See how to make Erin Condren Life Planner covers with your very own designs!
Interchange them as much as you want and SAVE MONEY by DIYing instead of buying!
What Is an Erin Condren Life Planner?
Right around New Years, I discovered the amazingness that is the Erin Condren Life Planner.
Oh, EC, where were you when I was in college…
Office supplies have always held a special place in my heart, and if you make them super cute and colorful, I’m SOLD!
Since learning of this amazing line of organizational wonder, I’ve come to find that Ms. Condren has quite a devoted fan base who swear by, not only the cuteness factor, but also the functionality of these planners.
Practical and pretty?!?
Be still my nerdy heart…
Make sure you check out all about the Erin Condren Life Planner to see what sets it (in all its various options) apart from others on the market.
What Else Does Erin Condren Offer?
Erin Condren also offers super cute and personalized:
- Teacher lesson planners
- Academic planners
- Wedding planners
- Planner stickers
- Kids collection
- Guided journals
- Stationery, gift labels, and address labels
- Other fun office accessories like pens, highlighters, bookmarks, tape, desk organizers, folios, bags/totes, etc.
- Home decor and gifts
- Super handy dashboards
- Or make your own DIY snap-in meal planner/to-do list with my FREE printable! More on this below!
**Want to Save $10 on Erin Condren?!**
How to Make Erin Condren Life Planner Covers for Interchangeable Fun!
However, since I bought the quick ship version of her planner, mine arrived with an unpersonalized cover featuring a motivational quote.
The quick ship planners also come with a coupon for a free* personalized cover.
Notice that asterisk there, though?
Yeah, the coupon doesn’t cover shipping…boo.
So that got me thinking I could probably just make my own interchangeable Life Planner covers thanks to receiving every nerdy girl’s dream gift for Christmas…a laminator!
More on my dorkiness below.
Plus, I love all things DIY and this project sparked some inspiration within me, and hopefully this tutorial gets the creative juices flowing within you as well!
Supplies for DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Covers
Here’s all you need to make your own DIY Erin Condren Life Planner covers:
- Two 6.75″ x 8.875″ pictures/designs (for a dual-sided cover)
- Laminator & pouch
- Or get design(s) laminated at an office supply store (such as Staples) for just a couple bucks
- Paper trimmer (or scissors)
- Dry/wet erase or washable marker
- 1/8″ circle hand hole punch
- Erin Condren Life Planner
UPDATE: DIY Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable!
Since I first shared this post, I’ve also created my own DIY version of the Erin Condren snap-in meal planner & to-do list.
It uses the same supplies and process as this project, so you can easily knock one out while you’re making your own covers!
You can check out my full tutorial for that as well, and also snag the FREE printable if you’d like to make your own!
The Erin Condren Life Planner
Look at this beauty!
Like I mentioned earlier, I purchased the quick ship option so I could receive my planner sooner (I’m rather impatient) and it came with this cover featuring a colorful motivational quote.
Not personalized though, and that needs to change ASAP.
One of the wonderful things about this year’s life planner is that the covers are now interchangeable!
Yep, you can easily change them out for every holiday, season, occasion, mood, etc.
SO MANY possibilities!
Making DIY Erin Condren Planner Interchangeable Covers
I first grabbed a ruler and measured out the actual size of the cover design, not including the clear laminated border.
The design measured 6.75″ x 8.875″ (or 8 & 7/8″…and yes, I totally had to Google it).
Free Planner Cover Designs to Download!
Now that I had my planner measurements, I moved along to making my own cover.
You can of course use any design or image your little heart desires…something DIY, a picture or quote from the interwebs, a page from a magazine, whatev.
I headed over to Pinterest and searched for “free binder covers” and found a bunch of great sites that offered cute designs…for FREE!
Here are some of my favorite ones that would make great personalized Erin Condren Life Planner covers:
- Happily Hope (this is where the cover I’ll be showing in this tutorial came from)
- Madison Short Photography
- The School Supply Addict
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- Maybe I Should Try….
- Happy Organized Life
- You Got Personal
- From The Bottom
Step 1: Find/Create Planner Cover Design
Like I mentioned, I used a cover from Happily Hope.
She’s put together a bunch of Lily Pulitzer and Vera Bradley prints, and the one I picked is just so colorful and cheery!
Bright colors make me happy, as you can see in my craft room.
I downloaded one of her files then opened it up in Photoshop Elements, flipped it upside down (I just like this look better), then added my name.
For the inside of my cover, I decided I didn’t need to worry about a box for my contact info, so I chose to use a picture of my adorably handsome son from his first birthday photo session, which I then added his name to.
