What’s the best part of being a blog-aholic? The free printables! Yes, we all love a good freebie. But sometimes our freeloading joy is marred by poor options for application, especially if you’re a bullet journal junkie. What do we print our goodies on? Do we just tape them in our notebooks? Glue stick anyone? Huh, now that doesn’t look as pretty as I thought it would.

Well, today I’m going to show you a strange and wonderful solution. When I was hit with the tape and glue blues I did some research and found a cool way to make a DIY planner sticker. The answer was, oddly, Avery Shipping Labels.

Before we get started, I want to tell you I am in no way affiliated with the Avery company. They have not paid me to write this, and I doubt they ‘ll ever know what great advertising I’m doing for them. I’m writing this just because I’ve been using them for months and I know it works. So don’t worry, I’m no corporate stooge. I’m just trying to help my peeps out with their printable blues.

Why Use a Shipping Label for your Printables?

Yes, it’s a strange idea, I agree. But there are some benefits to thinking outside of the box.

  1. You avoid the tape and glue mess
  2. It’s significantly cheaper than buying pre-fab stickers.( A pack of 50 is around $6 on Amazon!)
  3. The labels are completely bleed proof.
  4. You get professional looking results.

 

Why did start using them? Well, In order to make my own pages into pdf’s for you guys, I have to scan them. If you’ve ever tried to scan something directly out of a book you know the difficulty of getting a clean scan. The binding of the book gets in the way, making it impossible to lay the picture flat. Since it’s not flat, you get random shadows and an uneven scan. To solve this problem, I draw out my monthly setup in a big sketchbook. I lay in my Avery stickers (so I have an exact reference of page size) and get drawing. Once the design is completed, I tear out the page and lay it flat in my scanner. Once I’ve gotten a clean scan, It’s easy to convert those files into the pdf’s you download every month!

But wait a minute, now I want to plan my month in my beloved Leuchtturm1917, but my monthly setup is on a piece of torn out sketchbook paper :(. Well, guess what – I print out my monthly pages same as you do! I take my own pdf’s, print them on Avery Labels, and lay them into my bullet journal every single month. So I can tell you from experience, these Avery stickers work and they are the exact perfect size for any A5 notebook (A5 means roughly 8×5).

Tips for Printable Success

Here are some pro tips for using the Avery Labels for your Free printables.

Tip #1: Cut Along the Dotted Line

I’ve provided a dotted line in all my pdf’s to show you exactly where to cut to get the perfect fit in your A5(8×5) bullet journal. I don’t yet have my printables formatted for any other size, since A5 is generally a standard for notebooks.

Here are my Mandala printables all printed out on the Avery Labels. (To get your own, click here.) As you can see there is a dotted line along the bottom to ensure a perfect fit into your 8×5 journal.

Tip #2: Lay them in from Top to Bottom

This is a lesson I learned the hard way with a many a wrinkled sticker page in the garbage. DON’T line them along the sides! It’s too hard to control and you inevitably end up with a wrinkled page. Line the Avery sheets at the top of your page and don’t let it touch the page till you’ve lined it up correctly. Once these babies touch the page, they stick like hot glue, so you have to make sure you’re lined up first. When you’re all lined up, firmly run your finger across the top to adhere the sticker to the top of the page only, still holding the rest up and away from the page.

Peeling these DIY stickers off is oddly satisfying.

Next, use one hand to hold your notebook page straight and still, and the other hand holding your sticker sheet. Starting from the top down, gently but firmly rub your flat hand down the page to adhere the rest of the sticker. This will prevent any air bubbles or wrinkles. Picture it the same way you would attach a screen protector to your phone. Top down, smooth and firm, making sure no air get’s under there.

After a couple of failed attempts, this became second nature for me. It’s easy to do, it just takes a little finesse. And the results are so much more satisfying then glue or tape.

Ta-Da! Smooth, professional and tape free.

Tip #3: Use a Fine Point pen

The Avery Shipping Labels have a very smooth surface and are completely bleed proof. By that I mean when you lay them in a notebook, the page behind is completely protected. But though they take ink and markers very well you do have to be careful of heavy ink flow. On these DIY stickers, the ink always seems to lay on a little thicker than it does on regular paper. I recommend you use a fine point pen or a fine-nibbed fountain pen. That seems to completely solve any running ink issues.

Give it a Try!

Strange as it may seem, I’ve found this to be a wonderful solution to my printable problems. Another plus – A pack of 50 Avery Shipping Labels goes for around $6 on Amazon! And here’s the thing – even if you try this and decide it’s not for you, it’s not like you’ve wasted your money. Every household needs a shipping label from time to time. You can still use your DIY sticker sheets for their original purpose. So there’s nothing to lose!

 

 

Let me know what you think!