredibly talented and disgustingly smart people out there who can make magic happen every time they put their hand to something. The lovely ladies at the blog Eighteen25 are three such ladies. So naturally when I saw that they had put together a gorgeous book for organizing all things Christmas, I had to rush over to their website and check it out. (You can do the same here.) They have even been so kind as to offer free printables for anyone who wants to make a Christmas binder in the same style as them. Now sadly as I am currently without a printer, I had to make do with admiring their binders from afar and then use whatever I had on hand to make my own instead. (Sigh) But as you will see, I have managed to create something that is entirely my own, with small touches of homage to the lovely ladies at Eighteen25 simply because some of their ideas were so great, I couldn't not include them.

I have to stop and brag for a second now, because I am pretty chuffed with the finished product here. And the cost of the whole project was pretty impressive too, as the only money I ended up spending was $2.50 on a notebook to decorate. Everything else that you see here comes from what I had in my stash of crafty supplies, making this not only a pretty way to get organised for Christmas, but also a thrifty project. It has the added bonus of making my compulsive hoarding of papers and ribbons now look like an economical plan instead of the crazy actions of someone who just loves shiny things.

The papers I have used come from various places, the red background paper was a freebie with a scrap booking magazine I bought a few Christmases ago, the green paper and the red and white striped papers are offcuts from old projects. The shape of the green paper was made by tracing around a piece of die cut chipboard and then cutting out the finished product. If you are creative enough to be able to draw things free hand (which I am not) then this should be easy enough for you to do without the chipboard, otherwise there are always things lying around the house that you can use to create shapes for your projects.

This metal plate is something I got in a goody bag a few years ago when I went to a scrap booking retreat with my sisters. I have been searching for years for a good use for it, and I am so happy that it finally has a new home. But if you are not lucky enough to have something like this, paper or cardstock is a good replacement. The flower and pearl brad again were items I picked up in bulk packs ages ago and have had sitting around just waiting for the right project. I made the title with my trusty old Dymo labeller and some green Dymo tape that is actually very hard to find these days. Now that Dymo has gone digital my old hand held labeller is looking very old fashioned, but I love the look it gives. 

This ribbon is a recent purchase that I made, it came in a pack of 20 reels of ribbon for $20, but I think I may have been a bit too mean in my cutting because there is apparently such a thing as not enough ribbon to make a bow with. So if you are going to put ribbon on your book to keep it closed, don't forget to be generous with your measurements. Or make sure you have really skinny fingers because already I can tell that bow is going to be a pain in my rear end. Ribbon is one of those wonderful things that can be found absolutely everywhere. I have lots of pieces of ribbon in my stash that were used in packaging, on clothing and even from bunches of flowers I have received over the years. My family know that they are not allowed to throw any pieces of ribbon away as I can always find a use for them.

I only did four sections in my book; to do, gifts, menu and calendar. There are any number of other sections that you can include in your own Christmas planner, like cards, traditions, travel, or anything else you can think of, but really everything you see here is all I need to worry about so I didn't think it was necessary to add anything more. Maybe one day I will have a need for extra categories in my Christmas planners, but for now I think less is more. Again the tabs were made out of card stock that I had in my stash. I made sure to use a folded piece of card stock, and stick one side of the piece on each side of the page, just to make it a little stronger and more durable. If you don't have card stock, cereal box cardboard would be a good replacement, covered with wrapping paper or anything else to make it look pretty. The shape of the card stock came from tracing around die cut chip board again, but I'm not really happy with it, so next year I may have to think of something new. The pages are blank at the moment, but I will be decorating the front page of each section with something cute. For the gifts section, it will probably be a banner with the words "making a list and checking it twice" or something equally Christmassy, and I'll think of something else for the rest of the sections soon, I just couldn't wait until It was completely done to share it with you guys.

And of course no Christmas project is complete without an elf running around and getting into everything so here is one I prepared earlier.


If only she got as excited about the cleaning up as she does about making the mess.

So before I go, a few tips for you guys who are looking to make some Christmas themed projects on a budget.

  • Get creative with the supplies that you use. Christmas themed wrapping paper is super duper cheap and in abundance at the moment, and it can be just the thing to brighten something up
  • Don't feel that you have to go out and buy exactly everything that some one else used to make something, sometimes using the things you have at hand can make a result that is just as beautiful and even more personal to you
  • Always make sure you use a good quality glue though because you don't want everything falling apart before you have a chance to use it. (I recommend Tombo latex glue, because it dries pretty quickly, but not too quickly that you don't have a chance to re-position something if you didn't do it right the first time. Plus you only need to use the tiniest amount because it spreads pretty far)
  • Don't forget that Christmas is not about spending money, it's about spending time with your loved ones, so don't stress too much if everything has to be done on the cheap. Just remember that it is so popular that these days it's not called being a cheap-ass, it's called thrifting. 
Well that's all from me for today, my little sister Natty has been very patiently sitting in my lounge room for two hours now waiting for me to stop being anti-social and entertain her so I'd better go look like I'm interested. I'll be back again soon with something else super thrilling I'm sure, so stay awesome till then.

*Editors note: This blog post has been linked to the following link parties;
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