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. cbblue says:

    Great idea!!! Don’t you hate it when you get nose coffee on your keyboard?

  2. Lynn says:

    Fab hair Karen by the way

  3. jainegayer says:

    I’m wiping nose coffee once again off my keyboard! When will I learn???
    LOVE the craft and love even more the “ASSHEAD.”
    Can’t wait to make this.
    Thanks, Karen!

  4. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Gotta love ASSHEAD!!! I just got my hair cut and a new style…thanks for noticing :)

  5. Kellie says:

    Were you in my bathroom this morning? Cause I really do have great hair today. I wish I could spell the sound of my laugh when I read ASSHEAD. Hysterical!

  6. brenda says:

    I was having a bad morning and feeling guilty about having a bad morning cuz there’s no good reason I shud be having a bad morning (I guess that’s called cranky). I read your post, love the hack, I’m all over it. I got to the end and laughed out loud at ASSHEAD. I’m feeling pretty good now. Thank you.
    who are you giving that to????

  7. Julie says:


  8. Laura Bee says:

    Great hack! That’s what my hair needs too….a good hack. But thanks.

    • Laura Bee says:

      OK- I have since cut my hair & seems I lost some intelligence along with it. Today I bought some leather scraps for $5 from a local leather shop down hill from me and a book at the dollar store – with no rings! Going to figure out how to adjust the design …sigh.

  9. Heather says:

    These would make lovely personal journal covers as well.

  10. Mary Werner says:

    Reading along enjoying the post and wanting to make some journals NOW – – – when what to my wondering eyes should appear but the title of your journal stamped oh so clear. I spit out my coffee, dumped the cup with a jerk, and laughed out loud till my dog thought that I’d gone berserk. It was the surprise element that caught me off guard – thanks so much for this fun moment!

  11. Linda J Howes says:

    Very nice. Did you dampen the leather before stamping? I understand it makes the impression even more impressionable.

  12. Beckie says:

    Are you actually giving the “Asshead” one? (inquiring minds and all)

  13. Beth W says:

    LOLOLOL…. when are you selling the ones with “ASSHEAD” on them…?

  14. Tigersmom says:

    I love the word ASSHEAD!

    I used to have an asshead cat that would poke me in the eyelid with his needlelike claws while I was sleeping. And I used to have an asshead rose bush (like you do), but it finally succumbed to not getting enough sun due to the live oak that was probably planted after it, but matured and shaded it.

    These are super cool. I want one for me and then we’ll see who else may benefit from my craftiness that is sooooooooo not with a k.

  15. Kat says:

    I work at Value Village and there is an area in each store (or should be) usually in the bed and bath section where the material for crafts hang. If a leather coat is torn on the seam or a small tear they put it in that section for you to use on crafts and projects just like this and the coat is even cheaper than if you bought it in the coat section. So now if you want to make one of these you can make it even cheaper! I found a hat in Value Village once in Seattle, it was black with gold embroidered lettering that said Bad Hair Day. Well I went to a memorial that day wearing the hat and met Peter Fonda and was even on the news that night and totally looked great even with bad hair. I love Value Village!

  16. Joslynne says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Love it! Love it! Love it!!! Thanks a bundle for my gift idea this year!!! Yeah!!

  17. Jane says:

    Beautiful idea! I wish I could make one of these!!!

  18. Debbie says:

    I love that Asshead is all in capitals. My hair is always a mess, I was not born a hair person.

  19. Anita says:

    That is way too cool! But I think I’d like to keep the old cover on and glue the leather to it. I wouldn’t like it floppy. And by the way, I covet your hair. It’s Fabulous! :)

    • Nancy says:

      I also thought about gluing the leather to the old cover and hiding the inside cover with scrap booking paper

      • Karen says:

        Hi Nancy and Anita. It would depend on the cover, but I wouldn’t advice it with this particular brand of date book. For one thing the cover is so stiff it won’t stay open. It springs closed all the time. Also when you start doing too much like adding gluing things to the front and back it risks looking crafty and messy. So just be judicious in your gluing. :) ~ karen!

  20. Linda S in NE says:

    Thanks, I mean about the hair. No one has told me that for a long time.

  21. Ella says:

    They can reuse it each year too, by just buying a new planner and replacing the cover!

  22. SeaDee says:

    Now I know why I’ve been holding into a couple ripped leather coats. I did make boots for an American Girl doll from one.

    And I’m glad you can’t see my hair right now…

  23. Lis says:

    love this idea. but does the cover sort of flap (flop?) about?

    • Karen says:

      The cover flops a little bit Lis, but that’s actually what I like about it. It’s softer than the plastic cover that was on it before. Lightweight suede = more flop, heavy duty leather = less flop. ~ karen!

  24. peg says:

    nice hack!!!

  25. Kent Major says:

    I’d love an ‘asshead’ planner!! And thanks about the hair.

    • Christy says:

      OMG! LOVE IT!! LOL! Thanks for making my day! I like “Asshat” also…been rolling off the tongue rather frequently lately. LOL

      • Karen says:

        Yeah. Assheads/hats tend to to do their best to elicit the word from us (the non assheads/hats). ~ karen!

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