Opening up my planner and seeing that cute little dude is bound to put a smile on my face every. single. time.
No Photoshop? No Problem!
If you don’t have Photoshop Elements (which is the cheaper-but-just-as-awesome cousin of regular Photoshop), you can also use free online programs like PicMonkey or Canva to jazz up a design, add your name, and/or make it look totally profesh.
Phone and/or iPad apps might also get the job done as well, such as the one I used for doodling on my son’s many faces.
Step 2: Print & Trim the Planner Cover
Now that both of my images were ready, it was almost time to print.
I first resized both files to be printed at 6.75″ x 8.875″ and printed them out on some matte photo paper on my home printer.
I then grabbed my paper trimmer and cut the images down to size.
You could of course use scissors if you don’t have a paper trimmer…no biggie.
Step 3: Laminate the Planner Cover
Now both sides of my front cover were printed, trimmed, and ready to go!
In order to make things easier in this next step, I grabbed a small piece of double-sided tape and stuck the two images together, back-to-back, making sure the edges were aligned.
This isn’t necessary, of course, it just made things a little easier for laminating.
I’m one of those crazy people who absolutely LOVES shopping for office supplies.
A trip to Staples just gets me all giddy and I could literally spend all day browsing, sort of like when shopping the gadget wall at Bed Bath and Beyond (not office supplies, of course, but equally amazing).
Well, this past Christmas, I received…a LAMINATOR.
My very own laminating machine….squeeeee!
My brother looked at me with great confusion when I started hugging the box after unwrapping it, no joke.
Since I also just received my very first Erin Condren Life Planner, I thought combining the two would be a great way to test out my new machine.
No Laminator? No Problem!
Just take your designs to an office supply store and have them laminated there.
Staples can do it for as little as $1.49!
Since my design was now ready to go, I inserted it into an 8.5″ x 11″ laminating pouch.
I positioned it all the way in the bottom left corner and made sure the edging around it was the same size as the laminated edging around the original Erin Condren planner cover.
Once it was in position and my laminator was warmed up, I fed it on through.
A few seconds later, my first laminated project was complete and almost ready to be transformed into a cute and colorful custom planner cover!
Step 4: Trim the Laminated Planner Cover
Now that my planner cover was laminated, it was time to trim it to size.
I once again grabbed my original Erin Condren life planner cover, placed it underneath my new laminated cover, then trimmed off the excess lamination with scissors using the original cover’s edges as a guide.
My new planner cover is now almost finished.
Step 5: Add the Spine Coil Holes to the DIY Planner Cover
I needed to add the holes for the spine coils next.
To do this, I first placed the original Erin Condren life planner cover overtop my new DIY one and aligned the edges.
Then I simply marked where each of the holes were.
I wasn’t super careful when lining up the punches…good enough was good enough!
Feel free to be extra precise if you’d like, though.
After punching the first few holes, I got into a nice rhythm and punched out all them in no time.
And can you see now why you don’t want to use a permanent marker for marking the hole placements??
I’ll clean up the excess markings in just a bit.
All that’s left in creating a DIY Erin Condren life planner cover was snipping the slots that allow the cover holes to slide around the spine coils.
Using my scissors, I just snip-snip-snipped down the cover and cut little lines into each new hole.
Snap on that New DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Cover!
After wiping away the excess dry erase marker dots, my new completely custom DIY planner cover was snapped onto my Erin Condren Life Planner!
My Final DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Covers!
How beautiful is this?!
Bright, colorful, personalized, and looks quite professional, no?
Simple, pretty, and personalized organization just makes my crafty heart smile.
And just look when I turn and open up the cover on my planner…
My handsome little guy is right there.
Ahhhh, he melts my heart…
This DIY planner cover was so darn easy to make, I decided to make another one!
I fired up Photoshop Elements again and made this second one as a complete DIY using a flower graphic, so it’s very similar to the real Erin Condren floral ones.
It’s also perfect for Valentine’s Day, so I’m set for the month of February!
I used another pic of my handsome little devil as the inside image for this cover as well.
So. much. cuteness!
Now I have TWO personalized options that I can switch out in a jiffy!
Granted, these DIY Erin Condren life planner covers obviously aren’t as professional-grade and the lamination isn’t as thick since I used a personal laminator.
However, they certainly get the job done and are a cheap and easy alternative to the real thing!
Make Your Own Watercolor Planner Stickers!
Did you know it’s also easy and fun to make your own planner stickers??
Yep, sure is!
Colorful Craft Room Gallery Wall
Don’t forget to check out my colorful craft room gallery wall, which features a lot of cute decor pieces from Erin Condren as well as fun DIY projects!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy planning!