A Beginner’s Guide to Decorative Planning

Have you ever heard of decorative planning? Decorative wh-… Yes, you read that right, decorative planning. This is a semi-new trend that has taken the Internet by storm. The gist of decorative planning is simple—you decorate your planner. It doesn’t matter what kind of planner you have either. People from all over the US, Canada, and the UK (and even some other countries, but in smaller proportions) have started decorating their planners. You may be wondering how exactly one might decorate a planner. That’s the fun part. Some people like to use stamps; others use stickers, while some will just doodle in their planner. It all depends on how much time, energy, creativeness, and money you want to sink into it. My favorite thing about decorative planning is that it allows you to creatively express yourself with minimal effort.

As an avid craft enthusiast, I usually have a lot of supplies that I have to lug out of hiding and arrange before I can start creating—but I don’t have to do that with my planner. All I need to decorate my planner are stickers, some colorful pens, and maybe some washi tape (decorative tape). Decorating my planner allows me to satisfy my urge to craft and not have a huge mess to clean up afterward. Did I mention that the space it will take up is ideal for those who love crafting but are confined to a dorm room?

To begin you will need a planner. Literally any planner. Are you using a Lilly Pulitzer? Great. An Erin Condren Life Planner? Perfect. A Happy Planner? A personal planner? Plum Paper Planner? Fantastic. Grab it and lets get started. For this tutorial I will be using my Happy Planner, washi tape, a sticker kit, and pens.

Here you can see the pages of my Happy Planner. Since it is disc-bound I can easily remove it from the rest of the planner—allowing me to more easily decorate the pages without the discs in the way.

These are the supplies I’ll be using today. The stickers are from HurricaneRandiStickerCo. on Etsy. The washi tape is Scotch brand. The pens are Papermate Flairs.

Just start adding stickers and tape wherever you please.

The layout is complete and is now ready to be written on!

Viola! It’s all done and ready to go back into my planner.

Now, there are just a few more things to go over. There are several Etsy shops that already make stickers sized for Erin Condren Verticals and Horizontals, Happy Planners, and even personal planners. But if you don’t readily see a set that is ideal for your planner layout or size, reach out to the shop owner! The vast majority of them are more than willing to work with you to create stickers that will work for your planner. Other ways to decorate your planner and really make it your own are to buy (or make) customized covers, dashboards, paperclips, and charms or tassels. If you’re interested in seeing more photos, or finding people to follow for inspiration, hop on over to Instagram and search for hashtags like these: #beforethepen, #plannergirl, #plannercommunity. Happy planning!



All photos taken by Alex Tan