Paint in a Happy Planner layout?!

Happy Planner Painted

I’ve wanted to try paint in a Happy Planner layout for quite a while, but I haven’t been brave enough to actually do it. Every time I thought I was going to do it, scenes of paint and planner chaos would run through my head. I envisioned wrinkled, stuck together pages and paint on ALL of the pages — pretty much exactly what I did NOT want in my planner.

I’m not sure how I finally convinced myself this would be OK, but I am so glad I did. This layout is a little different than my typical style, but I love it. Even more than the fun pop of color, I love that this layout inspires me to be bold and adventurous all on its own, because that’s exactly what this layout is.

Paint Happy Planner DIY

Now that I’ve painted my layout, I have a few tips and notes about my process to share.

  • Have fun and be open to whatever happens. If you’re a perfectionist, this might not be the layout for you. However, it might be a great creative exercise to help you loosen up. Be bold, planner babes! (If you’re not quite there, know that there’s no judgement here.)
  • Take the page out of your Happy Planner. Removable pages are the beauty of the Happy Planner! Take the page out, get creative (and let the paint completely dry) and put the page back in.
  • Test the paint on a planner page you’re not going to use. I tested my paint on an old notes page. I was mostly concerned with making sure the paint wouldn’t wrinkle the other side of the page too much. I had a color of acrylic paint I wanted to use, so I tried it alone and mixed with various, small amounts of water. I let it completely dry on the test page, before I decided what to put in my planner. If you’re curious, I found that acrylic paint mixed with a very small amount of water worked best for me.
  • Use washi tape to create a neater border. When I first painted my pattern, the area where the paint stopped and the Monday boxes began looked a little bit sloppy. After the paint dried, I added a strip of washi tape in that space, and it looks so much better with a more defined border.
    For the smaller, washi strips around the September monthly calendar at the top of the column, I cut a strip of washi that fit the space and then cut it in half length-wise.
  • Think about balance. Since the painted sidebar was already pretty bold, I kept my stickers pretty simple this week. I used small icon stickers to draw attention to things, without visually overpowering my layout.


Paint in a Happy Planner

In this last photo, you can see that my layout started out with only red paint. I ended up adding some yellow to match the colors on the page even more. (Plus, the added yellow makes the layout seem more fall-inspired!)

If you try painting in your planner, I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram @katietheplanner. In the mean time, let’s stay in touch; enter your email address on the sidebar to subscribe.


  • Are there other paints you are interested in trying?
    I love what you have done! I am going to try this. Is there a specific brand of acrylic that is better? This is all new to me. ?

    • Hi Melody! I used the Folk Art brand of acrylic paint, because that’s what I had. I haven’t tried other brands or types of paints, so I’m not sure if there are others that would work better or worse. As long as you test the paint on a blank planner page you don’t plan to use before you get started, you should be fine.
      If you try painting in your planner, I’d love to see!

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