If you love the Hobonichi Weeks but want more custom options – a Fauxbonichi is the answer. Read on for simple DIY instructions to make your own happy hobo.
Plus, grab 2 free printable fauxbo inserts at the end of this post!
2019 is the year of the Hobonichi Weeks. They are everywhere you look on planner sites and groups.
I love bullet journaling, but I can see how a full-size bujo can be… a bit intimidating. Drawing your own layouts each week is a lot of work! Besides, whole book of blank pages staring at you can be a lot.
Hobo to the rescue! The Hobonichi series of planners is a more structured version of the bullet journal. Monthly, weekly, and daily spreads are all set up for you. And you get your pick of sizes. A smaller bullet journal is a lot less to deal with – especially if you love the week-on-a-page set up (like the Hobonichi Weeks).
However, committing to one tiny, bound journal for the year is tough. You might love the look but you don’t want to give up the flexiblity that a Happy Planner or ring-bound gives you. The good news is, you don’t have to.
Creating your Custom Fauxbonichi in 5 Steps
You can create your own DIY Hobonichi. With a little thoughtful set-up, you’ll have a completely custom planner that is just as tiny and cute as the Hobo – but more totally YOU.
I’m calling this a Fauxbonichi, but you might see it referred to as a Happynichi or a Hobonichi Dupe in planner groups.
1. Create your Fauxbonichi Cover
The first thing you’ll want to consider is a cover. If you are hacking together planners, the Happy Planner half sheet is a great size to use. Check out their styles and colors here.
However for a more custom look and feel, you can find printable dashboards or trim scrapbook paper to use as your cover.
To create your fauxbo cover:
- Trim cardstock or heavy paper to size, 4.125 x 9.25
- Print single sided or back-to-back with another design
- Laminate with 5mil sheets and trim roughly a quarter inch away from paper, rounding edges
(More printing tips below)
2. Decide on Dashboards
Dashboards are the dividers that separate the sections of your planner or journal. You won’t see these in a typical Hobonichi, but you might already use them in your disc or ring-bound planners.
To create your dashboards, trim your cardstock or scrapbook paper to 4.125 x 9.25. If you’re printing, be sure to select “actual size.”
Other options include:
- Using decorative acetate in a TN style
- Skipping dashboards in favor of a bullet journal index and numbered pages
- Creating dividers by attaching tabs to your dashboards
- If you’re crafty, use a template or a tab punch to fashion your own tabbed dividers out of scrapbook or other heavy paper
3. Planning Your Pages
There are a growing number of options available to customize your fauxbo. Below are a few ideas and links to get you started.
Simple Bullet Journal Look
You can trim down any graph, dot grid, or lined paper to the 4.125 x 9.25 dimensions to create your own bullet journal.
This is probably the most economical idea, but it’s hard to find a quality graph paper that isn’t already bound in a planner. For me, I’d rather print my own and punch it out.
You can download your printable fauxbo graph paper at the end of this post!
Customize with Printable Inserts
Note: Keep in mind that the size you are looking for is 4.125 x 9.25. That means you can use ANY insert that matches this size. If you are using printables, it does not matter whether you choose a TN style (foldable) or a happynichi style designed to be punched – just make sure it’s the right size.
Find our fauxbonichi printable paper pack on Etsy!
4. Printing Inserts for your Fauxbo
I’d advise to cut your paper first, then print. This makes printing more precise – especially if you are printing back to back.
- Cut letter sized paper in half vertically and trim to size: 4.125 x 9.25
- Open your file and select print
- Select “Actual Size”
- Choose the pages you want to print, back to back or one sided, etc.
- Print away!
Depending on your printer you may have to create a custom paper size, align your paper differently, or print first and then cut. It’s really a guessing game at first, but once you’ve got it down printing will go much faster!
Recommendation: Smooth, thick paper is a must in your planner. I use 32lb bright white paper. I’ve used the HP Premium 32 for a few years, and it makes a HUGE difference!
5. Putting Your Fauxbonichi Together
When you have your cover, dashboards, and pages ready, it’s time to put it all together! YAY!
Setting up a Fauxbonichi or Happynichi with discs is super simple, especially if you’re already familiar with a disc-bound planner set up.
There are a variety of discs available. I love the Happy Planner Mini Metal Discs for two reasons. 1) The metal discs are far superior to plastic ones, and just generally look fancier IMHO, 2) I like mini discs for this mini sized planner. If you like a chunkier feel to your planner, step it up to the larger sizes.
Note: You’ll need 9 discs for the half sheet size in this tutorial. As it is the same length as a Classic HP (9.25).
The second thing you’ll need is a mushroom punch. I use the Big Happy Planner punch. I’ve heard a lot of people say the TUL is superior, but I’ve had my HP for maybe 2-1/2 years with a good amount of punching going on with no problems.
Before you start punching:
- Gather all of your covers, dashboards, and pages
- Put them in the exact order you want
- Double check that your pages are all facing the right way
- Carefully and methodically punch a few pages at a time – don’t overload your punch
- Insert the discs into your punched pages in small stacks
Pro tip for Tul and Big Happy Planner Punch users: When you punch your first page, align a strip of washi tape at the top and bottom edges of the paper, adhering it to the baseplate of your punch.
When punching the remaining pages, insert the paper between the washi strips, butting up to the edges of the washi before you press down on your punch. This will ensure your mushroom holes are perfectly aligned throughout your planner.
Some Fauxbo Inspo
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Next week in my #fauxbonichi / These inserts are in my shop and you can still get them for 25% off this weekend with the code YOURMOM. The bow washi and lots of the icons are from @thehoneybshop where you can use my code RONIE15 to save & get my sampler! • • • • #happynichi #hobonichiweeks #hobonichi #plannerinserts #hobonichi2019 #planner #planning #thehoneybshop #plannercommunity #happyplannercommunity #happynotes #happyplanner #mambi #livecreatively #planahappylife #beforethepen #plannerspread #weeklyspread #plannergirl #plannerbabe #washi #craftymom #plannermom #embracethediscs #plannerstickers #theintrovertmom
Download your Printable Fauxbonichi Inserts!
Find our free printable 2 page sample below. Looking for more? Don’t miss our full pack of graph, lined, and dot grid printables. 42 page printable pack for a totally custom fauxbo!
Ready to DIY your hobo? Here’s a sample to get you started! Click here or the image below to download your printable.
I hope this step-by-step tutorial helps you create a portable little planner that you L.O.V.E.!