Leah O’Neil's Blog Posts

Hello again creative souls! Leah here with you on the blog today. It’s been quite a while since I’ve shown you some weekly planner layouts! That’s what I have for you today, two vertical planner layouts with accompanying process videos. Yes, TWO plan-with-me videos! I am still using up lots of tidbits from the new Carpe Diem collection and have a few cool ideas to share with you all for your planner spreads.

In this first planner spread, I had a lot of fun layering the Carpe Diem stickers!

I like layering the patterned stickers that have no words, behind stickers that have quotes on them. It draws focus to the quote and adds a pop of color. I added a couple of these die cut stars to my layout that I made using a paper punch during my last planner setup video (you can watch that here).

I’m using the space at the bottom of the page to do a little mood tracking. The hearts are from the Domestic Bliss roller stamp. I rate my mood at the end of the day on a scale of 1-5, color in the corresponding amount of hearts, and make a little comment about why.

As I am writing this post, the second half of the week has not happened yet. Though I already have my week planned, I will continue add in the mood info at the bottom at the end of each day.

Also during my planner setup video last month, I fussy cut these clouds out of a pocket card to make die cuts. With the star die cuts on this layout, I really feel like the clouds add the sweetest whimsical touch.

Here is the process video of this week’s layout coming together.

For my second weekly layout, I went a little bolder with the colors, but using the same collection. You can see how just changing out the washi tape I used, allowed me to bring out those bolder colors from the new Carpe Diem line that I didn’t use as much in the last layout.

You might notice this week looks incomplete but that’s because I sometimes like to “pre-plan” and decorate a few weeks ahead and then fill in the plans as they come. In addition to decorating, I will also go ahead and write in plans I know are happening ahead of time. For example, I know I am going on a weekend trip during this week. So I dedicated a space to documenting that.

I even made this cute little interactive booklet with a few paper scraps, so have a place to add some photos and journaling after my trip. When you don’t have enough real estate to write a lot on a planner spread, adding a “flippable” element can give you more space for memory-keeping.

While we are talking about fun planner tips, get two stickers out of one by cutting out the border from around those box stickers you’ve been using, to get a little frame sticker that you can write in. You’ll be able to see how I do this in the video below!

Check out the process video for this second weekly spread!

To me, this is the most fun detail of the entire layout – and this is why you should always come check out the blog post in addition to the process video, because there’s always more content here! You may have noticed in the video, that I used a small ½ inch circle punch to cut out a few circles from one little square sticker. I did that so I could turn them into mini balloons. Aren’t they adorable? What a fun way to mark a birthday in your planner! Also, here is another example of how I’m using the border of a used sticker as a box to write in.

So I am curious friends, do you like to decorate ahead a few weeks? Or do you plan and decorate as you go? Sometimes when I get in the creative zone, I just don’t want to stop after one layout is complete, so I keep going. Let me know your style in the comments below! Be sure to check out the Carpe Diem Planners Instagram and Facebook for lots more planner inspiration, and come say hello over on my Instagram @sunny.leah. I hope you will tag me if you try any of the tips/techniques from this post. I LOVE seeing you all get creative with your Simple Stories products!

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Hello again creative planners! Leah here on the blog today to show you how I give the front of my Carpe Diem planner some “curb appeal.” I will be using the new Carpe Diem collection and showing you just how versatile a few of these products can be. I have shared many blog posts on here featuring decorated front pockets and dashboards, but this will be the first time I have filmed a video of the process, start to finish. I am SO excited to share it with you! 

I have taught an online class all about front pocket design and techniques if you want more thorough explanations of the “why” behind a lot of my decisions when decorating my planner pockets. You can find a link to that class in my Instagram bio. In this blog post and video, I will be showing you all about the “how.” I will take you through how I made several of the elements for the pockets using the Carpe Diem Dashboards and Pocket Cards set and a few papers from the new High Style 12x12 paper pad.

These pockets came together fairly easily, just by cutting and punching out a few basic shapes. When it comes to pocket decorating, I like to use a variety of shapes. For example, in these pockets I have a large circle, a smaller circle, a tag, small stars, a banner, cards with sharp edges, cards with rounded edges, and a die cut typewriter that I fussy cut from a pocket card. Having a few paper punches in basic shapes is always a good investment for creating your own die cut shapes, but I collected the punches I have over the course of several years. Several of these shapes can be hand cut pretty easily without paper punches. The circle is probably one of the hardest to hand cut but is still possible with the trusty technique of tracing around a cup onto paper and cutting it out, or you can get these awesome photo cropping tools from Simple Stories that make it super easy to cut different sized circles. They are much more cost efficient and portable than having to buy several different sized circle punches.

I also like adding some texture to my planner pockets by adding things like doilies, ribbon, and staples. Another common technique I use to add the illusion of dimension and texture, is to add doodled borders and hand drawn stitching to the edges of some shapes.

