Finally! You’ve got a life event you’re excited about! You want to document it but you don’t want to scrapbook it, you don’t really want to use a bullet journal as the only means, and a planner isn’t quite enough. Well, that makes the two of us and you’ve come to the right place!
Ok, so back to my life event… planning my wedding. Yup, I finally did it – I was a good girl and someone wanted to keep me forever (or maybe he wanted me to keep him forever lol)! And because owning a planner, a bullet journal, a notebook, a (regular) journal, and a scrapbook wasn’t enough, I had to run out and immediately purchase another resource that I felt would be all of those things in one. Yay me! I’m such a keeper, right?!
Ok, so the goal here is to help you make your own keepsake. You can do this for any occasion: birthdays, pregnancies, milestones (eg. retirement), and so forth. And since I’m a visual learner, I will also be a visual explainer. 🙂 I’m going to sprinkle my posts with lots and lots of photos and do my best to link any supplies, tools, and resources – but to be clear, you don’t have to use the same items – just use what works best for you.
So earlier, I mentioned that I ran away to spend my money on yet another planner. Well, to be specific, I ran to the local Michael’s store and purchased a Recollections binder. This portfolio fits A5 paper (5.83 x 8.27 inches) – which is my favourite size to work in as I find it is not too big or not too small and most of my other planners and journals are also the same size. The binder came with a few sheets of paper (dotted, lined, to-do lists, 12 month foldable calendar) and some cute clear dividers. The ability to purchase additional inserts and use a 6-hole puncher to add my own content and mediums made this setup ideal for my project.
The custom inserts were card stock paper purchased online from The Paper Mill Store. My favourites were ASPIRE Petallics (105 – 110 lb). They are beautiful in colour and emboss quite nicely. Not only did I use them for my project, but I also incorporated them into my Save the Dates, Invites, and custom made Envelopes. That’s right – I designed, printed, and cut everything myself… but that is for a different post. 😉
The embossing machine I purchased was a Big Shot from Sizzix. I decided to get this item from Amazon since I live in Canada and wanted to avoid huge shipping fees. In the end I spent just under $200 CAD. This included a pair of cutting pads, the Plus Platform and Adapter A & B.
There were some cute cutting dies on Amazon as well, but I found there were a lot more options on AliExpress. Not only that, but they were cheaper too!
I can’t remember where I heard of AliExpress from… I think someone I follow on Instagram was raving about it so I downloaded the app and decided to give it a go. For the most part, I was really happy with my purchases (not all purchased are pictured below, but I can make a separate post for that later) and they came to my door within 2-3 weeks from China.
I know you probably want to get started right away, and so far I’ve given a number of links that you may have clicked back and forth into by now, but before we do that, let’s recap:
- Choose a size that’s right for you – the bigger the medium you use, the more space you have to fill. Is this ok with you? If you are a minimalist, it might be better to go with A5 or smaller.
- Can you expand your portfolio freely and able to adjust content?
- Are the materials you chose accessible in the future when an add on is required?
- Is there somewhere else you can purchase your materials in case you can no longer access them from the original source? For example, if your favourite shop closes down or items are discontinued. Do you have another location or website you can go which also give you discounts or deals at comparative prices.
Alright, onto the next category.
Oh glorious pens! Have you ever used a pen that you were like “This is the one!” to? You didn’t want anyone to use it, and if you ever let someone borrow it, you kept a good eye on that person who was using it in case they chewed on the cap or forgot to give it back? Well, yeah that’s me. Except what’s worse is that I’m obsessed with too many of them (wahhh, I told you I was a keeper lol). Below are some of my honourable mentions.
From left to right, top to bottom:
- Muji, 0.38 (paragraph)
- Tombow, Fedenosuke Brush Pen (header)
- Pentel, Milky/Sparkle Pop (give headers a little *pop*)
- Zebra, Midliner (highlighter)
- Faber-Castell, Pitt Artist Pen Brush (sub-header/highlighter)
- Tombow, Dual Brush Pen (sub-header)
I know it seems a little overboard to be using so many pens, but as I carve out all the different pages you can create, it will seem warranted (or at least that’s what I tell myself so I can justify owning so many teehee).
Most of the pens are available on Amazon, however I managed to get some of these pens at a local art and drafting store, and (believe it or not) Winners/HomeSense were amazingly priced compared to Amazon. They don’t normally have a lot of stock on hand but you might want to hit up their small art shelf as your first stop because that’s where I scored big with the Dual Brush Pens. They were about $15 CAD compared to $28 CAD on Amazon. I wanted to cry happy tears when I saw them, and it really took a lot of will-power not to purchase two sets. LOL. Anywayyy… moving on.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have consistency throughout the project. A project such as a wedding can take up to a couple of years to plan sometimes and you’ll want to maintain consistency in your book is that it feels like a seamless final product although it is being created over a long period of time. One of the best way to attain that consistency is to buy sticker books to sprinkle throughout your spreads! For me, I chose floral decorations. Yes, pretty standard, I know. But also very easy to replace if I run out of stickers.
Another really easy way to get consistency is to use washi tape. I wish I had access to all sorts of beautiful washi, but my main source of supply is at Michael’s. Make sure you check online for coupons. They always have coupons for 40% off. But also be sure to read the fine print because some brands are excluded from the deals.
If you want to learn more fun ways you can use washi tape for other projects, check out my YouTube video!
One final thing before I set you free. Probably the most important tool that I found help me stay organized throughout this whole process was getting a mini-notebook (I know, I know, here we go again with having too many notebooks). You can brain dump and doodle-vomit all your amazing ideas in one place. Luckily, I had a spare notebook from Christmas (my family knows me so well lol). It came in a set of three, and I believe it was purchased from Chapters/Indigo – the brand is Rifle Paper Co.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive or nice notebook but I must say that the fact that it is super cute does make me want to write in it all the time haha! 😀 I didn’t quite mention this earlier, but it helps to go to a library and rent a book that can help you foreshadow some potential future posts you might want to create. I highly recommend this for weddings and pregnancies so you can document the different stages of planning that normally happen.
The notebook is also great for keeping track of dates and events that occurred, such as the date you purchased your dress and some quick highlights of the day so you don’t forget. It’s important to keep journal entries current so you can easily recall the emotions you felt and other important details that will make it more humorous to flip back to when you are reading your own content ten years from now.
So now that you have all the tools you need to begin, you need ideas on what to create. My future posts will show you different spreads I’ve made, and although they are specific to wedding planning, I hope it can help curate some ideas for whatever project you’re working on.
Click on my blog posts below to get started on your Life Journal pages!
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