Sunday, October 14, 2012

Personalized iPhone 4 template Giveaway!

It's another free printable post—giveaway edition!

This all started a week or two ago when I realized it was finally time to ditch my original iPhone case:

It was looking pretty busted. But you know what? It was 21 cents shipped on Ebay. And I've had it since May of 2011... and I've dropped my phone onto hard surfaces more times than I can count without a single scratch or nick, while others with Otterboxes haven't been so lucky. Crazy, right?

I figured I'd go the clear plastic case route again, but make it more personalized this time with interchangeable inserts.

I went back on ebay to find my original transaction, and sadly, that seller is no longer in business (I guess virtually giving away cases wasn't profitable). They also don't sell cases that cheap anymore (womp womp) but $2.34 shipped isn't bad either...

This one came with a set of stylus' which is great because Brad is always losing his. Quick delivery too. I did notice this cover has slightly less depth than the original and barely lines up with the surface of the phone (my first case had a bit of overhang which might have been a key factor in droppage protection). Only time will tell if this one holds up as well.

Next it was time to design my template.

I found a couple generic ones online, but after doing a few tests found they weren't a perfect fit for my case and spent some time tweaking it in my editing program...

After getting the measurements worked out, I whipped up my first design, inspired by a trip we're taking next week...

In 7 days we'll be flying to Costa Rica for an adventure filled vacation with a couple of our friends and we.can't.wait. I made this Cityscape of the Arenal volcano topography (one of the day trips we're doing—see the mountain peak in the right center?)

I also threw in a couple more for fun...

Can you tell I like the travel theme?

After I was happy with my designs, I printed them out (you can use any type of paper for this)...

Then I proceeded to carefully cut them out using a ruler and Xacto knife. They weren't perfect (especially the camera hole) but you can't even tell once they are set in the case.

I love that they are so easy to swap out depending on your mood, an occasion, or even an outfit (not that I would do that last one, just saying)

I would love to make one for each and every one of you iPhone 4-ers, but unfortunately I just don't have that kinda time. Instead, I've decided to make a personalized template for five random commenters.

These will be the digital file in a jpg form, which you can simply print on any color printer/paper and trim to size (you can use scissors instead of an Xacto knife, it just won't be as precise). You'll just need a clear case—you should be able to use any brand. Or if you'd prefer, I can mail you the printed design, but I promise I can't cut it out any better than you can :)

Here's what you can choose from: any design from my shop, with the exception of custom city maps/choose your own cityscapes (aka, cities not listed in my shop already) personalized bus rolls, and house sketches. Everything else is fair game.

To enter, just visit my shop and pick out the design you'd choose, then leave your selection in the comments. That's it!

When I get back from Costa I'll choose my five winners and announce them in my next post. Good luck!

I'll be sure to take lots of vacation pics and to share next time, or just follow me on my instagram feed, jennasuedesign, for real-time action (I also have a kitchen cabinet update, if anyone's wondering how they are holding up half a year later...)

Have a wonderful week!

Pssst... to all of my past shop customers: send me photos of jenna sue design co. products in your home for a chance to win $100 in shop credit, this month only!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

(Almost) Free Monthly Planner!

Happy October! We ended last month with a quick trip to the Bahamas with friends.

It was splendid.

If you ever stop in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, you must rent a car and go to Gold Rock Beach! It is the closest thing I've ever found to Paradise (see first two photos above).

Now that it's back to reality, I decided it was time to get more organized (before the craziness of the holiday season begins!)

When it comes to daily/monthly tasks and reminders, iPhones and iPads and Outlook calendars are nice and do a great job for many people, but sometimes you just want to write things down. It's easier for me to jot things down by hand and have everything laid out right in front of me, vs having to open up a program on a device and thumb through what you need to find. There's also something satisfying about crossing things off a list by hand—it gives a sense of accomplishment.

But the method I was using wasn't so organized. I was using a random stack of notepaper to haphazardly write down notes/ideas/lists wherever I had space.

It was time for a new approach.

Have you all heard of these Erin Condren planners that are all the rage right now? They are packed with features and an equally hefty price tag (IMO), starting at around $50/ea.

I liked the idea but didn't need all the fancy extras, wasn't willing to fork out the cash, and figured I could just make my own. And then decided I could offer it as a free download for you guys too!

I spent a couple mornings designing a basic layout and adding seasonally appropriate colors for each month.

Each month has two pages, double sided, for a total of 4: 1) Cover page, 2) Sun–Weds, 3) Thurs–Sat, and 4) Notes. I added a few extra pages for Notes at the very end as well.

It was actually quite an enjoyable project and I was excited to start using it. After double checking all of my dates and details, I was ready for assembly.

Step 1: Choose your paper

The type of paper you choose is really a matter of preference, but I wanted something a bit thicker so you wouldn't see the design or my writing from the back side of the paper. I didn't have much I could use lying around at home, so I went to Office Max.

I settled on this 67lb weight cover stock for $13:

It's somewhere between plain paper and cardstock thickness with a matte texture (but you can certainly go for something coated or maybe even semigloss, but I would stay away from gloss photo paper).

The package came with 250 sheets, but I only used 34 total (plus a few extras for mistakes). You might be able to find a 50 pack of similar paper somewhere else cheaper and that should be plenty.

Step 2: Print your design

The file is built to a standard 7x9" size which fits nicely on an 8.5x11" sheet of paper.

I printed one page at a time, double sided, in the order that they would appear in the planner. This requires a decent enough printer to be able to line everything up perfectly.

If your printer isn't so accurate, you can either

a) print them out on separate pages and attach them (I'd suggest spray mount/adhesive), or

b) consult your local printer/office supply store (I like Office Max and Office Depot) to see if they can print everything for you—I'm fairly certain they can print double sided and do a good job. If anyone does this, please comment and I'll update the post with the verdict!

Once my double sided sheets were printed, I trimmed them using my rotary trimmer:

But you can also use an Xacto knife and cutting board (which is probably the most accurate method):

This process took a good couple hours, but it was worth it to have clean edges.

Here's my stack of completed pages, ready to go:

The cover reads 2012/2013 because I decided to design the last few months of this year (I couldn't wait until January to be organized!) so my planner goes from October 2012–December 2013. The pages are all separate so you can use/print/reprint whichever ones you need.

Step 3: Take to office supply store for lamination & binding

I went back to Office Max and handed over my stack of papers. I asked them to laminate the front and back covers and spiral bind the pages together. 10 minutes later it was ready to go!

Laminating both covers cost $2.20, and spiral binding was $2.99, for a total of $5.56 with tax. Can't beat that!

Two days into October and it already has plenty of use...

And there it is! My super duper cheap planner. If you have a few hours and $18 to spare (or extra paper lying around and $5), you can have yourself one as well.

I've made the PDF available for download here (Click the photo below to preview the file, and select File>Download to save to your computer). Disclaimer: Excuse any errors you may come across—I did my best to double check but didn't spend more than a few hours on the design so I apologize if anything is missing/incorrect/misspelled!

Update: If you would prefer to use just the 2013 months, I've added a 2013 cover here.

Move over Erin Condren, the Jenna Sue planner is in town.

Enjoy! :)