Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reuse Last Year's Planners and Calendars!

What do you do with your old planners, schedule books, and calendars? I have one wall calendar, hanging by my desk, where I write down all of our plans and milestones. I save that one in a file box. It's kind of like a record of all of the things we did that year. I also have a planner that I use to keep track of blog posts and gardening (like when I planted the peas and when I picked the first tomato.) My husband has a day planner that he keeps all of his scheduled doctor's appointments in. And my oldest, of course, has a student planner that he is supposed to use to keep all of his assignments straight in - he doesn't use it very often... We also receive a few free promo planners in the mail that I usually give to Little Guy to write his "lists" of things to do in - just like Mommy, Daddy, and Brubber do.

At the end of the year, we find that we have these planners and calenders just sitting here. We don't want to throw them out, but what good are they? I'll tell you! You can use them as idea books.
As I was cleaning out my very messy corner of craft supplies, I found the stack of magazines and catalogs that I've been hoarding. Each one had at least one great idea that I wanted to use - a kids' craft, recipe, or DIY project. I really didn't have anywhere to put all of these magazines and, heck, I didn't even know which idea I was saving each book for just by looking at the cover. So, Little Guy and I went through each one and cut out all of the good ideas that we wanted to make someday.
Most of the time, I could just cut out a photo from the magazine or catalog and that would be enough. I don't really like following step-by-step instructions for things that are creative. Instructions make me feel as if I'm doing it wrong if I veer from the "rules" that have been set down. Plus, I tend to read the "Supplies Needed" list and, if I don't have one, I'll skip the project until I do have everything. By just having a photo of what I want to make, I can use my own imagination to figure out how to go about creating the item and which supplies we can use.

So, we spent a couple of afternoons just flipping through those magazines and catalogs, cutting out pictures of things that looked like fun. Now we had a pile of clippings. How was I going to keep them in some kind of order without losing them? As I pondered, hubby came through with his old planner and asked if he could throw it away (See how I have him asking about throwing things out? He's learned not to toss anything into the trash can before asking if I need it for something. Even banana peels are saved here - they add LOTS of potassium to the garden soil!) His asking me at that particular time was perfect - I could use the planner for the clippings!

I arranged the clippings into piles for each month - snowy/winter crafts for January, hearts and lovey crafts for February, etc. When he awoke, we got working on our books. His job was to put a tiny dot of glue onto each cut-out and place it on the planner page for the corresponding month. My job was to hand him the clippings, suggest a good place to glue the clipping (overlap can happen in an instant with an excited little guy!), and help turn the pages of the planner. Now we have our "Idea Book" to look at whenever we're feeling crafty. We can just open it up to the current month and choose from the pictures.


I also used planners for recipes and DIY projects. The recipe book was made from a planner that had an entire page for each day. There are many more pages in that book so I could clip the entire recipe (no, I can't just look at a picture of food and figure it out! LOL) and have room for more. Stew, soups, and other hearty, stick-to-your ribs recipes are glued into the winter months' pages. Quick, warm dinner ideas are in the November and December pages for those days when we're busy with holiday-related activities and there just isn't time for big, complicated dinners. And, of course, I have light, cool dishes in August; and I've got picnic-type recipes stuck to the June and July pages. Birthday cake ideas are now easy to find by turning to the months for everyone's birthdays.

My DIY book is separated by the seasons, rather than months. I simply took a marker and drew a border around each page for each season - blue for winter, green for spring, red for summer (hey, it's hot out!), and orange for fall. The times of year that each project would best be done is where I glued those clippings. So, I have a really neat indoor seed starter idea pasted on a green page. And there is a pretty wind chime made with dried leaves in the orange section. See what I mean?

I have more ideas for making other books:
  • I'm going to start looking for homeschooling ideas next, since Little Guy is getting to the right stage to start more learning activities. 
  • My oldest keep magazines for drawing ideas that he has seen in them - I think I could persuade him to cut the ideas out and recycle the magazines.
  • My husband takes a zillion different medications. He also collects old PDR's. I wonder if I could get him to cut the drug info and photos for each thing he takes and glue them into an old planner? It sure would take up less space than 6 old PDR's (have you seen how big they are?!). Plus, he'd have a little book to take to doctor's appointments, showing exactly what he takes. He could even pencil in the amounts and frequencies of each medication. I know that, if he ever keeled over, I'd have a list of meds to take to the ER with me for easy reference for the ER doctors.
I'd love to hear your ideas of books these used-up 
planners and calendars could be re-purposed into. 
What kind of clippings would YOU glue into an old planner???

17 comments:

MissMOE said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is such a great idea and perfectly timing. I was just wondering about what to do with my old planners.

Brittney said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great idea! It would certainly help to clear out the magazine clutter!

CacheyMama said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How creative! I love this organizational idea. So glad you linked up to Thinky Linky Thursday, so I could discover your blog!
Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

Carrie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great idea! I definitely need to do this as I look at my piles of magazines and my lack of space for them all. Thank you for sharing it at Sharing Saturday!!

Summer Daniels said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meaghan Stanglin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is really cool I can't wait to get started and my aunt is going to love it as well.
I was wondering would you be willing to send me a pic an intructions for the leaf wind chime please ?

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