Looking for (planner) love in all the wrong places...

My topic about using eyelets has got me thinking about unconventional sources for planner assembly supplies. I'm lucky to be very close to a large major-name craft store, but I'm also close to two auto-parts stores, which might have a more heavy-duty version of what I'm looking for (grommet setters.)

This got me thinking about other non-crafty, non-office-supply places to look for supplies and planning components. I've already scoured the local dollar store for ideas for zip pockets -- something sturdier than a lunch baggie. Hey, how about this vinyl pencil pouch? Hmmmm...

What other creative supply sources has everyone used? Any materials that you've re-purposed into a clever, durable, and/or inexpensive planner hack? I'm already considering using grommeted hair elastic as the keeper band on my hipster.

Real life example: my wife picked up a freebie plastic cutting board yesterday from a meeting she attended. It's one of those flexible things that's meant to be picked up from the counter when you're done chopping. This one's too big for her tastes, so she handed it to me this morning saying "Could you use this for a cover or something?"


So now I add "kitchen and housewares aisle" to my list of planner supply locations.

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I never thought of that!

I never thought of that!

Once Myndology offers a punch, I'm off to 1/2 Price Books to grab some album covers as another company offered for their notebooks. In fact, I might head there next week. Nothing says hip like Elvis or Sinatra!

Ask at 1/2 Price...

If your local Half Price is anything like ours (yes, I'm close to one, too!) you might want to make friends with the folks at the "buy" desk. I bet they chuck out quite a bit of stuff back there that would be salvageable for covers. Maybe not Elvis :-) but some suitably-beat up album art would make a cool vintage-looking underlay for my cutting-board cover.

Great idea. But now I'm

Great idea. But now I'm drooling for my Elvis cover! :)

mouse pads

As a teacher, we often get donations of supplies from odd sources--usually meaning odd supplies to figure out how to use. Two years ago we got a couple of big boxes of mouse pad "seconds". After sorting out which were the least defective and still quite usable for their intended purpose, we still had a bunch left. One gnarly mousepad got trimmed down and hole punched to work as a cover for a collection of large index cards. I made a transfer on the computer and ironed it onto the mousepad for a custom cover. Some of my students then wanted to make their own so more of the reject mousepads got used up.


Vinyl placemats

I once made an impromptu cover for regular sized notebook paper out of a vinyl placemat. You know, the ones that have a thing spongy layer topped with a smooth, often-decoratively printed, layer?

All I did was fold the placemat in half and stick it under a pile of heavy books for a couple of day to set the crease. Then I cut a narrow strip of cardboard about 3/4" wide and as long as the paper to act as 'washer' strip. Stack paper into position on top of the inside of the back cover with the cardboard strip in place, then shove three brass brads (the type where you open up the 'wings' to keep them in place)through the sandwich. Done!

It served to keep the paper together, was waterproof,the top cover was easy to fold around to the back when I wanted to use it, and the sponginess made writing with a ball point much easier. (This was pre-gel pens.)


I am soooooo going to the Dollarama later today. Hihihihi.

Farm Suppy/Tack Shops

You may also consider Farm Supply or Tack Shops. They typically sell a type of grommet used for binding leather. A friend uses them to bind dog tags to his dogs' collar.

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life
-- http://javajeb.wordpress.com


We can't all have a sister who does leather work.

Got another one for you

Just checked out JoAnn's, and they have sets of four plastic coasters for $1. In truth, these are floppy vinyl squares about 3" on a side with rounded corners which would make a good cover for a mini-pad. They were way too girly for me to even consider (clear with printed flowers and hearts) but might be more in the sensibilities of a wife or daughter or someone very assured in their masculinity.