Refashion: Dodgy Trousers to Handmade Leather Planner!

I’ve been in organising mode recently. It happens every now and then when I feel I’m losing my grip on some of the things I’m juggling. I have to stop, take stock, reorganise everything and then start afresh. The only way I’ve found that I can do that is with an old fashioned diary/planner. I’ve tried Outlook, calendars on my phone, calendars on the wall….to no avail. I have resigned myself to the fact that I am a jotter…a list maker…and that the only way I will get stuff done is if I plan it or make a list. Because the list then just taunts me until I can get through it and tick everything off! That’s the most satisfying part of a list don’t you think? Smugly putting a line through a task once it’s done. Then looking back at the end of the day at a whole page of scribbled out tasks and feeling just a teeny bit self congratulatory πŸ˜‰

I thrifted this “well dodge” pair of leather trousers off the Β£1 rail. Just check out those press studs! 90’s in a bad way I think we can all agree πŸ˜‰ The Italian leather however, was soft, supple and a beautiful buttery colour. I’d been hankering after a new leather organiser (er, pricey isn’t the word!) but buying what I wanted wasn’t an option financially. So, well I made one…..

 The leather thong (I love that word…is “thonging” a verb? It should be.) wraps twice around the envelope style binder then a couple of times around a vintage button to secure it…..

Now your gonna think I’m REALLY sad…I even designed and printed my own planner pages (Weekly, Monthly and Yearly plus Notes and Ideas pages) and attached a ring binder fixing to hold them all in….

So it actually looks (and functions) just like a proper shop bought planner….except it’s handmade!
(For a little under Β£15 including printer paper and ink!)…..

What’s more, it’s actually working. I’m way ahead on planning and preparing my blog posts, which in turn is freeing up my time for more making (oh and some housework and gardening occasionally gets done too;) which in turn means I’m a calmer and happier puppy πŸ™‚ Being organised officially rocks; and because I like my new planner so much AND the layout of the pages really fits with how I work,  I’m more likely to keep it up! I’ve had 3 different diaries/planners this year already; but haven’t stuck with them because the layouts have just been all wrong for how I work. You know…daft stuff like the lines are too narrow for my writing…there’s no section for notes…or there’s not enough space to write more than one thing under each day…just niggly stuff that means I gradually stop using it.  Do you find that? A planner or diary has to really fit with how YOU work…..and it has to be pleasant to look at and use in order for you to keep on using it?

If that describes you too, then stay tuned for step by step photos and details of how you can make one of your own, PLUS a Free (editable) Download for the planner pages themselves so you can get them just how you want them πŸ™‚

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  1. Helen Le Caplain April 29, 2013

    What a great DIY job! It looks so professional – can’t wait for your tute so I can make my own.

    On the lookout for dodgy leather trews now πŸ˜€

  2. Amanda April 29, 2013

    This. Is. Awesome.
    And I am most impressed by the planner pages. All kinds of awesome here!

  3. Evie Jones April 29, 2013

    I’m in awe of your skills. I wish I knew how to make the planner pages…wouldn’t know where to start!

  4. T April 29, 2013

    You’re definitely not sad for making your own planner pages. I’ve made my own planner for years and everytime I see someone trying to squeeze stuff into their storebought planner I just pat myself on the back.
    A cool idea if you don’t want a spiral binder but want to reuse the leather is to mount however the pages are bound onto sturdy cardboard hinged with fabric and make the leather into a sleeve. It’s easier than it sounds

  5. Claire April 29, 2013

    I agree, definitely not sad. In fact this is the type of thing that gets me excited – who doesn’t love new stationery?! Especially when it fits perfectly with how you work. I love the colour.

  6. Brittany_Va-VoomVintage April 29, 2013

    You are SO clever! And no, it isnt sad to print your own paper at all. I prefer to design my own planner sheets because store bought sheets are always missing a few key things that I really need in a planner. Beautiful job, the new planner is gorgeous!

  7. Becca April 29, 2013

    Wow, that’s awesome! I love that you made your own pages. Great job with all the planning. I know I’d be more productive if I followed suit.

  8. kristicraft April 29, 2013

    This is amazing! I can’t wait to see the tute–making your own calendar pages would be the BEST!

  9. Sarah April 29, 2013

    Just beautiful, you cant beat a good notebook/planner. What have you got planned for the rest of that gorgeous leather?

  10. Jenni April 29, 2013

    how timely! National Stationary Week finished yesterday, did you make this for that? I am very envious! and joyfully awaiting that tutorial :o)

  11. MarrieB April 29, 2013

    This is so cool, I can’t believe it’s made from a pair of old trousers. I’m really interested in seeing the tutorial.

  12. Kestrel April 29, 2013

    This is lovely! You’re so clever, look forward to the tutorial.

  13. EmSewCrazy April 29, 2013

    That is beautiful! I totally get you with lists! Right now I’m using a white board for daily tasks but am struggling with the monthly goals.

    I look forward to your tutorial since books and sewing are my two favorite things which you’ve combined into one project! Hurrah!

  14. Steph A April 29, 2013

    OMG your organiser is fantastic! This sort of thing is right up my alley! I love organisers too, and have had several, but I also felt the page layouts weren’t quite right for me. This is going on my ToDo list! Thank you!!!!!

  15. You are too good! It doesn’t look homemade which is a good thing πŸ™‚

  16. Kimberly April 30, 2013

    That’s beautiful! Do you have any photos, steps about putting the “cover” part together? Did you use any lining or cardboard to stiffen the leather on the book sides? I’m a constant note taker and list maker, too, and would love to have a pretty and elegant note pad like this. It’s SO lovely!


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