DIY 2017 Planner

Earlier in January I decided to make a planner to keep track of our appointments, activities, and work schedules for the new year. We used a beautiful Rifle Paper Co. wall calendar in our kitchen last year that worked really well for us. Rather than go buy a new one for 2017, though, I decided to get a little thrifty and use materials we already had. I can never pass up a good crafting challenge.

We didn’t have the right kind of paper for another wall calendar in the kitchen, so I decided to go with a planner-style project. I found this small binder we had in with our crafting things, and it had unused paper and plastic sleeves inside. Jackpot!

Since Anne and I both love the aesthetic of what Anna Bond creates for Rifle Paper Co., I chose to cut out each month’s painted font from our 2016 calendar to use in our new planner. I mounted each one onto a piece of colored paper using double-sided tape, and then mounted that onto a piece of graph paper to fill the entire plastic sleeve.

Each section/month has five pieces of paper behind it: The first page says, “Monthly Notes,” where we’ve been writing things like monthly goals and things we’d like to accomplish this month. The next four pages have a weekly calendar view from Monday to Sunday. (Yes, I wrote this out 52 times. It was worth it!) I’m so happy with how that layout worked out.

The other fun thing that our new planner has is a space for our meal planning sheets. We slide them in the back of each month’s plastic sleeve, and take them out when we’re deciding what to cook/bake every weekend. We did this style of meal planning last year and we had a lot of success with it. We ended up making so many different kinds of foods, and now we use last year’s notes to help guide us this year:

We have been loving using our new planner. It’s so easy to keep track of all the things we have going on, and it keeps us organized in a lot of different ways: meal planning, monthly goals, daily activities, birthdays, holidays, you name it. The best part is that we still keep it in the kitchen. It sits happily next to our favorite cookbooks and our beloved recipe box — which is also Rifle Paper Co.!

Are you keeping a wall calendar or planner this year? What kinds of things do you keep track of?

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Drafting Table Tour

After the December holidays pass and I set off into the new year, I often make time to reorganize things a little bit.  It’s time to check off long overdue to-do items.  There’s something, too, about putting all of the Christmas decorations away that feels weirdly good–like a needed fresh start.  You could say that I get a borderline-sick pleasure out of how uncluttered and spacious things feel around the apartment post-holidays.

Once the Christmas tree, stockings, and other decorations are away, it’s time to clear up everything else.  Have you been meaning to do some post-holiday tidying, but haven’t gotten to it yet?  Dreading going through that stack of papers piling up?  I hope this post acts as inspiration for you!

I’m here today to share with you my drafting table/crafting space.  It’s where I do 99% of my work.  I’ve “crafted” this corner of our apartment meticulously so that it fits my needs exactly.  This drafting table acts as my desk, hangout spot, and crafting corner.  I love it, and I hope you do, too!

Oh!  Now seems as good a time as any to mention that our apartment was recently featured on a NYC-based digital magazine, William & Park.  If you like what you see below, head on over to take a look at the rest of our apartment and to read our story!

My dad found this drafting table at a garage sale eons ago.  I came across it in our basement a few years back, and have taken the liberty of looking after it ever since.  My dad also found this metal set of drawers at a garage sale, which I believe originated from IKEA once upon a time.  These two go together like peanut butter and jelly.  The drafting table (which does indeed tilt and adjust height) doesn’t have any storage, so these drawers are invaluable.

The solid oak desk organizer sitting on the table was Anne’s find at the Brown Elephant in Oak Park, IL.  The drafting table is so deep that the shelves don’t take up any significant amount of workspace.

Anne and I live on the 20th floor of our Philly apartment, so natural light is always guaranteed.  (We also don’t have curtains because 1. it’s really expensive to cover 11 windows, and 2. we’re so high up that privacy is not an issue.)  I almost always use the windowsill as a second workspace, as it transforms my table into an “L”-shaped desk.

Above is a close up of the oak desk organizer.  I use it for all kinds of crafting and desk supplies.  Cigar boxes hold extra pens, markers, and cords.  I often keep my eyes peeled for ways to reuse items in a fresh way, and the Sclafani tin can is a perfect example of that.  Also pictured above is my recipe box.  I wrote a post on that box in October–check it out here!  It means the world to me.

Has anyone noticed my fern yet?  I may or may not have named it Dr. Fernie Spleenwort.  I bought it at terrain a few weeks ago.  If you are a garden expert, or know anything about ferns, don’t worry: I only placed Fernie here for pictures (isn’t it so photogenic?).  It usually resides in our sunny bathroom where it’s nice and humid.

Over the past few years, I’ve collected lucky pennies that are heads up.  I send someone I know positive intentions whenever I add the lucky penny to the bowl.  I have over 250 of them.  Also shown here is a little dish of Tiny Things.  I’ll let you be the judge of whether I’m a hoarder or not.

Isn’t this coaster cute?  Anne’s mom, Janet, made two of these for us last Christmas.  The front has mustaches, and the back is a perfect yellow and white polka dotted fabric.  It has quilt batting in the middle to give it some structure.

(We like Scrabble–learn to make a DIY Scrabble game here!)

Here’s a close-up of my metal drawers.  I recently reorganized these drawers, and decided to use old berry cartons for storage.  I love how it turned out!  I have so many odds and ends in these drawers, including salvaged pieces of ribbon from presents past.  (Again, I’ll let you be the judge of whether I’m a hoarder.)

The picture above gives you a better sense of the whole area.  Those four built-in bookshelves play a crucial role in storing crafting supplies, books, and old school papers.

I suppose the last item to note here is my drafting stool.  I searched long and hard for something that was both comfortable and tall enough for the drafting table (a desk chair is too short).  I decided on this stool from Amazon, and the tractor seat is incredibly comfortable.  It rolls right under the drafting table and out of the way!

What do you do to organize your workspace?  Is there anything shown above that you want to find out more about?  Leave a comment in the comment section below and I’ll gladly get back to you!  Here’s to an organized and craft-filled 2015!

PRODUCTS & MATERIALS FROM: Paper Source, Blick, Jo-Ann Fabric, IKEA, Target, terrain, and the Brown Elephant