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Idea for a Filofax Pen Holder

I have been trying to work out a tutorial for a filofax pen holder to fit on the front of the personal sized Filofax that is my planner for this year.

Inspired by Pinterest (as usual!) I am trying to colour code things and that means carrying several colours of pens, plus a pencil and a Sharpie (so I can write on top of washi tape).

Close image of the inside of my filofax showing book marker and diary page

 

As you can see I have produced something that works and I am trying it out for a while to see that it is robust enough to survive my handbag (aka the “black hole”) and also trying to iron out a couple of the not so pretty aspects that I am not happy with.

View from the top of my fabric filofax pen organiser

 

Hopefully it is something that will interest you guys and you will check back in to see the full tutorial?

View inside the front cover of the filofax showing how the filofax pen holder is held on

 

Home Made Planner Dividers – Getting Organised Step One

I’ve been slowly chipping away at getting organised. and one of the things I am doing is putting together my own diary for next year.  I have purchased a “Dodo PersonalPOD” folder that is the same size as a personal filofax.

Image of "Dodo Pod" Personal Organiser Case

I am in the process of working out what sections I want the planner to have but I have settled on a few planner dividers already;

  • Separate sections for each month with a monthly planner in.
  • More detailed pages for each month that can be put in and removed so that there are no more than three months in there in detail.
  • Bright, cheerful and inspiring.
  • Hard-wearing.

Image of whole filofax with dividers on top of "Mollie Makes" magazine where some papers were sourced

“Molly Makes” issue number 45 had some really lovely free papers in it and I had seen to pictures of American planners that had a lot of inspirational quotes in them (I’m a sucker for a prettily presented inspiring quote) and I wanted to copy that.

I decided to make my own monthly dividers with pretty backgrounds that I would find cheerful and inspiring.  I found some inspirational quotes on Pinterest and printed them out onto photo paper.

I used a computer graphics programme to draw out simple divider shapes and I used a font that I liked to write in the name of the months.  I then cut the papers to fit my printer and printed straight onto them.

Month by month dividers in a filofax folder

Gluing the quotes onto the front, cutting the dividers out, laminating them and hole punching them gave me tough and cheerful dividers.  The whole process took about three hours and I now have a computer file for the dividers that I can use to make dividers for other areas of the planner.

A win/win in my book 😉  Mollie Makes #46 is out now with more free papers.  Time to get my thinking cap on!

Greeting Card Organisation System – A Tutorial

Up until recently we had everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries displayed on a huge poster stuck to our kitchen wall. Then I succumbed and treated us to a new, outsized kitchen wall clock (well, the other one had no glass anymore!)

Follow the tutorial to make sure that you never forget a birthday again by making and using this card organisation system.

Suddenly there was no more room for the poster that had seen us through the last ten years. But how to replace it?

Our wall poster recording the dates of everyones birthdays would no longer fit. So I made an alternative.

I kept trying to make my own, smaller version of the poster to fit inside a kitchen cupboard door but I could never get all the months to fit onto an A3 size and it became an Albatross (“Albatross, fresh Albatross”, anyone?!)

Then I realised whilst looking for a card for my Godson’s birthday that we may have the dates sussed but we certainly did not have the greetings card situation sorted! We had this huge box and plastic wallet files. Anyway, see below to see what I mean.

A huge box with loads of cards was difficult to access and heavy to lift.

I didn’t know in advance which cards we did or did not have in stock, I could not see their designs through the folders and the whole thing was heavy and cumbersome.

What about combining the two?

You will need

  • A cardboard box (I opted for one I had that was around the right size but you may find that a shoe box works well).
  • Cute wrapping paper, wallpaper or fabric to cover the box with.
  • More cute paper to make the dividers (I cheated and bought double sided wrapping paper so my dividers would be nice on BOTH sides!).
  • Thick card board for a template.
  • Self-Adhesive printable paper (or alternatively plain paper and something to stick it on with).
  • A laminator and A4 laminating pouches.
  • Scissors
  • A craft knife, cutting surface and steel edge for cutting along.
  • A Computer and Printer
  • Tape Measure AND Ruler.

Step One

If you have a stash of cards already measure the biggest one. If you are just starting a stash buy one that is pretty much the biggest size you usually buy (mine is not that big because I resent paying huge amounts for cards!).

Use this as the template to find an appropriate box to use. You want one it will fit in width ways but that is at least half the height of the card to support it.

A cardboard box that will fit your cards is the first requirement. Shoe boxes work well

Step Two

One sheet of wrapping paper was not enough to cover my entire box so I cut it into half along its longest side so that it would wrap around the sides and not cover the base completely (who looks underneath!)

Use good quality wrapping paper that you really love to cover the box. If one sheet wont cover the whole thing think about where you place your joins!

Step Three

I found that glue saturated the paper too much so I used double sided tape strips placed on the box (rather than the paper) to stick one side at a time. I worked around the outsides of the box in turn.

Glue will saturated your paper, making it wrinkle. Use double sided tape to attach the paper to the box.

