DIY Notebook

When I was younger, I went through a string of making my own notebooks. This was also back in the time when we would get “cute” notebooks and pencils with quarters in the school hallways. Our “cool” factor was based on how many notebooks we had and which styles. I’m pretty sure I had hundreds of those crappy notebooks at some point. They barely had any paper and fell apart so quickly! Why were we so obsessed with them??

Along with all the notebooks that I bought at school, my dad would help me make my own. Usually, I would use cereal boxes, metal book rings, and old scrap paper. This past weekend, I was in my craft room and decided I wanted to make a notebook again but improve on my old designs. The only problem I had with the ones I used to make was that the rings were always too big and my papers would slide around. Aside from that, they were actually kinda cute. So here’s how I made this one!

What I used:

15 sheets of printer paper cut in half (hamburger style)
One foam sheet also cut in half (hamburger style)
hole punch
tacky glue
X-acto knife
Straight edge
3 Brads (metal fasteners)
Sticky fabric (or fabric and mod podge)

I wanted my notebook to be half-size. So, I pre-cut my paper in half. The foam sheets are usually larger than a normal printer paper size, so when I cut it in half it covered my paper and extended a little which made it perfect for a cover. It might seem weird that I used foam as the cover because it is so flexible, but I like to be able to bend my cover without breaking it. However, it was a little too flexible to hold the fasteners the way I wanted. This is where the cardboard comes in. Using my x-acto knife and straight edge, I carefully cut two strips an inch-wide that were as long as the height of my notebook.  

I used the cardboard to set up where I wanted my holes to go. I did one straight in the middle and one an inch from each end. For the cardboard, I used a normal sized hole punch because it isn’t as forgiving as paper or foam. This was big enough to fit the long edges of the brads but small enough they wouldn’t pull right through. Next, I glued my cardboard pieces on my foam covers with tacky glue. (Since tacky glue is pretty thick, I didn’t need to let it sit and dry) I used a smaller hole punch to cut through the foam in the middle of the existing cardboard holes. Since I now had my holes laid out on the covers, I used them as a template on the paper I was putting inside. I traced through the holes, made sure they were set far enough away from the edge, and punched them with my small hole punch.

I wanted to give my notebook a more pulled-together look, so I got out my sticky fabric. If you don’t have sticky fabric, you can use regular fabric and mod podge it into place, but this was a little more convenient. I cut 2 pieces of fabric that were a little smaller than my covers and attached one to the inside of each. Then I cut 2 pieces that were about an inch wider than the covers on all edges. I cut a rectangle out of each corner so that I could wrap the fabric around the front of each cover. Once the edges were flat, it was finally time to assemble the notebook! I used brads because they don’t slide around and I can always add more papers as it fills up 😊 Keep an eye out for what I put in this notebook!! I think you’ll like it. As always, if you take any fun pictures or videos, tag me on Instagram @SmileMakePeopleWonder and use the hashtag #DandelionSmiles. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the next exciting idea!


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