I made this pocket card from scratch using some white cardstock that I cut down to fit in the pocket, and then I used the Say Cheese III roller stamp to stamp words all over it. This gave me a cool black and white text background which added an interesting detail to my pockets without competing with all of the other colors I was using. You can get this effect with any word stamps, but the Simple Stories roller stamps make it so easy and quick to do, and I like how they always have a few shapes added in too. Like the Say Cheese III roller stamp for example, has an arrow and rows of hearts and stars that break up the words.

All of the patterned paper dividers in the New Carpe Diem monthly planner inserts are so beautiful. The collection has many of the same fun elements from the original Carpe Diem line, but there are some black and white images that give it a very trendy, modern vibe – kind of reminds me of some of my favorite pieces in the old “Life in Color” collection, but with the Carpe Diem colors and designs.

The monthly dividers are pretty enough on their own without adding anything, but I always like to jazz things up in the front of my planner. In this case, I used a smaller decorative dashboard from the collection and customized it with a photo and some fun layering. I love that because the dashboard is smaller, I get that personalized feel at the front of my planner but I can still see the monthly divider underneath.

In an older blog post (read it here!), I customized one of the Carpe Diem planner charms for one of my planners and got a lot of a great feedback on it! I did the same for this planner, but this time I filmed a quick tutorial to show you how incredibly easy it is to do. I will be posting that video clip over on my Instagram, so be sure to come say hello over there and check it out! Here is the YouTube video of my process for setting up the front of my Floral Dot planner, I hope you enjoy it! Hit “subscribe” while over on my YouTube channel to catch future Carpe Diem planner videos!

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Hello creative planners! It’s Leah, back on the blog today showing you a few ways to use 4x6 pocket pages to personalize your Carpe Diem planners! When I saw the Summer Days collection, I was immediately inspired to create some new decorative elements for my planner to dress it up for summer time. The tropical designs in the collection reminded me of my honeymoon to Hawaii that I have yet to scrapbook, so I had the idea to print out a few photos from the trip and incorporate them into my planner pages using a few 4x6 pocket pages.

I always keep photos in my planner that remind me of happy times or loved ones. My photos from Hawaii are a couple of years old now but they immediately make me feel happy when I look at them. Since I open my planner every day, I get to be reminded every day of those special memories.

The 4x6 pocket pages fit well into your Carpe Diem planner, you just have to add a few extra holes for the rings. The first pocket page I decorated has one 4x4in pocket and two 2x2in pockets. The 4x4 card inside is cut from this Summer Days 4x4 Elements Paper. I added a butterfly die cut to the outside of the pocket to add some dimension.  I made a small tag to fit in the bottom left pocket and added a sun die cut to the outside of the pocket so I didn’t have to trim it down. In the bottom right pocket, I measured and cut a 2x2 square from some patterned paper and added the rainbow tab. I printed a 2x2 photo of my husband and I, and then trimmed it down a bit so that you could still see the patterned paper behind.

On the back side of this pocket page, I printed a collage photo that I made using a mobile app called Pic Stitch. I printed the photo 3.8x3.8” in size. This allowed me to trim the photo down to fit in the top pocket but also let the paper underneath show which added a colorful frame. Instead of gluing the photo down, I used a gold clip to hold it in place. In the bottom pockets, I added a couple more die cuts from the Bits and Pieces pack and a few word label stickers.

For my next pocket page, I used a page with six 2x2in pockets. Using the same process as before, I cut a few patterned papers down to fit in the pockets and made another little tag. I added some sequins to one pocket and taped it shut with clear Scotch tape. I printed the photo in a 2x2in size.

On the back side of this page, I just printed another 2x2 photo and embellished the other sides of the patterned papers that were in the pockets.

Here are a couple of other fun ideas for how you can use 4x6 pocket pages in your planner:

·       The pockets on the page below are 3x4 in size. I cut out some of my favorite 3x4 journal cards from this 12x12 paper, then added some sequins and taped the pockets closed to create a super cute and super easy double-sided shaker pocket!

·       The pocket page below has one large 4x6 pocket, so I used the flamingo notecard from this 12x12 paper. Putting a journal card into a plastic pocket page is a quick way to create a dashboard that you can write on with a wet erase marker. You could create the same effect by laminating the card, but this process is way quicker and allows you to change out the journal card later if you want.

Now for a little bonus content on this blog post…

Check out my June monthly layout! The Summer Days collection is PERFECT to kick off my summer planner layouts! Hop on over to my Instagram to see the layout all filled in.

Here are a couple of close up photos!

I hope this post has given you all some inspiring ideas for how to use pocket pages in your Carpe Diem planner. For lots more beeeeautiful planner inspiration and peeks at all the new planner products rolling out this summer, check out the Carpe Diem Planners Instagram! I AM SO EXCITED! What products are you the most excited for?

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