How to Make Your Own Simple Planner Charm

A lot of us love to bling up our planners, and planner charms are the easiest way to add some interest to any TN or bound planner. For this tutorial we will be creating a simple metal charm.


We will need the following: jewelry pliers, a lobster clasp (or your chosen type of clasp), some small rings, and your chosen metal charm. Each of these items are available in craft stores and selected bookstores. You can use any type of clasp, but lobster clasps are the most convenient type.


The first step is to open one of the rings. The correct way to do it is to twist the ring so that the ends separate. Do not pull apart the ends as that will deform the ring.


Insert the lobster clasp and the metal charm. Make sure that the lobster clasp is facing the correct way, where it will end up with its opening facing the back of the metal charm.


And that’s it, basically! You will end up with your metal charm on a lobster clasp, ready to be attached to your planner. Note that you may need to insert one or two rings in between the metal charm and the lobster clasp, just to make sure that the charm will be laying flat when it is attached to the planner.

Once you master this basic technique, you can move on to adding other things such as connectors, beads, tassels, and other interesting stuff to your charm. One of my favorite things to do is to stack basic charms, so that the resulting charm looks nice and complicated and pretty. Check out some of the charms I have here.


The compounding charm technique is shown in the middle charm. There are two simple charms (teapot and matryoshka doll) hanging on the end of another simple charm (owl). The charm on the left shows how you can use beads and pendants to create wonderful danglies, and the one on the right is actually a bracelet made by my daughter that I transformed into a charm by tying the end of the thread to a lobster clasp. I hope that gives you some ideas on how to create your own beautiful planner charms!

Current Pocket Sized Inserts: January 2016

As I’ve said in a previous post, my preferred TN size these days is the pocket size. Here are the inserts that I am currently using in my pocket size TN.


This Word. notebook is used mainly as a place for dumping random things such as quotes, notes on various things, and price checks, as well as a place to put my lists such as my current TN lineup, my wishlists, and a package tracker for my online orders.

Blog Planner

I’ve shown you my current blog planner, which now resides in this Moleskine cahier notebook.

Prompted Journal

This DIY insert is my prompted journal, and is made of Tomoe River paper. A prompted journal is different from my daily journal in that it has a specific prompt or topic that I write about, as opposed to just the daily happenings written in my daily journal. I get my prompts from various sources online.

Hobby Expenses

In an attempt to curb my hobby spending, I have been using an insert to track my hobby expenses. I use this lined Alunsina insert with very narrow rulings, which I really like.

Letters To My Daughter

In an unlined Bencab notebook I put letters that I address to my daughter, with the intention that I will be giving this to her when she’s older (like maybe when she’s 18, or when she gets married, or some such milestone). I make sure to only focus on positives, and I am hoping that she will find this inspirational in the future.

Brush Calligraphy Practice Book

Okay, this is not really pocket size, but I house this in with the rest of the inserts in the same TN. This is one of my earlier DIY projects where I used a combination of cream and black calligraphy paper from @calligrapads on IG to serve as a place to practice my brush calligraphy. Once I have fully used this one up (which is soon!) I will make another one in the proper size.

I hope this post gave you some ideas of what to use your inserts for.

DIY Traveler’s Notebook Personal Setup

I have mostly been satisfied with my setup of Midori Passport as my wallet+portable notebook and Midori Blue as my planner and journal. My only wish was to be able to bring along the Blue everywhere so I can access my planner if necessary. Unfortunately it’s rather on the big (and heavy!) side, and so it cannot fit in my everyday purse. I am unwilling to switch to a bigger purse, as that will just breed extra things to bring and my back cannot tolerate anything heavier than what I currently have!

TN people online have recently been talking about a new size called Personal, and is meant to reflect the personal size in the ringed planner systems. Compared to the Midori regular’s 210x110mm (insert size), the personal was only at 171x95mm which was significantly smaller. I thought it was something that would fit my need. Unfortunately I currently do not have the funds to purchase from the more popular brands that carry personal (Chicsparrow, Foxyfix), but I thought I can try making my own. Meet my White traveler’s notebook.

paperdori1 paperdori2

I made it out of a glossy cardboard folder I had lying around. To make it sturdier, I decided to double it up, so this is actually two layers of cardboard stuck together. I installed the eyelets by hand (I have no eyelet setter), and made it so it will have two elastics on the inside. I decided to use black elastic because I thought it went quite well with the stark plain white of the cardboard. I am actually quite happy how it turned out!


