I am making a small project planner for our home improvements and ideas for our new home construction. I purchased a 9″ by 7 1/2″ three ring binder from Walmart, similar to these: 3 ring binders
The size is the same as the Avery 2″ mini-binders. The page protectors and inserts fit into the pretty binder I found. However, the page protectors and papers were more expensive than the binder was on clearance. I decided to make it work with what I have at home.
There were several partially used notebooks with lined paper in them. I snipped the wire which holds the notebook together and removed the pieces with a pliers. I measured the size paper I needed for the planner and made a cardboard template. After marking the paper where it needed to be cut, I used my dumpster-dived guillotine paper cutter. (DH found it in a dumpster outside of a school where they were remodeling. He was delivering to the school and also snagged some cupboards for our garage.)
After cutting lined paper to size, I used a three hole punch-moved to the correct spots-and punched holes in the papers. I did the same with plain white cardstock and added that to the book. This way, if I have an idea I want to sketch I have the plain paper to do that on.
The binder was clearanced for 2.47, if I remember correctly, and the notebook I used to fill it was .82 cents, the card stock came from a package of 50 from Walmart. Let’s say they cost 1.50. For less than 5 bucks, I have an adorable, usable planner with all the paper I could want. The process took about a half hour to cut all the papers and then punch them, but I had nothing better to do with my time so that doesn’t bother me. I have 5 separate sections with three sheets of card stock per section. I have approximately 150 sheets of lined paper, divided into the 5 sections. Each section will be labeled and I have scraps of patterned scrapbook papers which I will use as the dividers. I will be adding pockets to the binder to hold paint samples, receipts, fabric samples, measurements, etc.
Not a bad little DIY project, should you find yourself in need of a project planner.