Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Brown Eyes Have It, 17 Days 'Til Christmas

I’m so excited to be here guest posting today.  I’m Kimberly and I hang out with my

brown-eyed husband and 5 kids, and one green-eyed daughter, at
The Brown Eyes Have It.  I’m just trying to be the best wife and mother

I can be, along with having some fun.  So my blog is a little of everything that entails – cooking, organizing, crafting, whatever it is I’m doing each day.

Today’s post is a little of all those things, a simple, cute way to organize your Christmas.  This is
small enough to stick in your purse, or easily hide, but contains everything
you need to know to get you through the holidays with more time for having fun with your family.  Bonus, you can use it for several years, too.

Supplies needed:

Small 7x5” notebook
Scrapbook paper


A file tab punch is great, however, I also had tab stickers,

or you could just cut your own

Other stickers, flowers, and embellishments

Adhesive – make sure whatever kind you use it’s a permanent
I started out with all the stuff on the left and then as I
looked further into my stash of papers, I found all these on the right that I
bought recently (okay, a year ago) and loved them even more.  Just a couple ideas to show you how
completely unique these can be (great gift ideas, too!)
Start by cutting your two papers, the top one is 4 ¾” x 4” and the bottom one is 4 3/4” x 3”.
Basically, I went with two-thirds on top, one-third on bottom if you use
a different size notebook.  Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 5 1/2” or a little longer, to cover the edge where the papers join.  I actually had adhesive-backed ribbon, which was nice.  Probably the
easiest way to join them all together is to lay your ribbon down with the
adhesive up, and center your two papers on top of the ribbon.  Then wrap the ends carefully around the edges, be careful not to bend or curl your paper, and glue the ends down on the
backside of the paper.

Next, glue the whole paper/ribbon combination onto the notebook.  Make sure you put adhesive on
both the notebook and the paper – just seems to hold stronger.  I used a tape runner, but ended up using

Scotch brand Quick-Dry liquid glue to touch up spots that were coming loose.  Add a title to your planner and whatever other embellishments you want on the front.
Now is the time to do some thinking and decide what exactly you want in your planner.  My notebook has a pocket inside, so that’s a great place to keep Receipts.  I also did Gift Ideas so as I find ideas throughout the year either on-line or in catalogs, I can jot it down here and
remember where I saw that perfect gift. Also I’ll use it as a place jot down things people just mention in conversation.  You know when that light bulb goes off in your head as your husband (who’s my hardest to shop for) mentions some strange tool “it would be really nice to have,” but then I can’t remember when I’m standing in the tool store. You could also keep a list of clothing sizes here or things they need for those you’re shopping for –  Chloe wears a size 11 shoe, but Maddie is an 11 ½, Billy needs pajamas.  Traditions could be another category, traditions to try and traditions to continue.  If you’re like me, December can get a little crazy with all the things we have to do and all the things we want to do.  This will give me a spot to list those things

I really want to make time for and also a place to write down cool traditions
that I hear from others that I want to try with my family.  Cards.  I keep all the addresses of those I send cards to on my computer so I can print labels, but I think it will be nice to
have a place to just list the names I’m sending to.  I can also add to the list here in
preparation for next year as we make new friends or get cards from different
people. (Or to cross out those who don’t make the list! ;) lol)  Menu
is where I’ll list my Christmas dinner menu, obviously, but I’m also going to
make a list of treats to make, or treats to take to neighbors, or even jot down
new recipes to try.  The Gift List section will be where I actually list out the gifts I’m giving, that’s why this planner will be hidden from all little eyes!  I’m one of those people who buy gifts all year long.  The all get hidden away, and sometimes I forget what I’ve bought, who it’s for, or
how much I’ve already bought.  It’s also handy when you can’t remember what you gave people last year (or the year before.)  Plus, it’s kind of fun to look back and see what your kids got when they were younger (or in my house, prove you were right when you said you got “such and such” in “whatever year”.  Yah, we get a little competitive about the dumbest things.
J)  My final section is

Notes.  I can use it just fornotes, or as a little journaling place to write down some thoughts and
highlights of each Christmas season.
There are many other things you could list: decorations - take a picture
of that perfect mantle so you’ll remember how to set it up next year; glue in a

December calendar to make notes of all those parties, kids programs, concerts,
etc. that you want to attend; a budget section; a party planning section – a
place to list all you need to do to host that perfect party; whatever else would be helpful to you.

After you’ve decided what to include, you need to make tabs and a title page for each section.  I
used a file tab punch to punch out my tabs out of the same paper I used on the front.  My papers were both double-sided so I used the back side for tabs, too. You could also buy tab stickers, or just cut out a tab shape – they’re
about 3” long.  For the title pages, I had a sheet of embellishments/tags, I’m not sure what they’re called – it’s the top paper in the right-hand picture.  I
cut these apart and wrote the name of each section on them.  Some of the tags were too big to use, so I just cut a square of decorative paper or used another large punch to
decoratively cut a title plate for some sections.

Glue the tab to the edge of a single page.  I only stress that because the first time I made one of these I accidently glued it to the first page and then the last page I had sectioned off.  Doesn’t work very well that way. J  Then glue on your title tag.  I made my sections about 10 pages each, although some were a little bigger when I’d be writing a lot more.  It’s up to you, how many sections you have, and how many years you want to use it, etc.  As you are gluing your tabs on, remember to
stagger them so it’s easier to read the tabs.

The final step is to add the ribbons to the spiral binding.  I like the mix of some plain ribbon and some patterned ribbons.  Cut them about 4” each, but I found out that the wider and stiffer the ribbon the longer the length you need to be able to tie them.  For example, the green ribbon I used was 1/8”, and a 4” long piece was more than enough to be able to tie it on.  However, 4” of the patterned ribbon, which was more like 1/4” and a grosgrain ribbon, was barely enough for me to tie on.  Just slip the ribbon through the binding and tie a double knot on each spiral.  A little tedious, but makes it really cute, I think.

That’s it!  It really doesn’t take that long to make and it will be invaluable to you as you try to
have an organized, stress-free Christmas.


Leslie said...

This is a great idea. I have bought gifts early before and then totally forgot about them. Very cute.


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