A fast, easy DIY present idea.
Day Planner Hack




Sometimes we love someone so much we want to buy them the greatest present in the world.  But sometimes we don’t have enough money for that and also we remember how they once said our hair looked bad and we sort of hate them.

Then what?

Well I’ll tell you.  You do what any self respecting person who prides themselves on giving good presents, yet also wants to make a point about how rude it is to make fun of someone’s handicap (double cowlicks at the temples).  You don’t buy them a beautiful, expensive present. You hack it yourself out of crap.  They’ll think you spent scads of money on it,  feel bad they didn’t get you more AND you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing they only think they got an expensive present, when in fact they got crap.


The DIY datebook hack.

When I was in Costco a month or so ago, I came across some cheap day planners. I bought them.  Because I’m happiest when I’m living in a world that is a comfortable balance between The Jetsons and Little House on the Prairie.  I use my iPhone for texts, Googling, email, photos, phone calls and scheduling appointments and reminders.  But I use a notebook for scheduling all of my posts and work related things I have to do.  I just find it’s easier.

I knew when I bought the day planners exactly what I was going to do with them.  I was gonna pimp them out with the help of my good friend Value Village.

Amazon has the same day planners  (but at $11.99 it’s more than what I paid for 2 of them at Costco).

This makes a great hair criticizing present, so if you’re looking for a quick, easy, inexpensive DIY that’ll make you look great, this is the way to go.


Day Planner  ($16 for 2)
Used leather coat or purse (apx. $14 … most coats will cover at least 2 date books)

That means you can produce 2 very nice gifts for a total of $30, or $15 each.

*hint*  When you’re looking for a coat pick a heavy leather or suede so it isn’t too flimsy and pick one that has skins large enough to cut out the book cover without running into seams.


1. Remove the ugly cover from the day planner.  Just pull it off of the rings.

2.  Lay the cover on your ugly coat.  If you can’t avoid seams, just line the seam up with the spine of the cover.

3.  Using the covers as a pattern, cut  out your new leather covers.




4.  Lay your old day planner cover on top of your newly cut out leather cutter.

5.  Mark the holes for the spiral binding with a Sharpie.

6.  Fold your leather cover in half along the spine and punch out the holes.  I used a paper punch, but if you have a leather punch use that.  It wasn’t too hard with the paper punch but it’s a bit hard on your hands.  I couldn’t rice potatoes for about 3 days afterwards.

7.  Now all you have to do is slip your new cover back onto the spiral binding. You did it.  You’re done.

This isn’t just about ugly versus not ugly by the way. The suede or leather just feels better than the hard plastic cover cheap day planners come with.



If you want incite extreme guilt from the gift receiver you can take it one step further and cut the suede/leather larger than the original cover and have it flap over the day planner.  Punch another hole in the centre of the cover and add a long strip to tie the planner up.




OR if you have a leather stamper (which I do) stamp the receiver’s initials or a message on the book.




This is a gift anyone would enjoy and appreciate.  Even your ex.




By the way, I’ve been meaning to tell you.  Your hair looks GREAT.

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  1. Glenda says:

    I found your project while I was Googling something else (story of my life), and I came for the beautiful leather cover but I stayed for the wit. Thanks for making me laugh out loud!!

  2. laura says:

    love love love this DIY. I kinda can’t wait to make several of these (for gifts & myself).

  3. Wow, thanks for the compliment! I try my best to keep my hair looking fresh!

    Anyways. I just have to say, awesome hack! Especially the planner with the wrapped leather and strap– absolutely stunning! I’ve never seen a prettier (and custom made) planner in my life. I’m definitely going to try this out for sure.

    • Karen says:

      I never lie about hair. It looks great! Just make sure you get a day planner that has the spirals that are like mine, as opposed to the ones that curl around and around. The ones on the planners I got just pull apart and push together. Have fun. ~ karen!

  4. Lucie says:

    LOVE making stuff out of crap. Also love your blog. Laughed all the way through this one.

  5. supercool! one of those things I’d love to do, but never will.

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