So you have your planner, and perhaps you're already using it to get organized every week. But if you're like me who wants to customize everything to my liking, you may want to personalize your planner. Here are some things you need to be aware of before starting your mini project.

A short history

So the yesterday, I was finally able to get my Starbucks 2016 planner (they ran out quickly here in Naga so we had to wait longer). In case you weren't already aware, Starbucks has partnered with Moleskine for their planners this year, and frankly, it was one of the main reasons I decided to spend sooooo much just to get one. For artists into sketching and other traditional mediums, the name Moleskine is no stranger.

Image © Inquirer 2015

Unfortunately, they only come in four colors: red, black, green, and white, and in two different sizes. Where's my baby? Where's pink? Haha. I am fully aware that the last color Starbucks will be giving their planners is pink, but I was hoping they'd have a way to get you whatever color you want and stuff. So much for hoping.

Given my need to personalize my possessions in any way I can, I opted to get the white planner. My original plan was to just do doodles on it using pens and markers, but the white canvass practically spoke to me about being all adventurous and taking a risk with the cover. Easily swayed, I am.

The canvass. 

Getting Ready

Before you start customizing your planner, you need to figure out (1) what design you want, (2) what materials you're going to need, and (3) if you have enough time to work through it patiently. It would also help to know how sturdy the material you will be customizing is. As this is made by Moleskine, I was pretty confident with the strength and quality of the cover.

The Process

Once you have your design ready, you need to decide what materials you're going to use. I knew right away that, based on the cover's texture, watercolors won't present vibrant outputs. All it would give your planner is a light, uneven, stain-looking tint. Not pretty. 

For the base, I used a Cherokee Rose-colored acrylic-water mixture (most parts acrylic) and a thick, flat brush to easily apply the base. If you decide to paint a base, make sure to be gentle when applying this because the material used for the cover turned out to be less sturdy than I had hoped.  Apply the base in one motion, leaving room for it to dry after every layer. Once you're satisfied with the base, let it dry completely. You want your planner to stay cute, and not flakey. 

You can also use Sharpies or other permanent markers to decorate. Again, be gentle. A heavy hand is something you don't want for this DIY project. The cover is tender, so any sudden digging or scratching motion will damage it.

Since the strap that came with the planner was green and the shade of pink I chose wouldn't go well with it, I filled-in the strap with a black permanent marker to tie the design together. (My palette was cherokee pink, black, and white. ) It depends on what you want your strap to be, of course. 

The finished product (sort of)

So after a few hours (and a miscalculation of the drying period), this is my design (which is probably 90% done):

90% done!

I love dreamcatchers - this blog used to be under that address, hehe. I'll be adding more to this until I feel it's complete, but I am definitely going to use only a white pen (used Signo) for the design. I might doodle a bit more and add more white dots, even at the back cover. I wrote my name in lettering at the back, too. (This looks better when the black strap is over it.) The paint job may look uneven, but I was aiming for a wood-like texture.

If you have any questions about customizing your planner, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to answer them and help you out. :) 

Have fun!