diy stampin’ up planner cover

Planner Nerd…

I’m a total planner nerd, so as soon as I saw that Stampin’ Up was coming out with their Love Today Planner Kit, I just HAD to have it.  I was prepared to like it, and use it, but WOW. I LOVE this thing!  I’ve had an old-school Day Runner, a couple of knock-offs, plenty of my own various notebooks… and most recently, a Filofax, an Erin Condren Life Planner, and a DIY bullet journal.  They all have their pros and cons – and yes, so does this one.  However, paper quality is really important to me, and this has, to date, my favorite paper.  None of my favorite pens or markers bleed through – at all!  It’s a dream for stamping in.  And it’s just so darn pretty!

My One Issue:

I plan to do more planner posts, as I play around and personalize mine more.   I didn’t want to wait on this one tip, though.  Once I realized that I was going to want to take this baby everywhere, I became concerned about the cover.  It’s very solid, and the little metal corner protectors are nice.   I think it will last.  I just don’t think it will look as pretty after a few months of heavy use.  So…I had a few different ideas, and I’ve seen a couple of them bounced around.  In the end, I decided that I didn’t want to cover up the beautiful blue and gold design, and  I wasn’t ready to risk doing anything permanent.  I have, over the years, made lots of various book covers… but never a CLEAR one.  There’s a first time for everything, though.  🙂

My Solution:

After some experimentation, I ended up using just the following supplies:  two C-Line Shop Ticket Holders, some Artist Tape, and a pair of scissors.  Oh, and a Sharpie.  Many paper-crafters (myself included) use these shop/job ticket holders for storing and protecting our 8-1/2 x 11 cardstock.  Note that the Avery Job Ticket Holders should work fine for this, as well – I just have spares of the C-Line ones on hand.  And I imagine that there are lots of various adhesives that would work as well – I just knew that this was a strong, heavy-duty tape that’s easy to work with.

How To:

At some point in the future, I may try to do a video tutorial for this, but honestly, it was mostly just a matter of messing around until I had something that would work.  I ended up cutting down from the top, along each side, until the sleeve was about 7-1/2″ from the bottom of the cut line, to the bottom of the sleeve.  Using a bone folder, I folded over the extra plastic.  I could cut it off, but for now, I’m leaving most of the plastic there, with a tentative plan to create some sort of pocket. I did this with both of the ticket holders, and slipped one on the front of the cover, and one on the back.  The “seam” is intact from the outside.  The cut-line is along the inside of the sleeve, with the folded-over piece on the inside of the planner.

Here’s the inside of the front cover:

Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover, made by Kitty Smith, at

Yes, it’s a little bit big, and a little bit loose – but I think that’s going to be a plus in the long run.  Here’s the back cover from the inside:

On the back piece, I ended up cutting off a bit more of the sleeve, on the top and on the folded part, to get a better fit.  I knew I was going to have to do “something” to hold it together, and I wanted to try and disguise that as much as possible.  In the end, I put the area where the two sleeves meet on the back of the planner.  One strip of heavy-duty tape seems to be enough to hold it together.  While I’d actually like to do something a bit more decorative in the future, for the time-being, I just colored the white tape with a metallic gold Sharpie pen.  It’s not perfect, but it looks much better than the white did.  Here’s how the back cover looks:Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover by Kitty Smith,

Gottcha Covered

And here’s the finished project:Stampin' Up planner with DIY cover by Kitty Smith,

Is it perfect?  No… but for a quick, cheap “something” to protect my precious planner, I’m pretty happy with it. 🙂  I’ll share more planner thoughts and ideas in future posts.  For now, I just wanted to get this out there, since I know other planners had the same concern.  If you’re one of them, and you find a better way to protect your planner, will you let me know?  I’m always eager for new ideas.

Do you have this planner?  What have you done to customize it?  (By the way, those “first and last” pages you see in the above shots?  Those are my own home-made dividers, cut from Stampin’ Up paper, and then laminated.)  Thanks so much for stopping by, and Happy Planning!

happy father’s day card 2017

Father's Day card made with Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith,

Happy Dad’s Day!

Just a quick post to share this Father’s Day card, and to wish all the dads out there an awesome day!  Those Swirly Scribbles dies are just so darn versatile!  I used the wavy stripes die for the water, and the smaller round die for the sun.  The boat was stamped on a separate piece, and then I just fussy-cut it out, leaving a small white border.  Then I cut out three rectangles in white, red and blue.  (I used a die for this, but you could certainly just use a trimmer.)

Putting It All Together:

I glued the waves and sun to my white rectangle, and trimmed off the excess.  Then I took my fussy-cut little boat and popped it up with some dimensionals.  All three rectangles are layered, at an angle, onto a Crumb Cake card base, the white one with dimensionals.  The sentiment is from my stash – just happened to be the only stamp I could find that said “Happy Father’s Day”.  I stamped it on a strip of white, and gave it a little fish-tail end before gluing it to my card base.

Nothing really tricky here – just a happy little summery card, and one that would work equally well for a birthday.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful Dad’s Day!



sweet frosted sugarplum flower card

Sweet Frosted Sugarplum flower card using Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith,

Use What You’ve Got

This sweet, sparkly sugarplum flower card is made using a few old, leftover products I had.  However, I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s a good example of using what you’ve got.  You could change the color, change the paper, change the die-cut, change the sentiment, change the bling – and still end up with a really lovely card.  For this one, I started with a piece of Fancy Frost Designer Series Paper.    The white paper that looks like it’s embossed with stars?  That’s the Fancy Frost – no embossing folder needed.  (It’s not a current item, but I just checked, and Stampin’ Up still has some in their clearance rack – can’t beat the price!)  You could totally get a similar look with a piece of plain white cardstock and any embossing folder you happen to have.

