Random acts of craftiness – ugly datebook makeover

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I’m probably one of the last people on earth still using a datebook to record appointments and keep track of birthdays, etc. I expect most people have abandoned a physical book in favour of an electronic calendar on their smart phone. Since I tend to forget things, writing them down helps me remember where I supposed to be when (I also have a big calendar in the kitchen to keep track of family appointments and events).

Last year I found a datebook that was the right size (small) and the right price ($1.50) at Michaels. Problem was it was ugly, with a nasty dark plastic cover.

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Upon closer look, I realized the cover could be removed.

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A piece of scrapbook paper, glue and a roll of clear MacTac and I had a brand new, attractive datebook.

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Datebook makeover 2013

This year, I decided once again to datebook (and this time, take pictures). The datebook is 7-1/2 inches wide and 6-1/2 inches long, I added an extra 1/2 inch on all 4 sides so I had 1/4 inch to fold over. I used my scoring board to mark the fold lines.

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Of course, I made it more challenging for myself by cutting my scrapbook paper on the vertical rather than the horizontal, which meant I didn’t have enough paper to cover both the front and the back. I was able to find a complementary piece of paper in my stash. I think the end result is actually more interesting and attractive than my original idea.

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This is an easy project – it takes about 30 minutes (less if you cut your paper properly).  To ensure a smooth edge in each corner, follow the scoring lines and cut out a small square in each corner.

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Fold the long (horizontal) edge done and glue it (I used ModModge) and then glue the short (vertical) down on top. If there’s any excess, just trim with scissors.  Glue down the edges of one side of the cover at a time.

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Dab a bit of glue onto the edge and use your finger to press the paper under the spine of the book and then glue the edges on the other side.

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I only applied glue to the edges of the scrapbook paper, rather than the cover itself, as gluing paper often causes it to bubble.

To ensure that my datebook gets me through the year, I covered it in clear MacTac. Since it’s sticky, the MacTac also helps keep the scrapbook paper in place. It’s pretty easy to work with; you can pull it up and make small adjustments to smooth our bubbles or straighten up an edge.

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I found it worked best when I did one side of the cover at a time, making sure the MacTac came down as far as the scrapbook paper on the inside edge. Not only does it look neater but it also increases the durability.

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Since I used scrapbook paper from my own stash and had MacTac left over from last year, my only expense was the datebook itself. A $1.50 well spent.

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If you don’t need a datebook, you can use the same technique to personalize any kind of notebook.  Check out your local dollar store for inexpensive notebooks and have fun.

Links include: Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes ; Monday Link Party at Craft-O-Maniac; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple; Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. ; Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou ; Market Yourself Monday at Sumo’s Sweet Stuff; Get Your Craft on Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog; Tuesday To Do Part at The Blackberry Vine: Take-a-Look Tuesdays at Sugar Bee Crafts; Wednesday Wowzers at oopsy daisy; Flaunt It Fridays at Dotted Line Crafts; The Cure for the Common Monday at Lines Across My FaceSix Sisters Stuff – Strut Your Stuff Saturday

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2 responses »

  1. I’m also a physical daybook person, and insist on writing everything in pencil so that i can easily erase and re-arrange appointments. I never pay more than $12 for my daybooks, but $1.50 is way better so next year I may go your route and refashion my own. Thanks for the tutorial!

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