I don’t know about you, but I often see small notebooks and think, I could make one of those but then realise I don’t actually know how to go about it. After a little bit of research (otherwise known as “googling” 😉 !!!), the notebooks below are what I came up with!
Recovering notebooks or making your own from scratch is actually a lot easier than you might think. I love the individuality this enables you to have and it also shows that digital kits are just perfect for this.
The first thing I had to do was to choose a kit, and I went back to one of my favourites, the “Heartsong Collection” from Snickerdoodle Designs:
I just think that is such a beautiful kit!
I also made a set of recovered notebooks using Valentina’s Creations “Dear Soul” journal cards:
Those journal cards just cry out to be made into notebook covers! 😉
For the first set of notebooks, the first thing I did was cut some plain copy paper down to the size I wanted. I used sheets of A4 paper for some and for others I used some thin foolscap paper I have had for rather longer than I care to mention 😉 . I also used scrap paper for other notebooks. This was paper which was printed on one side – working from home I end up with loads of scrap paper, even though I print as little as possible, so this is a good way to use it up.
I ended up with rather a lot of cut paper, enough to make 4 notebooks!
I also decided to have dividers in some of the notebooks and I created these just using journal cards printed on cardstock the same size as the cut paper.
For the first two notebooks, I made the covers using cardstock from my stash, making sure the card was the same width as the paper and twice as long plus the depth of the paper. So, for instance, if my paper was 4″ wide by 5″ deep and ½” thick, I cut the cardstock 10½” (being 2×5″+½”) by 4″:
I scored the cardstock at 5″ and 5½” and burnished it, then gathered the paper together ready to glue:
Then I added some PVA glue to the top of the papers and spread it along using a spatula. You could just use your finger or a small knife too. You do need to make sure that the glue gets onto each piece of paper though.
I then placed the cardstock cover over the papers and used binder clips to keep it together. I left it for a few days (probably 24 hours would be more than enough though) to make sure it was completely dry. You can see the excess glue on the side of the notebook here!
As you can see, I made sure the cover and papers were firmly held together!
I printed one of the stackers onto plain white cardstock and added that to the cover:
For the second notebook cover, I used patterned paper and a printed stacker from the kit:
I also added some twine between some of the layers:
For the remaining two notebooks, I created dividers using the journal cards and added a tab. The tabs were just thin white card cut into small squares and folded into two. Please excuse the poor quality of the next few photos – I took them in a different room which was well lit but the results were dreadful 🙁 :
I also punched holes into one set of the dividers/paper using my six hole punch.
For both these notebooks, I cut a back cover slightly larger than the paper so the tabs were covered as well as the paper. I then created front covers in Photoshop, making sure they were the same size as the back covers:
Since the covers were slightly longer (and wider) than the paper and dividers, I couldn’t use my six hole punch as I would have ended up with extra holes. Instead, I used one of the dividers as a template to draw the rings on one of the covers. I then used my single hole punch to punch holes:
I added ring binder clips and ribbon to finish this notebook off:
For the final notebook, the one with the dividers/paper without holes, I used my bind-it-all. First I punched holes in the dividers/paper and covers:
Then added the wire, making sure the back cover was on top. I ended up having to use ¾” wires as the ½” wires, whilst being the right size, since the paper/dividers were less than ½” deep, were just too tight to fit all the dividers/paper in and allow room for opening and closing the notebook.
I set my bind-it-all to ¾” to fit the wire:
All I had to do then was close the wire:
For once, I managed to get the perfect “O” you are supposed to get (usually, mine looks like a squashed “D”!!!):
Here is the finished notebook:
There is plenty of space to open and close the notebook:
Of all the notebooks, I think I prefer the bind-it-all and ring binder ones as it is easy to turn the pages – plus I can easily refill the ring binder one! With the other two, the glue spread inside the top of the paper so the notebooks do not open smoothly and I have to force the cover back (I reckon getting this right will come with practice though). But having said that, since they were made with scrap paper, they are a perfect way to use up the blank side of the paper and they look good too 😉 !
If you don’t fancy getting messy with glue, you could always recover plain bought notebooks to pretty them up. For this set, I used the Dear Soul journal cards and printed three cards resized to fit the notebook covers:
All I had to do then was glue them onto the top of each notebook. I used a notebook hole punch for some of them as the holes in the punch matched the holes in the notebooks perfectly. For one of the others, it was easy to take the wire binding out and then use a small punch to make the holes and then re-insert the wire binding. These are the finished notebooks and were really quick and easy to make:
So, if you have some notebooks to recover or paper (or pre-printed paper blank on the reverse) lying around, why not make a notebook (or two, or three, or….. 😉 ). You can always give these as small gifts (or stocking fillers at Christmas 😉 ) and they are perfect as a “thank you” present!
Please do post any of your creations in the gallery so we can all admire your work! 🙂
Other Articles by Lynn:
- Simply Sunday: basic album - September 4th, 2016
- Listen to the Music album - August 7th, 2016
- Fun in the sun album - June 28th, 2016
- Simply Sunday: Quick and easy gift box and cards - April 24th, 2016
- Simply Sunday: Mad Hatters tea party - March 27th, 2016