Step Four

Fold the bottom edges under the base as if you were wrapping a present. Secure with more strips of tape near the edge of the paper. (Tip: Press down from the corner towards the edge to avoid bumps).

Make sure that joins are hidden near corners and work down towards the base to make sure corners are neat.

Step Five

Using scissors cut slits in the paper at each corner, down to the edge of the box, slant them slightly so you are left with a small, roughly triangular shape at the middle of each corner. Using tape or glue stick the central pieces down first and then the sides. Again, put the tape near the edge of the paper.

Use good quality wrapping paper that you really love to cover the box. If one sheet wont cover the whole thing think about where you place your joins!

Step Six

Leave the box for a while and move onto the dividers (all will be revealed as to why, don’t worry!).

Step Seven

Using the thick card board create a template for your dividers. I drew a rectangle that was the same height as my tallest card and 5-8 mm narrower than my box interior (make sure you measure the interior with a flexible measuring tape!).

If you already have a stash of cards, measure the largest one that you have.

Step Eight

I then worked out the width measurement of my card and divided it by six. This was the size of my “tabs”.

I found something that was the right size and shape that I wanted for my tab and drew around it (in my case it was a Two Pence Piece). I cut out this shape separate from my rectangle template.

Step Nine

I used masking tape to tape the “Tab” to the template in the correct place. I needed four of each position so I drew around the template, fitting as many onto the sheet of wrapping paper as possible, in my case six per sheet.

Use a two pence coin to make a semi circle template for your divider tab. Attach this to the main divider template with masking tape so that it can be moved around.

WARNING: Make sure that you do the correct number of each “Tab” position. If you decide to reverse the pattern on alternate dividers like I did you need to keep track of this too. I found the easiest way was to put them into the box in the correct order as I did them then I had an easy visual reminder!

Step Ten

Put aside the left over strips from each piece of wrapping paper – we will use these to line the box!

Step Eleven

Print out your sticker for dividers. I used A4 sheets of self-adhesive office labels (the whole sheet is one big label!) and cut them into the shape I wanted.

Step Twelve

Stick the labels onto the dividers – again, I did this whilst keeping the label pile and the divider pile in the correct order so that I got the right one in the right place!

It is worth keeping your dividers in the right order inside your box as you work. Otherwise they coudl get muddled.

Step Thirteen

Use a laminating machine to laminate each divider. If you are lucky you can get more than one in a plastic pocket to save money. If you don’t have a laminator many copy shops offer this service at reasonable prices.

Step Fourteen

Cut out each divider using scissors. Cut about 2-3 mm out from the edge of the paper inside (this was why we made the divider smaller than the box interior). Check they fit and trim a little more if necessary.

Step Fifteen

Print out your “Event Grids” and glue one to the front of each month’s divider. Keep them fairly high so they can be seen easily as you flick through the box.

Greetings Card Organiser-3

Step Sixteen

Using my measuring tape I decided that the lining had to be 16 cm tall to cover the edges folded over at the top and cut my strip of left over wrapping paper to that height.

Step Seventeen

Instead of measuring I bent the strip of leftover wrapping paper gently into the box and pressed in a fold once I had the entire side covered. I then did the same thing for the adjacent side. One strip of paper covered the inside of two sides nicely but no more so I cut it to precisely that length.

Step Eighteen

Repeat step seventeen for the other two interior walls!

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Step Nineteen:

Write the birthdays and anniversaries of your nearest and dearest on the grids and enjoy! If I buy a card for a specific occasion I stick a post-it note on the front with who it is for so I don’t get to the posting date and forget (yes, I do this quite regularly, which is why we have spare Mother’s and Father’s Day cards!).

Greetings Card Organiser-5

Step Twenty?

I’m just wondering if I should cover the box with transparent sticky backed plastic to protect it from muck. What do you think?

Greetings Card Organiser-4

In a bid to get some more opinions this week I am linking to; Handmade Monday, It’s Overflowing!, “Work it Wednesday” at the Turquoise Home, Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo and Remodelaholic.

Bedside Organiser (Including Free Pattern)

To solve the mess of my beside table (picture in last week’s post) I ended up designing an organiser pouch to hang to the side of the table.

My criteria were simple;

  • It had to hold a book, my phone (whilst charging), a handkerchief and my hand cream.
  • I wanted something discreet that would fit in attractively to the piece of furniture.

The tutorial below is for what I came up with.

A Disclaimer from me;

This is the first pattern I have drafted that is not just for my own personal use.  I have done the bes I can to make sure that people can follow it but I would welcome and pointers and feed back if anyone would be kind enough to try it out!

Materials:

  1. Fabric. 2 pieces 40 cm x 28 cm for the back, 1 piece 20 cm x 70 cm for the pockets (you can split this into individual sized pieces to have different colour pockets like I did).
  2. Iron on Interfacing. 2 pieces 38 cm x 26 cm and one 5 cm x 7 cm (I used Vilene H250).
  3. Thread in coordinating or contrasting colour (depending on your preference).
  4. Eyelets (I used 11mm diameter ones).
  5. Hammer and surface to hammer onto.
  6. Velcro (Approx 10cm worth.)

