I’ve been on the hunt for the PERFECT Filofax A5-Half Letter Size planner for ages. Over the last year after becoming a full time blogger, I knew I need something to help me organize my gazillion blog thoughts. Because let’s face it, sticky notes weren’t cutting it:
Sadly that’s only a quarter of my sticky note collection on any given day.
Ultimately, I decided to create my own from scratch (which is now available here). By the time I was done compiling all the pages, I realized that I wanted to complete the ‘look’ by DIY’ing the Covers, Tabs and Sections. Heck if I could reuse some materials lying round it’d make the planner even more perfect.
Now my good friends who run the Silhouette Challenge, who help give a swift kick in the rear to produce fantastic projects with our beloved machine, decided to theme the projects this year:
Being that January is all about organization, it was time to get creative my friends. After reading that it’s possible to use Cereal Boxes with the Silhouette machines, as opposed to locating chipboard around my neck of the woods, it was time to roll up the sleeves and get these fingas dirty.
For those of you without a silhouette machine, you can achieve similar results with a paper cutter (using the dimensions below) and an X-Acto knife. You could even omit the hexagons and skip to painting & doodling all over your covers.
- *Silhouette + Blade + Mat + **Sketch Pens
- Food boxes, see quantity below in #1
- Paint, inexpensive acrylic craft paint like this works well
- Paper trimmer, optional
- X-Acto knife
- Frog tape
*Files included in this tutorial are for Silhouette Cameo users, Portrait users may require file modification.
**If you don’t have sketch pens, I have the perfect Silhouette Blade Hack for you.
- Collect and trim food boxes.
- I used four pizza boxes, four cereal boxes. The three smaller boxes (like crackers and other snacks) were used as scrap. I found that pizza boxes were perfect because they’re already 12x12 inches.
- If you can save six pizza boxes (plus a few extras in case of error), the project can be completed faster/more efficiently.
- Covers 5.875 x 8.875 inches worked well with cereal boxes.
- Monthly dividers 5.510 x 8.5 inches worked well with either cereal boxes or pizza boxes. hexagons
- Folder dividers total dimension: 8.925 x 11.445 inches worked best with pizza boxes (since they measure in at just under 12 inches).
- Tags 6.610 x 10.085 inches can be adjusted to fit almost any size box- simply split the file if necessary. Please be sure your Sketch Pen and Cut file match exactly. Also, there’s two files- one for cutting and one for sketching tab titles. *please see #5 before cutting this file!!
- Gluing guide for even tab spacing and folder assembly.
- We’re addicted to Frog tape not only for painting but for projects like these. The durability of other brands doesn’t even compare.
- Be sure to complete a few test cuts, using your food box trimmings/scraps, to see what works for your blade (dull vs. new) and machine climate (humid, cold, etc.).
- UPDATE: I used the "Coverstock Heavy- 105 lb to 122 lb" setting and had to crank up the blade depth to the full 10 to make my cut. Now, like mentioned above, please test cut first- you could cut through your mat or break your blade if not careful. I blame the blade setting strictly on the unbearably cold temperatures up here in the 'nort (EVERYONE's furnace had a hard time keeping up).
- Please see #5 before running the tabs through the Silhouette.
- Use a hand sander to lightly scuff up the photo side of the boxes.
- The cardboard you set aside specifically for the Tabs should be painted before running through the silhouette, since they require both a sketch pen and a cut. This is the only time where the ‘photo side’ down is appropriate so be sure to leave room for slight tearing.
- Crease the folder ‘tabs’ along the perforations.
- Adhere the tabs to the monthly dividers using the gluing guide, included with your download).
- Get creative, here folks, the sky’s the limit! See below for additional ways to embellish.
Paint the ‘tabs’ a different color besides white to make them stand out.
Tips when cutting cereal boxes with your Silhouette:
- Placing the cardboard with the picture side up makes cutting easier. I found when cutting with the photo side down, most cuts didn’t slice all the way through the cardboard. In turn, it increased the chance of tearing the cardboard. This creates an un-even surface which results in an unpleasant, wonky paint job. Bonus: you can re-use some tape, since it’s a larger project and no one wants to run out of supplies mid-project, because the picture’s smooth texture pretty much peels away effortlessly.
- Since these boxes are one of the thickest materials compatible with the silhouette, I recommend new/new-ish blades.
- This project allows you to use those old mats, the less sticky the better, since you’re taping the boxes and little cardboard schnibbles end up all over the place anyway.
- If you find your blade isn’t cutting all the way through (maybe you have frigid cold temperatures) don’t be afraid to run each piece through another time- which results in a 4x cut (since the double cut setting is already selected). Note: DO NOT UNLOAD or remove the project from the mat so it cuts exactly on top. You can verify if the cut worked by slightly raising any corner of the cut piece.
- In my quest for the perfect planner, I found a neat bookmarking feature I’ve seen with many great journals. You know, that little band thingy that marks where you left off, of course there’s a technical term but I haven’t quite found it?
- I basically followed this super simple tutorial (scroll to 2:05). Instead of hunting for elastic or waiting for a shipment, I substituted one elastic headband, trimming off the metal clasp, from an eight pack at the $1 store. Use whacha, got right?!
- Use a ruler if you despise your shaky hands.
How would you decorate your planner?
Want to check out more Silhouette Projects created by yours truly? Click here. Can't get enough blog challenges? Click here.
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
- DIY Window Shutter Mail Organizer by Weekend Craft
- Kids' Art Wall by Tried & True
- Organizing Silhouette and Craft Supplies by The Happier Homemaker
- Simple Recipe Organization by It's Always Craft Time
- Put a Label on it! Herb Names for Plant Stakes by Get Silvered
- Super Simple Linen Closet Labels by Two Purple Couches
- Beware of the Animals Vinyl Toy Box by A Tossed Salad Life
- Child desk accessories by Architecture of a Mom
- Organizing & the Important of Labels by The Turquoise Home
- Index Card Organizer for Easier Meal Planning by Chicken Scratch NY
- Create Craft Room Labels by Dragonfly & Lilypads
- Simple Storage Solution for your Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
- Organize this: DIY Planner Covers, Tags & Dividers (made with Cereal Boxes) by Black and White Obsession (you're here)
- How to Make a Cut File into a Print & Cut by Create & Babble
- Simple Chest Freezer Organizational Board by Nearly Handmade
- Vinyl Your Kitchen Canisters! by From Wine to Whine
- Nursery Closet Dividers & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
- Make Custom Box Templates with a Silhouette for Drawer Organization by One Dog Woof
- Organizing the Craft Room by What's Next Ma
- Vinyl Wall Calendar by Crafts Cakes and Cats
- Personalized Toy Storage Bins by Lil' Mrs. Tori
- Personalized Routine Chart by Work in Progress
- Blog Planner Sheet Dividers + Free Cut Files by TitiCrafty by Camila
- Simple Project Calendar by Little Blue's Room
- Dry Erase Photo Frame Menu Board + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
- Receipt Organization with Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet
- Cute and Easy Labels by Life After Laundry
- "What's For Dinner?" Menu Planning Board by unOriginal Mom
- Mixing Organization and Function: An Easy Conversion Chart by My Paper Craze
- Why do my cookies taste so bad? A lesson in baking. by The Life and Times of a TAP
- Custom Drawer Dividers by Please Excuse My Craftermath...
- The evolution of my labeling system by feto soap
- Ikea Drawer labels by McCall Manor
- Glass Etched Vinegar & Oil bottles by Terri Johnson Creates
- Organize It: Bathroom Closet by The House on Hillbrook
- Ombre Butterfly Magnet Board by Sowdering About