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Do-It-Yourself Recycled 2013 Planner

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Buy a dozen donuts and get a planner free. Complete your frapuccino stickers and get an exclusive planner. Planners on Christmas wishlists. Planners as souvenirs and party giveaways.

This year the popularity of planners as gifts and must-have items is just a little too conspicuous after the world refused to end on December 21. It might be that people are challenging the end-of-the-world notion, celebrating its failure, or just having cheek-in-tongue fun at the expense of pop culture. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to look forward to the hope and promise that the new year brings.

If you’re thinking of getting a planner for yourself or giving away one to your friends, why not make a DIY planner to welcome 2013 with? Better yet, make a statement on green living and save yourself bucks by making it from recycled materials. Not only will you be able to customize your 2013 planner, you’ll also save the environment the expense of additional emissions and resources from the use of manufactured, new materials. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you started.

Raw (and Recycled) Materials: Scrap Pages, Scrap Fabric, Used Envelopes, and More!

Handmade Paper with pressed leaves and flowers. Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by  Some rights reserved by anka @ happyhangaround on Flickr.

Handmade Paper with pressed leaves and flower. Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Some rights reserved by anka @ happyhangaround on Flickr.

  • Use recycled materials from your old books, notes, and even planners themselves (those blank monthly pages when you were busy to put notes in might come in handy).
  • Use the blank side of scrap papers to print your own customized planner pages. Here are some resources from Aprons and Apples to find printable planner pages.
  • Got a lot of used envelopes from this year’s Christmas greeting cards? How about junk mail envelopes? WhipUp has a lovely tutorial on using recycled envelopes for pocket books that can be used for DIY recycled planners as well.
  • Pages with remnant printing have a classic and personalized feel to them. Get ideas from old stationeries, book pages, newspapers, even maps and travel magazines.
  • Make your own handmade recycled paper using scrap pages. Here’s a sample tutorial from The Art of Megan.
  • Take a hint from Crafting a Green World’s tutorial on fabric scrapbooks and start using scrap fabric to customize the feel of the cover of your DIY recycled planner.

Customize Your Planner Pages: Printable Templates, Weekly Green Living Tips, Calendar Themes

Customize lists and schedules on your DIY recycled planner. Some rights reserved by Hey Paul Studios on Flickr.

Customize lists and schedules on your DIY recycled planner. Some rights reserved by Hey Paul Studios on Flickr.

  • Customize your DIY recycled planner’s pages to fit your schedule and lifestyle. Choose yearly or monthly calendar themes to reflect your green living priority and commitment (sustainability, energy use reduction, recycling, etc.).
  • Print unique designs and templates for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly calendars. Here are some ideas from Ahhh Design for 5 day work weeks, monthly to-dos, and holiday gift lists.
  • Handwrite dates and weeks like IHanna’s DIY planner. Select and write your collection of quotes, encouraging Bible verses, and favorite food for thought statements on pages. You can also use stamps and cuttings to add a personal touch to your calendar.
  • Remind yourself of your commitment to green living by putting in green lifestyle tips for the week.
  • Challenge yourself with green lifestyle goals every month. Some examples are biking to work or the market for a month, no processed food for 30 days, recycle all jars and bottles for four weeks, etc.
  • Put in helpful lists like organic and/or vegan recipes, fast food nutrition facts, or alternative products with certified green credentials.
  • Make a list of household items that can be recycled or repurposed like bottles, jars, boxes, old clothes, mugs, and others.
  • Add divider tabs and pages wherever you like – monthly, quarterly, or whenever your green lifestyle goals are due. Check out some great tab ideas from Two Peas in a Bucket.

Binding: Repurposed Book Cover, Recycled Cereal Box Ring Binder Covers, Cardboard Covers

Fabric cover of DIY binder. Some rights reserved by  Some rights reserved by Bunches and Bits {Karina} on Flickr.

Fabric cover of DIY binder. Some rights reserved by Bunches and Bits {Karina} on Flickr.

  • Use old cardboard for the cover of your DIY recycled 2013 planner. Shoe boxes, appliance boxes, and packagings are good sources of sturdy cardboard suitable for a planner cover. Ahhh Design does a good job on DIY cardboard binders here.
  • Consider making a refillable DIY recycled planner to use for next year. Ring binders are a good idea if you want to reuse your customized planner several times. Lemon and Raspberry makes a cute recycled cereal box DIY 3 ring binder. You can also make a loosely bound binder for convenience. Note: If you’re planning to make a ring binder for your DIY recycled planner, be sure to keep a stack of spare pages for refills.
  • Ahhh Design’s Repurposed Book Binder tutorial is a great idea for those who has a few old books in their homes they can spare for a recycling project. The repurposed book cover can be designed for a new look or left as is for a classic and clever look.
  • Include extra features on the binder’s inside cover like an attached pencil case, calculator, or pockets for storage.
  • If you’re not up to binding your DIY recycled planner, consider making a stitched or loosely bound planner.

Storebought planners may be cool and convenient to acquire, but making your own from recycled materials lets you have fun and save resources while expressing your creative side. Plus you get to see a yearlong reminder of the effort and time you put into the project in a personal and intimate way. If nothing else, it’s a good incentive to encourage yourself (and your loved ones) that green living is worth the small, short-term sacrifices we are often asked to make in our commitment to choose better options over convenience and consumerism.

There’s a lot to celebrate with the coming of the new year, one of which is that we can look forward to another chance to make a difference for our planet and fellow people and creatures. Have fun coming up with ideas for your own DIY recycled 2013 planner with the fresh new year in mind!

Estel M.
About Estel M. (348 Posts)

Estel Grace Masangkay is a freelance creative writer who enjoys outdoor trips and activities in natural settings. She is passionate about animal welfare and environment conservation. Follow Me @Em23me.


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