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DIY Happy Planner Pocket Folder

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Originally published January 9. 2917 and updated June 28, 2021.

I love to organize and I love to craft. I’ve begun creating my own decorative pocket folders and DIY Happy Planner Pocket Folders. It’s easy to make your own pocket folder for just about $1. 

I get to organize things, organize my schedule, and organize my planner. When I can craft and organize at the same time, it’s a very happy day for me.

Pocket page in orange in Happy Planner with blue pin with title text reading DIY Happy Planner Pocket Folders

A pocket folder is the perfect addition to any planner. You can watch the weekly ad for the major craft stores to pick up a planner pouch or pocket folder at a low price, or what you consider a good price. Or you can use this easy to follow tutorial to create your own designer pocket folders for just pennies.

Does the Happy Planner have pockets?

The standard Happy Planner has a laminated, flexible cover that does not have pockets. The Big Ideas Happy Planner company sells inserts with pockets and zippered pouches because most people want handy pockets in their planner. You can also use the easy-to-follow tutorial below to make your own Happy Planner pockets.

Making your own Happy Planner pockets means you can choose the exact colors and designs you want. You can make one pocket folder in about 15 – 20 minutes. Look at how pretty they are! And they honestly are easy to make. Really.

3 happy planner pocket folders on a white table

Why do you want to add DIY planner folders to your planner?

  • You can use it as a planner bookmark or section divider. Because the pocket folder is thicker, it’s a natural section divider.
  • Use a happy planner pocket because it holds stickers. Happy Planner people are always looking for more sticker storage.
  • It can hold loose notes or unpunched papers.
  • To hold note pads or sticky notes.
  • Did I mention to use it as a sticker pocket?! (You can never have too much storage for planner stickers!)

I just discovered the Happy Planner and like the Happy Planner for these reasons:

  • It’s much less expensive than many other popular planners. You can always use a coupon at your local craft or office supply store to purchase it.
  • Much of it can be used year after year. With other similar planners, you have to throw the entire planner away at the end of the year because it’s spiral bound. With the Happy Planner, you simply replace the calendar portion of the planner. You can continue using the cover, the binding discs, the dividers, pockets and other accessories. Earth-friendly makes me happy.
  • You can change out the accessories mid-year and anytime you’d like.
  • You can craft your own planner accessories and add them to the Happy Planner

3 pastel colored planner dividers with pineapples on white table with planner and pen in background with title text reading DIY Dividers for your Happy Planner

I’ve also created my own DIY Dividers for Happy Planners and they only cost pennies to make. 

DIY Happy Planner Pocket Folders

Supplies and Tools to Make a DIY Pocket Folder

  • Decorative Card Stock – for the main part of the pocket folder. You want to make sure that you use card stock so that it is sturdy.
  • Decorative Paper – for the pocket portion of the folder. You could use card stock, but it will be more difficult to manipulate.
  • Glue Stick – I use an extra strength glue stick.
  • Double-Stick Tape – I run through double-stick tape like water. You could choose to use washi tape on the edges if you’d like to dress up solid colored paper.
  • Paper Cutter or Scissors – I always use my paper cutter, but you could use scissors if you take your time. 
  • Hole Punch – I already own a Crop-A-Dile and it makes the perfectly sized hole. A regular hole punch would work almost as well.
  • Happy Planner Punch – Or you can invest in a paper punch specifically designed for the Happy Planner
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

You can pick up single sheets of decorative card stock and decorative paper for $.50 or less. Look for the paper that’s on sale. I’ve found it for $.39 or you can use a coupon at a major craft store. (For my military family friends – Did you know that most of the major craft stores offer a military discount?)

Extra (Nice-to-Have) Tools 

  • Happy Planner Punch –  There is a Happy Planner paper punch made specifically to work with the Happy Planner system. 
  • Score-Pal – I used my Scor-Pal for perfectly scored folds, but you can also use a ruler and bone folder.  
pile of brightly colored patterned craft paper

Choose complimentary colors of paper, with one piece of decorative card stock and one piece of decorative paper. I chose to use solid color card stock, because I couldn’t find patterns that complimented each other. I did make one pocket folder (the orange floral one) with complimentary papers that I already had and I love how it turned out. 

Step One

  • Measure the card stock.
  • I simply lay one of the planner pages on the card stock and mark where to cut.
  • If your card stock has a pattern, make sure you have the pattern going the right direction before you cut the paper. 
  • I cut my card stock 7 inches by 9 1/4 inches.
planner page on top of blue craft paper with pencil

If you’re interested in making a DIY planner pocket folder for planners of any size, check out my Disc Bound Notebook DIY Pocket Folder that shows you how to make a pocket folder for a disc bound planner with any dimensions. This allows you to make your own designer pocket folders for:

  • Skinny Classic Happy Planner
  • Happy Planner Mini Pocket Folders
  • Large size planner
  • Day Planner
  • Any Happy Planner sizes (or any other planner size) you want