I matted the starry paper with a piece of Sweet Sugarplum cardstock (that darker pink one), and put the whole thing on a top-folding standard-sized card base.  (Note that if you want to add a rounded corner, you’ll want to round each of those three pieces first, before you adhere them together… yes, rather obvious, but it’s just the sort of thing I would think of after the fact… and no, this wasn’t the first version of this card that I made, LOL.)

The layered flowers are from the Sunshine Wishes die set, cut from Sweet Sugarplum and Pink Pirouette.  I thought about layering three of them, but liked the simplicity of just these two shades of pink, on the white base.  I think this flower is a really great, versatile die, and makes a lovely card by itself… but a little bling is always a good thing, right?


Yes, I’m sorry:  that gorgeous, sparkly Sweet Sugarplum Glimmer Paper has been retired.   I couldn’t resist using what I still had, though, to make this card.  And I thought it might be a good example to show you that a little bit of that Glimmer Paper (still available in other colors!) can go a LONG way.  All I used here were some tiny scraps.  I started with that thin strip along the left side of the card, but it seemed to make the card a little unbalanced.  The teeny tiny bow on the flowers is from a retired die set (Balloon Pop-up), but there are tons of bow dies out there that would work just as well.

At this point, I got stuck.  The card needed “something”, but I couldn’t find the right thing.  I wanted to add some rhinestones, but the clear ones just didn’t work.  I tried just about every type of “dot” I could find in my stash, but nothing was a perfect match.  (Did I mention that this wasn’t my first attempt?)  Finally, I got smart – if I wanted an embellishment that would match, I needed to make my own – from the same supplies I was already using on the card.  So, I took a tiny scrap of that glimmer paper, and a plain ol’ hole punch, and I punched out three dots.  I coated each one with my fine-tip glue pen, and that added some shine, and a little bit of dimension.  Voila – homemade, matching embellishments.  🙂

The Sentiment

I love to send cards that say “sending hugs”, but I couldn’t find a stamp that actually said that… so I improvised.  The Sunshine Sayings stamp set has a whole bunch of various words that are designed to be used together to create phrases.  One of them says “sending”, and another says “& hugs”.  Knowing how much more likely I was to use the “hugs” without the “&”, I just chopped it right off.  I totally could have used the stamps as-is by doing some selective stamping with post-it notes, but for me, this was worth the sacrifice – and I’ve kept the “&”, just in case I want to use it later.  (I think the stamps will forgive me… in time.)  Some dimensionals give the stamped sentiment a little lift.

And that’s the card!  Easy-peasy, and a design I imagine I’ll use again sometime, with different colors, different die-cuts, and different “bling”.  How about you?  What would you change? 

Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a sweet sugarplum day!



timeless textures, bright butterfly card

Butterfly card with Stampin' Up's Timeless Textures, by

Just a Note…

I used three of my favorite colors to create this bright butterfly card – Melon Mambo (pink), Tempting Turquoise (blue), and Rich Razzleberry (purple).  I love how it came out!  And this card is so much easier than it looks – easy enough for my card class, even the beginners.  All you need is black and white cardstock, some sort of background stamp(s), some brightly colored ink, and a detailed butterfly die or punch.

The Background:

The background was super easy-peasy.  I used three different stamps from the Timeless Textures set, but there are all sorts of stamps that would work for this.  I love stamp sets like this one because you really can’t mess it up.  Each background is going to be unique, and I think that’s awesome!  More busy, less busy, a single image, a full background stamp – they would all look good here.  My only suggestion would be to stick with the same ink colors you’ll be using for your butterfly.

The Butterfly:

I must confess that this started out as an experiment, copying the glitter/packing-tape technique I found on Pinterest.  While I was able to produce a gorgeous butterfly, I wasn’t so sure about using this for a class.  Let’s just say that this early in my teaching experience, I’m not quite ready to face a room full of unpredictable crafters and a bunch of loose glitter, LOL.  So, I actually experimented with several different methods, and this one was the winner.

I started with a butterfly, die-cut from a piece of black cardstock, and a piece of plain white cardstock cut just slightly larger overall than the butterfly.  Then, I pulled out my ink and some sponge wedges, and I just pounced on tons of color, onto that white cardstock, until I had something that looked like this:

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but when you layer the butterfly image on top… WOW!  Now I found that I liked the look I got from sort of just pouncing the color on, but others did more of a rubbing technique, and it looked lovely, too.  And some preferred a softer look, and used less ink – also lovely.  I also just went for stripes, to get a fairly even mix of color – but I’d like to try this again with a more random, splotchy look.

Finishing the Butterfly:

Once you have enough color on your piece of paper, you can glue your black butterfly on top, just making sure that it doesn’t extend past the edges of the colorful paper.  A fine-tip glue pen will work, or any liquid glue just carefully dotted on the back of the butterfly should hold it.  Give the glue just a moment to dry, and then simply cut around the butterfly to remove the excess colorful paper.  I intentionally chose a butterfly design that is pretty rounded, and not that challenging to cut around.  However, if you find you’re having trouble cutting around some of the tighter corners, you could take a black brush-tip marker around the edge, and I imagine that it would make any missed areas virtually disappear.

Putting it All Together:

To finish off the card, I just used some snail adhesive to attach the background piece to a black card-base.  For the sentiment, I used a small scrap of white cardstock, matted with black, and adhered with some dimensionals.  And for the beautiful winged creation, I used a couple of glue dots just on the body of the butterfly, so I could “puff up” the wings a bit, and give him some dimension.  Here’s one more view:

Bright butterfly card made with Stampin' Up products, by Kitty Smith, from

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a beautiful day!