Of course the whole point of this process is to be able to plan with it. I used Wendaful‘s free printables for both the monthly and weekly layouts, and I’m hoping that they will work for me. I’ve moved my whole planning process over to White to see if the personal size is the one I’m looking for.


Here are the other things I have inside White. The original folder I used had built in pockets, and I kept those on both sides of the notebook. I keep a few sheets of planner stickers in the front pocket.


The first notebook (red cover) is my commonplace notebook. I put in here lists of things I want to remember, and generally a place to write things in on the go. In front of this notebook is the front part of a passport holder I found that could fit in White, and holds a couple of journaling cards for decoration.


The middle notebook (cream cover) is my planner. I’ve already shown you the layouts I have inside, but inside the front cover I put all my sticky notes.


The third notebook (brown cover) is currently blank and purposeless. Around this third notebook I have my DIY clear pocket, and this side here holds yet more sheets of planner stickers.


I actually have a fourth notebook in here! It’s a tiny notebook (fits in my Passport) that I use to track my weight and my purchases, and this notebook is actually slotted in the back built-in pocket. The clear pockets you see above it is the second half of the passport case, and I use it to hold some loose notepaper and my passport-size pencil board.


In total I currently have four notebooks, two DIY clear pockets, and two built-in pockets. All of that folds in to this thickness, which is not really that thick. Again, I’m so far quite pleased with the setup, the weight, and the size of my White, but I’ll give it maybe a few more weeks before I decide if I’ll actually be buying an artisan-made traveler’s notebook in personal size.

Would you like a demonstration on how I made this notebook?



The Melting Horror

No, you didn’t accidentally stumble on a book blog or an internet horror novel. But let me tell you what happened to me recently. As a back story, I have a very small pouch in my normal everyday bag that holds my touch-up items (face powder, lipsticks/balms, perfume). If I didn’t have enough time to do my makeup in the morning, I’d throw what I wanted to use for the day in a separate makeup bag so I can do the rest of my face when I get to the office. In an unrelated note, I have very poor memory and have learned to use different cues to help me remember things.

One day, I did the routine as usual, but I forgot to bring out my makeup bag with me from the car. Now I usually have underground parking in the office so it would not be a big deal to forget my makeup in the car. That day, however, I parked above ground in a place with no shade. You can imagine what happened, in this heat we’re having recently. I had three of my favorite lipsticks in that bag, and they all came out of the bag badly damaged.


I almost cried when I saw this! My first firsthand experience with melted lipsticks, and it was horrible! I hid them in a box at home for a couple of days because I couldn’t bear to see them like that. The next day, I squared my shoulders and examined the extent of the damage. As I expected, they are all quite melted and reformed half in the original tube and half in the cap. These lipsticks are: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout (review), Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Queen Bee (review), and Avon Ultra Color Lipstick in Hibiscus (review).

Bea advised to immediately depot these lipsticks to salvage them. I found a four-level screw-top plastic pots from Daiso Japan (formerly Saizen) and used three levels. It was a very sad and distressing task that I did not do prior research. I just basically scraped out the lipstick from the tube and the cap with a plastic spatula and shoved it into the plastic tubs. Here is how it turned out.


It’s not as horrible as I imagined, but it’s also not elegant. I just realized that maybe I need to re-melt them so they will go down to the bottom of the tubs and not perched on the side like evil bloody pupae. Unfortunately I do not have a hair dryer, nor am I willing to take a lighter or anything flame near this thing, so it’ll have to do. I did do a test run using a lip brush, and applied the Avon lipstick the next day. It seemed to apply as normal; the melting didn’t seem to affect the actual product. I hope the same is true for the other two.

Has anything happened like this to you? I’d love to hear your product mishaps/accidents and how you dealt with it!