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DIY Planner Series: How to DIY a Custom Planner for $20 or Less + Freebies!

I recently became obsessed with planners. I stumbled across them on Pinterest. There are seriously the cutest planners on there!diy planner series: how to diy a planner for $20 or less + freebies

Part of my obsessive nature is to learn everything humanly possible about planners. I’m not really joking either. I searched, I read blogs, I amazoned. I did it all. But here is my problem. They are REALLY expensive.

You may have saw my post about my experience with planners from Amazon. While my favorite was the Panda Planner, it didn’t really suit my needs the way I wanted. I liked all the random pages that I knew you could print from online. The Panda Planner was bound, so there was no way for me to add things in.

I knew I wanted a planner like the Happy Planner or an Erin Condren. While the Happy Planner is only about $20, all the fun extras cost more and more and more. Plus the one at Michaels (where I could use my coupons) was a 2015-2016 planner. I’m not going to buy a planner that has a year full of pages for the past year. BUT, you can buy them from their website, plus get 3% cash back with ShopAtHome.

My second option, Erin Condren, was way out of my budget. I could not bring myself to pay $50-$70 for paper. I just can’t. Maybe one day when I’m rich. But right now, I’m still a college student.

With my research, I decided to go with a smaller sized binder. They are kind of adorable. I got lucky and found mine at Target in the dollar section for $3. If you go through, you get 1% cash back plus it shows you all coupons currently available!

But you can find them anywhere. If you have a Meijer, they had a bunch of super cute ones, which ran about $5-$7. Office Depot had a couple, but not a ton.

Here are my favs from Amazon.

I also found these cool stickers and binder clips at Target. It was really hard not to buy everything there.


And here are some pictures of Ursula “helping” me.

IMG_4543 IMG_4544 IMG_4545

She is kind of a big jerk sometimes.

I also bought a pack of calendar pages that also came with little dividers.

Money spent so far? $6.

My awesome calendar pages turned out not to be so awesome. They were laid out weird and not enough room for what I wanted. I like the Panda Planner because of the “top priorities, today’s wins, things I’m grateful for” sections. I liked mapping out what I HAD to get done and what I was proud of doing once I finished the day.

So I looked on Pinterest. I figured I could just modify a design that I liked. The problem is, I couldn’t just find a simple one. Most had a bazillion extra sections for things like meal planning, chores, etc. OR the day planning stuff was set up by an hour. I’m not so into planning that I need to plan my days hour by hour. I’m not THAT organized.

So…. I made my own.

I didn’t have enough ink in my printer to print it at home. So I sent it to Office Depot. I could only find a 25% coupon, so it cost more than I wanted. But, at least, it was ready quick. Usually, Office Depot has 50% off coupons for printing services! You can check here.

Money spent so far: $20. 

Next comes putting it all together. Cut the blank spaces off around the planner pages. I used a scrapbook paper cutter. Makes life easier. Then cut the pages in half.




Next, you have to glue the two pages together. Make sure you glue them opposite. See below for what I mean.

IMG_4956 IMG_4955

Then comes the holes. Because I had the small dividers, I already had a template. But you can just match the paper up to the binder circles to get the right places to hole punch.IMG_4554 I could only find a flower hole punch, so that is what I used.


Now here comes the freebies!

Here is my planner page!

Free Planner Pages from Stingy, Thrifty, Broke!

Click here for the pdf!

I decided to go with this Year at a Glance for the front of my planner. I got it as a free printable from The Handmade Home. 

How to DIY a planner for $20 or less!

And here is the monthly calendar pages I used. Again, another freebie! This time from Scattered Squirel.

how to diy a planner for $20 or less!

That’s it for this week! Check back next monday for more cool planner freebies!

Do you use a planner? Are you interested in starting? Let me know in the comments below!



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5 Responses

  1. Celeste says:

    I just started using a planner this year and I’m hooked!

  2. ANN*H says:

    I rely on my planner a lot. So many doctor appointments for everyone in my household. Sometimes its overbearing trying to remember everything that has to be done , cause usually I forget stuff. Great ideas here I like the decorating idea. Thanks much

    • ninamcclain93 says:

      I’m really terrible at remembering doctor appointments. I usually rely on the reminder phone call. My planner is definitely help fixing that!

  3. anna says:

    If you missed this one, it has lots of sizes.

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