How I Set Up My Goal Planning For My Shining Year Ahead 

Making a Junk Journal Planner


I’ve long had issues of resistance to using diaries and planners, but recently I stumbled upon a way of ‘writing it down’ that not only appealed to me in the first instance, but has consistently helped me to stay engaged with writing. You can read about it here. As 2016 is drawing to a close a lot of attention is turning to planners for the year ahead and I was hoping the right planner or journal would come to my attention now that I was feeling more confident in my writing skills . One that I would find inspiring and help me with setting goals for 2017. On so many levels 2016 was pretty awful for me, but it also bought me face to face with myself and asking, What do I want? And how can I make that happen?

I eventually found out about Leonie Dawson and her Shining Year Life + Biz Goal Planner Workbooks. Not only did I find her inspiring, but her on-line community looked like a good fit for me too.  Her planner books are full of crazy colour which instantly appealed to me, BUT….. I know I couldn’t manage a real book, and besides my budget is so tiny it wouldn’t extend to cover the costs.  Her e-products were not quite right either. I don’t print things off (only if I really, really, really have to) and I would get lost with such a large PDF. And it would just drive me crazy.  I decided to make a hybrid journal. I will work through Leonies Shining Year Goal Planners into my own safe place, a Junk Journal.

If your unfamiliar with a what junk journal is, it is a handmade book created from repurposed papers. I’ve put together a step through of how I made my junk journal for this project, and then in Part Two I’ll show some of the pages and how I’m using Leonie’s Planner and my workbook together to create something I will use. But first, the junk journal.



I start with an old magazine and rip all the pages apart. I like Daphne’s Diary for this project. Not only are the images appealing to me and I get some fun stickers and cut outs to save to use in the journal later on, but more importantly, the pages have a matt finish.



Find a hard cover book from the thrift shop the size you would like to fit your pages. I’d already cut the guts out and removed the spine before I took the photo, but I have a collection of old nursery books which I find good for crafting with. I will use the papers later. I also have a stack of dress pattern cardboard envelopes which will make perfect pockets for the book. I trimmed about 5mm off one long side to avoid overhang later when I bound the book back together.



I now start to apply paint to every surface using my gelliplate. It’s quick and the paint dries fast without any warping. I covered both sides of 52 papers, the two envelopes and the hard covers in a few printing sessions. I’m a quick worker so I’ll guess-timate it would have taken me 60-75 min all up. I don’t count time when I’m in the PLAY mode. Just love what I do. Working quickly, spontaneously and without judgement gets the job done real fast.


And this is what I have when I’m finished. Two book covers, two pockets and 52 pages.



I’m going to use this Zutter Bind-It-All tool for punching the holes for the binding. You may have something different so follow what ever instructions you may have for your gadgets to get the job done. Or use a bookbinding service if that is easier.



Holes are all punched and coil wires are cut to length. I’m using a 3/4 inch coil, and yes, I’ve painted them! They were just blue once.



Assemble the covers, pockets and pages in the order you like and fit onto the wires. Close the wires. I now have one book bound and ready for some goal planning.



I turned the torn edges from the spine to face outwards because I like the look and feel of the tattered edges. My workbook has to have a sensory experience attached to it for it to work for me. I like to rub my hands over the surface and feel the different textures of the paint and papers. I don’t know why, all I know is that I feel more connected to what I’m doing as I do this.

Next week in Part TWO I’ll show you how I have used Leonie Dawson’s Life Goal Planner to set up my workbook. Make sure you are a signed up subscriber if you don’t want to miss out on that post.

Do you or will you be using a goal planner for the coming year? I’d love to hear about it.



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4 thoughts on “Goal Planning for A Shining Year Ahead – Part ONE – Making My Own Junk Journal Workbook

  1. Theresa – I was so blown away by your journal on A Colorful Place to Play, that I decided to go to your Facebook page to ask if I could please have a little more information. Imagine my surprise and delight when there was a link to your blog, complete with a tutorial! I have ordered a copy of Daphne’s Diary (arriving Monday – Hooray) so I could have the right paper for the gel prints. I do have one question – I noticed that your prints seem to have almost a watercolor look and sometimes the article underneath shows through – did you water down your paints to get that effect? – I love it. Thanks so much for these directions, looking forward to Part II.

    Posted on December 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm
    1. Hi Deborah. Glad you found your way to the tutorial and I hope you find some more inspiration in part two about how I’m using the journal. To achieve the effect I firstly I use a lot of cheap white acrylic paint. I mean a LOT. Ratios from about 60 – 90%. Sometimes I’ll only add white to my plate and let the wet paint left on my roller from the previous spread tint the new spread. I only use cheap paints for this as the white is not as opaque as a better artist quality paint. Since it will be a book and the prints will be pressed up against each other I only use matt acrylics. If you use a brand like Golden (for colour only) use it very sparingly. Do not add water. The paper will soak up the water and you’ll have a longer drying time which will defeat the purpose of fast quick drying prints.
      Secondly, when I spread a new thick layer of paint I’ll only press my page very lightly into the paint. But I’ll get up to three pulls from the one spread, presssing the paper in more firmly as I go. I only want the paint in very thin quick drying layers on the paper. Daphne’s Diary papers have some lovely patterns and graphics printed (another reason why I like their paper) and not all of it gets covered. It all gets obscured and blended in as I print over the top.
      I hope this was helpful. I’ve had a few requests for a video on my process and I hope soon I’ll be able to figure out how I might make that happen. And thank you for asking. 🙂

      Posted on December 4, 2016 at 9:03 pm
  2. Oh brilliant. I have been wanting to make a planner for 2017 so this has made my imagination run wild 🙂 thanks xx

    Posted on December 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm
    1. You know I’ll want to see it when it is done. 🙂

      Posted on December 7, 2016 at 3:57 am