Messy Desk Solution – Upcycled Vertical Day Planner System

Upcycled Vertical Day Planner System

Are you a planner or a list maker? Do you get excited by the prospect of a new and empty day planner? Well I do. I sometimes write things down on my list after I have done them, just so I can give myself another check mark of accomplishment. I never got enough gold stars by in grade school I guess. Or maybe we just never out grow the need for recognition even self recognition.

Anyway I love day planners and in my adult life I can’t name a year that I haven’t had one. They have come in all shapes and sizes and this year I am using the “Crush It” Planner from Living Well Spending Less. It has a few more bells and whistles than a typical day planner. There is space for meal planning and budgeting and project planning if you are a day planner person you should definitely check it out.

My new day planner did have one problem. It is the same problem that all of my other day planners have had. It took up valuable space on my usually messy desk.

Well, I have solved my problem by verticalizing it. Yes, I just made up that word but I like to do that sometimes. I have been using the day planner since January 1st.  But just recently I have elevated my planner off my desk and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. My desk is so much easier to keep clean and clutter free.

Here is how.

It started with an old frame and an idea.

Old picture frame upcycled to planning system step 1

The hubby helped me with the first couple of steps. The frame needed to be a little deeper so we added some pieces of 1 x 2 wood to the frame edges and then nailed a piece of paneling board to the back.

Old picture frame upcycled to planning system step 2

There were some gaps and uneven places in the new frame so my original idea to paint the frame didn’t seem like it would work.  I decided to use some old book paper and paper mache the finish on the frame.

Old picture frame upcycled to planning system step 3

I like to use a hair dryer to speed up the drying time.

Frame covered with book paper paper mache

I liked the finish but I wanted to tone down the printing a little bit so I added a white wash (water and paint combo) to the frame.

White wash finish on frame

Once the paint was dry

I sealed the frame with a coat of polycrylic.

Minwax Polycrylic

To removed the painters tape I used a utility knife to cut through the paper layer.

removing the painters tape

I wanted to be able to use magnets on part of the frame so I used some rusted tin can lids.

Rusted tin can lids

I used a square template and some tin snips to cut the lids.

cutting tin can lids

Square cut tin can lids

To add some color I used acrylic paint and dabbed it on with a paper towel to leave some of the rusted color visible.

painted tin can lids

painted tin can lids

I also sealed each square with a layer of polycrylic.

painted tin can lids

The final steps were to glue the tin square to the back of the frame and add some command hooks.

gluing tin can lids

This is the hubby working on hanging up my new wall planner.

And here is a quick video tour of my new vertical wall planner system.

Happy Upcycling,


Messy Desk Solution Upcycled Vertical Day Planner




One Reply to “Messy Desk Solution – Upcycled Vertical Day Planner System”

  1. Another fantastic-looking project. I especially like the metal rectangle with all the different colours to hold the magnets – very attractive.

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