Since I have decided to go digital with my Stylish Planner Covers® (more details here), I thought I would share some tips and my recommendations on tools for making your own planner covers!
Over the years, I have made over 40,000 planner cover sets for you all (thank you!) and have tried quite a few tools, laminators, etc. I am not affiliate at all with the products I am recommended below, just my personal preference! Hope this helps! Please comment below with any that questions you have!
First, I should mention that you could always take your purchased files to Office Max (or similar office supply stores) and ask them to print, laminate and hole punch! They can help you with any coiled planners. I would just recommend that you bring your original planner cover with you so that they can use it as a guide to line up your hole punches. You will want to also ask for 10mil laminators.
You also have the option of purchasing my digital files and then uploading to Erin Condren's site for use with their Create Your Own planner cover set. It all just depends on what planner type you prefer!
Now, on to making your own at home! You will need the following:
- Printer with good quality color printing
- 10mil laminator pouches
- Hole punch
- Corner cutter
I prefer using a Laser printer - I find it has the best color quality. My favorite is this Canon Laser Printer. However, there are a few things you should know about Laser printers.
- Ink can get expensive, however it does last for a while. Laser prints will require toner cartridges.
- You can't print borderless images - i.e 8.5"x11" which are the measurements for my Large Happy Planner and Erin Condren Teacher Planner cover sets. Because of this, I also use an Inkjet printer for those sizes. I prefer HP Inkjet planners which are much more cost effective.
There are a lot more cost effective Laser printers out there that will suffice - please comment below with your preference if you find a great alternative!
You will want to get one that can laminate thicker laminator pouches (10mil). My favorite is the Fellows Venus model. No air bubbles and it can handle A LOT! Tip: it is recommended that you run your laminators through with a protective sleeve. I never use the protective sleeve and have had no issues with the laminators. It comes out perfect the first time - no need to run it through again.
I use 10mil laminator pouches and prefer this brand. I have used other brands and find that they leave a residue on the corners and also cause my laminators to stop working due to the buildup.
This might be too heavy duty for your DIY use, but this is what I preferred to use when punching cover sets. You could always laminate and then mark the holes with a Sharpie and punch individually down the spine. Just remember that you will also need to grab a good pair of scissors and clip each hole so it becomes Interchangeable!
Disc System Planners
So, I have purchased and have broken about five Happy Planner disc punchers with the 10mil lamination. I am not sure if they have improved them over the years, but I ended up using this Arc punch. I like it because you can remove punches based on the size planner you are using. I prefer to do that because you will find there is a wider space on the top and bottom of the planner (before and after the punches start) and if you don't remove, you will get a half of a punch on the top and bottom (that was really hard to explain - I hope that makes sense!). However, the Arc punch isn't as 'deep' as the original Happy Planner punches. This can cause the paper to be exposed (very minimal but I did want to mention).
These are the best corner clippers for the 10mil lamination by far!
If you find something that works for you, please share below for others! I hope this helps and you enjoy making your own cover sets with my Printable Stylish Planner Covers®!