New Garden Planner & Journal

It’s springtime in my sliver of the universe, which means it’s time to start working the backyard soil. I am by no means an expert gardener, but I do have a few raised beds I like to plant a variety of seeds and seedlings in and watch grow. Each year after a successful experience or a big fail, I think, “I need to write this down so I remember next year.” It’s no big surprise that I don’t write it down and I forget most of it. This year, I was determined to create a journaling and planner space dedicated solely to my garden.

I moved into architect mode a few weeks ago: I knew I wanted a functional journal that was on the larger size and that would lay flat while open. I also knew I wanted to have the ability to put in and take out papers because garden planning tends to be dynamic. (Unbeknownst to my husband, I also have some lofty English garden plans, so planning will be essential.) 🙂

I was chatting with my mom (who is a very seasoned crafter, but quite new to journal-making) and we were discussing the use of file folders in journal cover construction. With journal-making on the brain, later that night I wondered if I had some old hanging file folders — those gorgeous deep green ones — in the vertical filing cabinet that is always on the to-do list for organizing, but never crossed off. I rummaged around and found some and wouldn’t you know, they were fading along the edges. I figured I must have bought them about 15 to 20 years ago. They sure looked vintage, but I’m not sure how I felt about buying something new and now years later calling it vintage. 😆

The next day, I set out to engineer the perfect garden planner and journal. After a little trial and error, it worked! I had managed to create a utilitarian journal/planner that was 8″ x 10″, laid flat, and offered the ability to dynamically customize pages.

The outside is made from a hanging file folder and the inside is a regular file folder. I used twine to secure the pages, which can easily be inserted or removed. I included tuck spots throughout and folders on both the inside cover and back cover.

I didn’t film a tutorial, but I do have a flip-through on my YouTube channel. In it, I ask viewers to leave a comment if they would like to see one. If at least one person comments “yes” I will definitely create and post a step-by-step video of the process. UPDATE: There is tutorial on how to create this journal — hooray — and it can be accessed here:

As a bonus, to celebrate both Spring and successful journal-making session, I am giving away this vintage butterfly image on my Facebook page. All you need to do is go to and download the picture.

Heavy decorating is not part of my process prior to using a journal, but I still wanted to add a little vintage beauty. I incorporated a few new digital collections I recently added to my Etsy shop — 1882 European Butterflies, In the Garden, Vintage Vegetable Sketches, and Garden Goddesses.

This journal sure does make my heart go pitter-patter. I love the way it looks, the way it works, and how easily it came together. My husband and I started working outside over the weekend and I also bought my Spring seeds, so it’s time to start documenting.

Till next time,

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