How to Create a Graphic 45 Faux Leather Birthday Planner

by Kathy Clement

Upcycle a Confectioner's Sugar Box into a stylish faux leather birthday planner made with Graphic 45 Children's Hour papers and Petaloo flowers.


  • Graphic 45 Children's Hour papers, tags & stickers
  • 1# Domino Sugar Box
  • Children's Hour Ephemera Tags
  • Petaloo Flowers
  • Ranger Alcohol Inks
  • texture fade, Versamark In clear embossing powder
  • medium weight chipboard
  • ribbon, burlap string
  • 1.5" wide x 24" long plaid ribbon
  • Scor-Tape
  • Black Soot, Vintage Photo Distress Inks
  • Scoring tool
  • ruler, scissors, glue, & other basic craft supply
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    You'd never guess that an old box could be made into such a sweet little birthday planner. Follow these easy steps to learn how to make your own.

    Step 2

    Open the end flaps on a 1# box of confectioner's sugar and flatten.

    Step 3

    With the box laid flat, cut off the top and bottom flaps just below the seams. Cut the seamed side of the box open so that it looks like this. The remaining side panel becomes the planner's spine.

    Step 4

    Sand the painted side of the box to create some "tooth." You don't have to sand all the way through to the kraft base, however.

    Step 5

    Use a felt applicator and blending tool to apply the following Ranger Alcohol ink colors to the sanded surface: Stonewashed, Aqua, Latte, and Denim. Blend with Ranger Blending Solution.

    Step 6

    Run the inked surface through a die cutting machine using a texture fade. I used Tim Holtz collage. Turn the box so that all surfaces are embossed. It's OK to overlap designs, or emboss upside down.

    Step 7

    Rub the entire surface with Black Soot Distress Ink, being sure to take it all the way to the edge and into any crevices. I applied the ink pad directly to the surface instead of using an applicator.

    Step 8

    Immediately after inking, cover the entire surface with clear embossing powder. Very gently tap off the excess, but remember that you want a thick coating if possible.

    Step 9

    Use a heat tool to melt the embossing powder, starting on the underside of the surface and moving to the top once the powder starts to melt.

    Step 10

    To complete the faux leather look, use a felt applicator to add Ranger Copper Mixatives to the embossed surface of the birthday planner cover.

    Step 11

    Ink the inside with Vintage Photo Distress ink. Create a 6 page hidden hinge binding. Tutorial: Secure to spine of planner with Scor-Tape.

    Step 12

    Set the open cover under heavy books overnight. While waiting, work on the inside pages. Cut chipboard pages to measure 3 5/8" wide by 7" tall. Line the inside cover of the book with designer paper.

    Step 13

    Decorate each page with monthly papers from 8x8 pad. To create the side pocket, cut paper to measure 5 5/8" wide x 7" tall. Score to fit chipboard page, glue top & bottom edge & add thumb hole.

    Step 14

    For vertical pocket, cover chip page with paper. Cut a rectangle to measure 5" wide x 3" tall. Score 3/4" on each side and 1/4 inch on bottom. Trim corners, add thumb hole & wrap around pocket.

    Step 15

    Decorate pockets, insert decorated tags and folded ephemera page into each pocket. Write monthly birthdays on ephemera tag. Use decorated tags on gifts or as birthday cards. Add ribbon/burlap string.

    Step 16

    A large folded ephemera card fits perfectly in the pocket along with the decorated tags.

    Step 17

    Repeat the same process for each month. Decorate all the pages before securing to the hinges.

    Step 18

    Wrap cover with 3 rows of 1/2" Scor-Tape from edge to edge. This will hold the ribbon closure in place.

    Step 19

    Add 1.5" antique gold plaid ribbon and crocheted lace over the exposed Scor-tape.

    Step 20

    Decorate the cover with chipboard medallion, securing with foam tape. Add Petaloo flowers and burlap string bow.

    Step 21

    Add brads or charms to the spine if desired.

    Step 22

    Write birthdays and special occasions on each ephemera card and tuck everything into the pockets. Now you'll never forget a birthday or anniversary again. You'll have beautiful tags ready as gifts.

    Step 23

    This would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift, too!

    Step 24

    Thanks for joining me, and happy crafting! To see more, visit