Equipment:

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Iron and Board
  3. Scissors and a cutting out surface (Rotary Cutter is optional)

Step One:

Print out the pattern pieces and join the two halves of the back piece together using glue or tape.  If you are using the same fabric for all the pockets joint the pocket pieces together using the glue area overlaps provided.

Step Two:

Fold the backing fabric into two layers (right sides facing each other) and pin pattern piece 1 to the fabric.

Organiser-7

Cut out the fabric.  I used a rotary cutter and quilting ruler but scissors would work just as well.

Step Three:

Tack markers into the centre of the three eyelet “crosses” making sure that you go through both layers of fabric. If you don’t know how to do this Miss P has a really good tutorial.

Tailor Tacks

Step Four:

Pin the pocket pattern pieces to the fabric(s) that you wish to use and cut them out.  Don’t forget the slot for the phone cord and the cut away on each side of the phone pocket.

Phone Pocket

Step Five:

If necessary sew all the pocket pieces together into a long strip (make sure you get them in the right order!).

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And press open the seams.

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Step Six:

Cut a piece of interfacing 13cm x 4cm and iron in onto the inside of the phone pocket, trim it to size and put in the cuts for the slots.

Pin and stitch hems on the edge of the slot for the phone charger wire and the cut away sections of the phone pocket.

Phone Pocket Sewn

Step Seven:

Press and stitch across top hem of all the pockets

Top Hem

Step Eight:

Cut a 5cm strip of Velcro, pin it across the bottom of the phone pocket, trim to size and stitch into place.

Velcro

Step Nine:

Press the 1cm hem along the bottom of the other pockets up using an iron.  DO NOT SEW into place.

Step Ten:

Press in the folds for the pockets.  I started at the Hand Cream pocket end and worked along to the phone pocket as this was the trickiest and I wanted the practice before I got there. (the weird blue finger things are made by Prym and save me a LOT of blisters!)

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Step Eleven:

Separate the two back pieces from each other by snipping the Tailor’s tacks apart, leaving some on each side. I cut two pieces of interfacing by cutting the seam allowance off of my back pattern piece and using the smaller piece to cut the interfacing.

Iron a piece of interfacing onto the wrong side of each back piece.

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Step Twelve:

Putting the two back pieces right side together and stitch around them leaving a gap of around 5-8 cm open at the bottom where the pockets will cover it.

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Step Thirteen:

Clip the corners so that fabric doesn’t bunch up in the corners when you turn it right way in.  Then turn the sewed piece right side in.

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Step Fourteen:

Press the back piece, making sure that the corners and hems are turned out completely.

Step Fifteen:

Using the Tailor tack marks and your scissors CAREFULLY snip a cross shape with it’s centre on the marker.  Remember you can always make things bigger!  Each slit needs to be around 1 cm long.

Step Sixteen:

Follow the instructions on the eyelet packet and put in the three eyelets.  They are in pictures, easy to follow and put it a lot better than I could!

Organiser-24

Step Seventeen:

Position the pocket strip onto the backing centrally and pin into position along the joins.  Make sure that the pockets are straight and stitch along the joins to join them to the back.  Don’t attach either end of the pockets yet.

Organiser-25

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Step Eighteen:

Use the phone pocket Velcro to locate and pin into place the other half of the Velcro onto the back piece.  Then pin the pocket back out of the way whilst you sew the Velcro into position.

Organiser-27

Step Nineteen:

Press the Velcro together so that the pockets are now held in the correct position.

Pin the pocket sides (at both ends) into position with the upper folds of the pocket caught back out of the way.

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Top stitch along each edge and across the top (under the eyelets). Don’t sew the bottom yet!

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Step Twenty:

Top stitch along the bottom of all the pockets except the phone pocket to hold them in position.

Organiser-30

Trim ends and press the final thing for presentation!

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The Pattern downloads are below.  I hope that you will find them useful, I know I am!

Back Piece A Pattern Back Piece B Pattern Book Pocket Pattern Hand Cream Pocket Pattern Phone Pocket Pattern Tissue Pocket Pattern

Plans, What Plans?!

This week has not gone according to plan and the post that I was planning to put up today isn’t ready.  It was a sewing post regarding a problem that may seem trivial but is quite a factor in my mornings.  It is this:

Organiser-3

THAT is my bedside table.  Everything is stacked precariously and things regularly shift and get lost down the sides or the back.

Anyway I think I have come up with a solution and like my best ideas it involves pretty fabric.

Organiser-6

Isn’t it nice?  A beach-y, New England-y type feel is what I’m going for. I wanted to have a finished product and I also wanted to have a pattern ready for you to download if you so wish.   Due to bugs in the family, work and outside commitments this week it’s not there yet.

This week I WILL catch up with myself so keep your eyes peeled next Sunday and you too can share in my newly organised bedside table!

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