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The goal: to make a tricked-out customized plan book for April.

I started with a blank Moleskin notebook full of unlined pages. I got it at the nearest Barnes & Noble.

blank moleskin Keetha

The first step: Add a thin layer of gesso to the cover. Gesso creates an opaque surface to paint on.

gesso moleskin cover Keetha

While it was drying, I decided which paint colors to use. I wanted a spring-madras feel for the design so I picked the colors I could imagine in a gorgeous Easter-colored madras shirt.

chose moleskin colors Keetha

I painted the colors on here and there without planning. Otherwise, I could have spent a lot of time over-thinking composition and the color wheel. Plus, next I would go over the top of the piece with a white glaze, so I knew it didn’t matter too much exactly how it looks at this point.

painted moleskin cover Keetha


I mixed plain white acrylic paint with glazing medium and brushed it over the painted cover. I wanted the colors to show here and there, a misty look.

white wash moleskin cover Keetha

I painted on the paint/glaze mixture and made lines and marks using a wooden skewer. I wiped off some of the glaze mixture with baby wipes and let it dry.


The pieces below are the look I was going for. I made them a while back and don’t remember how! Apparently, I didn’t use white paint and glaze. It was probably a thin layer of gesso.

painted pages Keetha


Oh, well; it didn’t turn out the way I had it pictured but it was a fun experiment. Now it’s my traveler’s notebook, ready to go.

plan book in tn Keetha

April plan book in tn Keetha

I may come back and embellish the front and/or back cover with a hand-lettered quote or some stamps or washi tape.

Now, onto the inside pages!

April Plan book list Keetha


(In the fall, I made a plan book for October. I made them in November and December, too; just forgot to post any photos!)