Make Your Own Cover: Perfect for notebooks, journals, planners and more! #DIY #Craft #Plan #Organize A few weeks ago I shared with you how excited I was that I splurged on the brand new Get To Work Book Planner by Elise Cripe, and that I couldn’t wait to get to work customizing it!

The fact that this planner is pre-designed to be nearly plain made it a big incentive for me to purchase it. I love making my own notebook covers, it’s something that I do as a hobby in my free time. From the moment I pressed the “checkout” button online I had big dreams for how I was going to create my own cover for it. Yesterday, I did just that.

So here’s what I did and how you can make your own notebook cover or planner cover!


The Get To Work Book: Make Your Own Notebook Cover


Make Your Own Notebook Cover

For the cover I used:

Get To Work Book (this process can be used to create a cover for any notebook, journal, or planner!)

Peel & Protect Cover Sheets (Self Adhesive Laminating Paper / Contact Paper)

Thin cardboard (I used an old empty cardboard cereal box)

A single hole hole-punch


Glue Stick

Clear Tape


For my specific cover design I also used:

Patterned Paper

Old Magazines

Washi Tape

Time: 1 hour


Step 1: Reinforcing and Strengthening the Cover

When I got my Get To Work Book the first thing I noticed was how flimsy the cover was. With only a few uses the back cover had already started to tear out of the rings. I decided that I needed to give the front cover some more support before it started to tear. If you do not need to add more support to your cover then skip these steps.
Reinforce your Get To Work Book Planner cover to make it stronger! - Make Your Own Notebook Cover 1. Open the rings of the planner and remove the cover.

2. Cut apart the cereal box. Tape the cover of the planner onto the backside of the cardboard cereal box in a few places so that it does not move.

3. Trace the planner cover onto the cereal box and cut out, make sure to punch the holes for the spiral to go through.

4. Repeat so that you have two templates that are the same size as your original cover.

5. Glue the cereal box templates onto both sides of the planner cover with the blank cardboard side (not the side with the cereal box design) facing out.


Step 2: Designing the Cover

There are a ton of different ways you can design your cover. You can print out pictures of your friends and family and create a collage, you can design something pretty in Photoshop and print it out, you can draw a piece of artwork, you can doodle.. the possibilities are endless.

For my cover I decided to use a piece of patterned scrap booking paper (The one I decided to use has a very light design that looks like somebody spilled water color paints on it. I actually bought a cheap little packet of a ton of patterns for future projects!) and some old magazines.

Make Your Own Notebook CoverMake Your Own Cover: Perfect for notebooks, journals, planners and more! #DIY #Craft #Plan #Organize

1. Place the cover on top of the scrap booking paper and lightly trace around it with a pencil (you will want to erase this later). Use this as a guide line for creating your design.

2. Take old magazines and a hole punch and punch out pretty patterns, colors, and designs. I wanted a couple of the circles to vary in size so I also traced 7 circles using the cover of my glue stick as a circle stencil. Then I traced 3 circles using a highlighter cap as a stencil. This helped the design to look less uniform.

3. Glue down the circles on top of the patterned paper in your desired design. Erase the pencil.


Step 3: Putting it All Together

Now you should have two pieces. Your cover (made of the original planner/journal cover + the cardboard cereal boxes) and your design (whatever you want to go on top of the cover). Let’s put it all together and finish it off!

Make Your Own Cover: Perfect for notebooks, journals, planners and more! #DIY #Craft #Plan #Organize1. Glue the design to the cover. Make sure that the holes for the spiral are on the correct side!

2. Place the “Peel and Protect Cover Sheets” (or self laminating paper/contact paper) over the design. Go slowly. Be careful to make sure there are no air bubbles! If you have access to a laminating machine feel free to use that instead, after you complete the next 2 steps.

3. Cut the extra design and laminating paper down so that there is about half an inch to an inch of paper excess around each side. Cut a wide triangle right in the excess paper outside of each corner.

4. Turn the cover over and fold one side down so that it wraps around the back of the cover. Fold it, unfold it, glue it, and press it down until the glue dries and it is secure. Do this with every side.

Make Your Own Cover: Perfect for notebooks, journals, planners and more! #DIY #Craft #Plan #Organize make your own notebook cover

5. Take your hole punch and punch the holes through the design and lamination. To do this, follow the holes that should be visible from the back of the cover as a guide.

6. Insert the cover back into the spiral bounding of the planner or journal. Feel free to decorate with washi tape as desired.

7. Enjoy!


Make Your Own Cover: Perfect for notebooks, journals, planners and more! #DIY #Craft #Plan #Organize


Do you design your own notebook or planner covers? What’s your favorite craft to do?


Make Your Own Notebook or Planner Cover
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19 thoughts on “Make Your Own Notebook or Planner Cover

  • June 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    So clever!! I absolutely love Self Adhesive Laminating Paper and this is a genius idea. I’m so glad you shared. I will be making all my covers going forward. 😉 FUN!!!

    • June 23, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks for reading! I haven’t made any of my previous covers with self adhesive laminating paper.. but now I definitely won’t make any without it. It’s so handy!

  • June 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    That turned out so cute! I love the confetti! I have a brand new planner that I don’t love the cover for, but don’t want to pay $11 plus shipping for a customized one. This is so helpful!

    • June 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      I’m glad it could help! I like the confetti too… I think it adds a personal touch! I’d love to see yours if you make one 🙂

  • June 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I’m going to try this with my Teacher Planbook! I thought about splurging and buying a cute one from Erin Condren, but DIYing is way more fun 🙂 xoxo

    • June 23, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      I agree! DIYing is so much more fun, and personal! I would love to see what you come up with 🙂

  • June 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    What a cute idea! I LOVE notebooks and have several that I use consistently. There’s something about a crisp, new journal or notebook. Customizing it is a very cool idea.

  • June 23, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    This is such a great idea! I attempted to do this with my class notebooks but the paper just came off now I see why. I think i’ll try it again this semester and see how it goes. Thank you Dani for sharing.

    • June 24, 2015 at 10:44 am

      I did the same thing with class notebooks back in high school and the paper came off. This is the first time I’ve tried something with laminating paper, and I LOVE it! Definitely recommend it.

    • June 24, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Thanks so much! I’m really enjoying it so far 🙂 The inside of the planner is perfect for my needs and also really plain so I’m excited to see how I can customize that as well.

  • June 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I love this idea! it reminds me of my youth when I used to make book covers out of paperbag and make a collage using magazine.

  • June 24, 2015 at 4:39 am

    The planner looks so much cuter with your updates. I’ve never designed my own notebook before (aside from when I was a kid in school). My favorite craft to do tends to revolve around decorating for parties.

    • June 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Decorating for parties seems like so much fun! I see all the cute ideas on Pinterest and I fall in love with them, that’s one of the reasons I’m looking so much into becoming and event planner.. that’s like making party decorations as a career!

  • May 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    That was super pretty


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