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. 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 https://www.facebook.com/ginamakesit 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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