Step Two

  • Cut the decorative paper for the pocket.
  • You want the pocket to wrap around the card stock as one continuous piece of paper, so you’ll need to glue two pieces of paper together to make one strip long enough. The dotted line in the photo shows where I attached the two pieces of paper. Then I cut it to the correct size. 
  • Be sure to consider the direction of the pattern on your paper.
  • My paper’s dimensions were 14 1/8 inches by 4 1/2 inches. 
  • If you want a taller pocket, you can adjust your measurements. 
decorative paper with pastel bicycles and glue stick

Step Three

  • Crease and fold a 1/4 inch flap on the bottom of the pocket (be sure to check the pattern direction to identify the bottom).
  • Use the glue stick to adhere the flap down. 
  • Crease and fold a 1/4 inch flap in the middle of the top of the pocket.
  • Don’t glue the top flap down yet.
  • I chose to make the middle section before the slope of the pocket 3/4 of an inch (so the middle section before it was folded is 1 1/2 inches).

Step Four

  • Cut the slope on the pocket (arrow #2). 
  • Fold the paper in half. I measured 3/4 of an inch for the top (arrow #1)  and 2 inches for the side. Mark each of those measurements with a small pencil mark.  Cut that slope between the two marks. 
  • As you measure where to cut, be sure to add 1/4 inch for the fold.
  • Crease the sloped cut and glue it down.
2 images of how to fold down edge of decorative paper to create pocket portion of the pocket folder

Step Five

  • Wrap the pocket around the card stock.
  • Use thin strips of double-stick tape to attach the bottom and sides of the pocket (but not the folded side).
  • I simply cut a strip of regular double-stick tape in half to make it narrow enough.

Step Six

  • If you have a Happy Planner Punch, punch out the holes.
  • If you don’t have the punch, lay a sheet of planner paper on top of your pocket folder and mark the holes lightly with a pencil.
  • Use your hole punch and punch out the marks you’ve made.
  • Then use scissors to cut from the edge of the paper to the hole. 
top image - hand with pencil marking edge of planner page, bottom image - hole punch on blue paper

Voila! Look how adorable this planner pocket folder is. And not only is it adorable, but it’s a beautiful organizing resource.

blue pocket folder with bike decorative paper pocket

Adding a  DIY Happy Planner pocket folder to your planner gives you a happy pop of color and lots of organizing functionality.

orange happy planner pocket divider with blue one in background

Are you as excited about these DIY Happy Planner pocket folders as I am? If you’re interested in making a DIY planner pocket folder that will fit into any sized planner, check out my tutorial on how to make your own pocket folderDisc Bound Notebook DIY Pocket Folder.

You could also choose to cut down plastic folders using these general guidelines to create your own pocket folders.

You could recreate your favorite themed folders, like Minnie Mouse Happy Planner pocket folders or any other theme you choose.

It’s a great project to use up scraps of extra Paper Studio decorative paper or whatever paper you already have.

Interested in More Happy Planner Ideas?

  • The Essential Guide to the Happy Planner – The Essential Guide to The Happy Planner has everything you need to start or to take your planner to the next level, including why I love my Happy Planner.
  • DIY Dividers for Happy Planners – In only 5 minutes, make your own one-of-a-kind DIY Dividers with tabs for your Happy Planner, any planner or binder with this free template.

Look for More Planner Ideas?

  • Free Planner Printables – Get organized and stay organized this year with this free undated planner printables 14-page set you can print yourself as many times as you’d like.
  • Best Planner Resources for Moms – I’ve used many different styles and brands of planners myself and know the pros and cons from my personal experience. Also, as a professional organizer, I know what has worked well for my clients. I’ve gathered a list of my favorites and the best planners for moms.
  • DIY Pen Strap – Keep favorite pens with your journal or planner by making a DIY Pen Strap. Carry 1 pen or as many as you want. Make it in a coordinating or favorite color.
  • Best Budget Planner – Gain control of your finances and your life by creating, managing and tracking your budget with the best budget planner for you and your specific needs.

Pin for later so you can always find this DIY Happy Planner pocket folder tutorial.

Find all my best organizing tips, hacks, printables and favorite products in the table below. You can scroll through the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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17 Comments

  1. I love these pocket folders. I can see uses for them all around my home. I often find recipes in magazines and then cut them out – these would be a great way to store them.

  2. I ADORE these! They look like they come from a professional printing shop. I also love organizing and planning, although, I am not a great crafter… but maybe I just need more practice. Can’t wait to try these!

    1. Warning! They’re very addictive. On the positive side, all my friends and family are enjoying getting planner pockets for their planners. πŸ™‚

  3. That pocket would make me happy, too! It looks easy enough to make that the kids could also make them for their books. Thanks for the directions.

  4. I’m actually terrible at using my planner. In fact, I got one a few weeks ago that I have written absolutely nothing in yet! πŸ˜€ I really need to change that. Your pocket folders look really nice.

  5. Super cute and nicely finished! I don’t use a Happy Planner but I can see making these for some of my other bound books.

    1. Have fun with your bullet journal, Diane, and don’t be afraid to try different ideas to find what works best for you.

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