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How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers

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Learn how to make your own DIY Erin Condren Life Planner interchangeable covers! Save money and create your own customized designs in no time at all!

Right around New Years, I discovered the amazingness that is an Erin Condren Life Planner (oh, EC, where were you when I was in college?!).  I’ve always held a special place in my heart for office supplies, 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….

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers | Where The Smiles Have Been #ErinCondren #ECLP #planner

 

I’m currently using my life planner more for my blog organization as opposed to my life (hey, I’m a stay-at-home-mom of two little ones, so I don’t require much life planning. They also sell teacher lesson planners, notebooks, notepads, phone cases, art prints, business cards, pajamas, and all varieties of super pretty and personalized goodies.

 

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Get $10 OFF your first Erin Condren order at Where The Smiles Have Been!

 

There are bea-u-tiful personalized interchangeable life planner covers available for purchase on Erin Condren’s website, and 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 own cover 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!

 

DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers

Supplies


 

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.  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….since you’ll already be making some DIY covers. ;)

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

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.  Nice, right?   Not personalized though….that needs to change ASAP.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

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!

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Creating My Own DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Cover

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″….yes, I totally had to Google it!).

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Free Downloadable Covers!

Now that I had my 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:

 

My Cover Images

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.

I downloaded it 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.

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.

(You could use regular printer paper if you wanted, but the images will look crisper on photo paper, and the cover will be a little more durable thanks to the extra thickness.)

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

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.)

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Now both sides of my front cover were printed, trimmed, and ready to go!  In order to make things easier in the next step (laminating), 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.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Laminating the Cover

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 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 cover.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

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 cover!

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Trimming the Laminated Cover

Now that my cover was laminated, it was time to trim it to size.  I once again grabbed my original Erin Condren 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.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Looky there!  My new cover is now {almost} finished.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Adding the Spine Coil Holes

I needed to add the holes for the spine coils next.  To do this, I first placed the original Erin Condren cover overtop my new DIY one and aligned the edges.  Then I grabbed a dry erase marker (you could also use a wet erase or washable marker, but DO NOT use a Sharpie or permanent marker….the results would not be pretty.  You’ll see in a bit.), and simply marked where each of the holes were.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

[Note: The dry erase marker does not really want to wipe off the inner edges of the holes on the original Erin Condren cover.  I haven’t really tried too hard to clean it, but a paper towel doesn’t get the job done….just a friendly FYI.]

 

Then I used a 1/8″ circle hand punch and punched out each of the holes.  I wasn’t super duper careful when lining up the punches….good enough here was good enough.  Feel free to be extra precise if you’d like, though.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

After the first few, I got into a nice rhythm and punched out all the holes 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.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Snipping Slots for the Coils

The last step in creating my DIY 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.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Snap on the New DIY Cover!

I then grabbed a paper towel and wiped away the excess dry erase marker….then snapped my new completely custom and DIY cover onto my Erin Condren Life Planner!

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

The Final DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Cover!

How beautiful is this?!  Bright, colorful, personalized, and looks quite professional, no?  Maybe one day I’ll get around to using my coupon for my real (almost) free cover.  For now, though, I’m more than happy with my DIY one.

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

And just look when I turn and open up the cover….my handsome little guy is right there.  Ahhhh, he melts my heart….

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

This 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….and perfect for Valentine season!

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

I used another pic of my handsome little devil as the inside image for this cover as well…..so. much. cuteness!

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Now I have TWO personalized options that I can switch out in a jiffy!

How-to-Make-Erin-Condren-Life-Planner-Interchangeable-Covers-Animated

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! Save money and make your own! #erincondren

 

Granted, my DIY 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!

Learn how to make your own watercolor planner stickers using watercolor pencils!

How to Make Watercolor Planner Stickers Using Watercolor Pencils | Where The Smiles Have Been #planner #plannerstickers #watercolor #watercolorpencils #Silhouette

 

If You Enjoyed This….

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots of my other creations, tutorials, freebies, and reveals!

Pretty Foaming Soap Dispensers with Etched Glass Vinyl + FREE Silhouette & SVG Cut Files! | WhereTheSmilesHaveBeen.com #Silhouette #Cricut #soapdispenser #freecutfile

 

Colorful Craft Room Gallery Wall + $100 Erin Condren Giveaway! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

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Wendy

Sunday 16th of October 2016

Great information! Thank you so much. I was looking at the laminating pouches and noticed that there are many different thicknesses. Do you know what thickness you used?

Sandra

Monday 8th of August 2016

I have just purchased an EC Planner and I wanted to make my own personalised dividers/inserts using my kids photos. This has been a great help. Can't wait for the planner to arrive now so I can start my photo dividers. What a great top. Thank you.

Maariya

Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

You are AWESOME for posting this!!! It helped me SO much, and so did your FREE Meal-Plan print-out blog.. ;) I wanted to purchase the snap-in Meal-Plan accessory with my Life Planner from the Erin Condren website, but they were out of stock! :'( I would've had to pay more than DOUBLE the amount just for shipping, so I totally owe it to you!! This is AMAZING, SUCH a great idea. You are incredibly creative!! I'm still waiting for my Life Planner to arrive this Monday... I know... I regret not selecting the express option, but hey! I'll be ready with many DIY interchangeable covers, so just wanted to say a huuuge THANK YOU!!!!! :D

Manuela

Friday 1st of January 2016

Hello and Happy New Year 2016 !

I'm from Belgium so excuse my English :) Your blog is fantastic !!! Really.. I would like to know how you do to print on the pages of your book (for the calendars,... ) .

thank you, Manuela

Jenna

Sunday 18th of October 2015

Where did you get the floral cover from?? It's beautiful xxxxx

Christine

Monday 19th of October 2015

Thanks so much, Jenna! I actually made that one from scratch. I found a free clip art online and then layered them up in Photoshop and added my name. Thanks for stopping by!

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