All my little notebooks

Phew! Last class tests corrected, final grades made! During the last days there’ve been a few points of despair and frustration (“Where have you been during our lessons?!” – “Hey, it is your mother tongue!”). I probably wouldn’t have survived without the help of chocolate cookies. Now this work is done and I am so happy and relieved to have at least a bit more time for …  living. And being creative again!

Probably it is still the effect of the last days – kind of hypnotic – that the first creative project that came to my mind involved paper. It’s inspired by some useful recycling idea that I found in the recent issue of Eigenwerk (p. 16-19) and that made me want to make my own little notebooks.They’re quite easy to make, with lots of options for individual adjustments.

You can use about every used or not used paper. As you can see at Christians notebooks in Eigenwerk, it can look very nice to use paper with different kind of colours and textures. I didn’t have a lot of used paper at hand, but what I found was an old checked excercise book (See why this project just suggested itself?). I used some normal copy paper as well. For the binding you can use cardbord or simply a bit stronger paper. For the covering I fell back on my growing amount of wrapping paper. This is something I can never walk by in stores … isn’t the neon coloured japanese wave pattern and the ikat style paper just lovely?

Apart from paper and cardboard you will need paper glue, a sewing machine and thread or neadle and thread for handsewing. Optionally you can add to your notebook a closure with eyelets and twine, decorate it with stamps, pens, dymo…

It’s a nice idea to round the corners as well if you have a corner punch. [I can recommend to buy one: it makes a simple sheet of paper look so much more elegant within seconds…click, click, click, click]

So, how to make the notebooks?

Cut paper into even retangles. (A paper cutting machine that you find f.ex. at school is a great help 😉 ) Mine where about 15×22 cm and 13×18 cm. Fold in the middle. Do the same with the binding paper/cardboard, just add a few milimetres on each side. Use wrapping or other paper (about 1,5 cm longer on each side than cardboard) and glue to binding sheet. [If you have a paper glue that you can recommend, I would be very pleased. I’m still not satisfied with the ones I’ve tried. Either they’re not adhesive enough or the paper is making small waves…aargh]

You can lay binding and sheets on each other and sew down the center folding line (like I did with the grey-ocre notebook). Or you sew down only the inside papers and fix this notebook to the binding by glueing the first and the last page to it, so the sewing can’t be seen from outside. Finally correct the width of the sheets if you are an exact person.

So, having finished this, I will head straight into my bed trying to get some pre-sleep … why did I say “Yes” when my pupils asked me if we could all stay a night at school playing games, eating crisps, watching a movie (“Bad Teacher”, ha ha!) and (of course) DON’T sleep…


  1. Pingback: Catching thoughts – DIY notebooks | nadel&gabel

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