The making of a notebook

This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine. She likes to write things down. Wherever she goes, whenever she comes across interesting tidbits of information or things that inspire her or a book title that seems intriguing, she would write it down. In bookstores, in the park, on the street, she takes notes, and she takes in all the loveliness that life has to offer. And so that inspired me to make a handy palm-sized notebook!

But before I go into the process of making it, I must say that I didn’t come up with this idea entirely on my own. Besides being inspired by my friend, I’ve also gotten this book-making idea from Flipflops and Applesauce. I merely built on the idea to create a notebook with more pages.

Anyhow, that’s how I did it:

I used lined 3‑hole paper because that’s all I have at home, I suppose it would look more neat with plain lined paper, or plain unlined paper… but I didn’t mind having holes in my notebook :P
I took about 15 pieces of lined paper, divide into two stacks, and tore each stack in half. I then ended up with 4 stacks of 1/2 sheet paper, and I folded each stack in half, as pictured.

So then I ended up with 4 sections.

Then I took a thicker paper and tore it to size to fit the pages, for a book cover. Of course, one could also measure and cut the paper to size, but I prefer eye-balling, tearing with the ruler, and imperfections :) I think this paper was used to wrap ceramic wares when I bought them from a store.

I wanted to have a built-in ribbon bookmark, so before I stapled everything together, I attached a bit of pink raffia to the top edge of the book cover with some white glue.

After the glue is dried, I wrapped the cover around all 4 sections, with the bookmark sticking out at the top…

… and stapled the whole thing together. Mike happens to have a heavy-duty stapler from his school days, which is really handy for this project. But with a regular stapler one could also staple from the front of the cover, then staple from the back, and repeat, alternating sides with each staple, and staple very closely together down the fold side of the book. That should hold all the pages together.

Now this is the fun part — choosing a pretty paper to wrap around the spine! I like choosing from magazines because I can find lots of interesting and meaningful pictures that way. But I’ve also used origami paper. I imagine gift wrapping paper would be nice too! I tore the image to size — width doesn’t really matter but the height needs to be the same as the book’s height.

I folded the image in half lengthwise to create a crease, and then opened it up to apply glue (I used spray adhesive so the cover doesn’t buckle), and then wrapped it around the book’s spine.

And here we have it, a notebook!

With lots of pages to write in!

And I also made a garden-themed one…

… and an art journal with different kinds of paper in it! Will have to write about that art journal someday…

I think it definitely beats buying a $10 notebook at the bookstore!

Have a lovely weekend!

8 thoughts on “The making of a notebook

  1. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. This notebok is lovely and so simple to make. I think it will compliment one of my favourite kids’ gifts — the pencil case stuffed with coloured pencils. I’m going to try it out the next time a little friend is celebrating a birthday.

  2. I make a similar book and for the final outside portion, use a kewl piece of art from a beer 6‑pack cardboard holder — 

    thanks for the tut — a little bit easier than my own !

  3. thank you! a notebook for kids’ gift is a great idea. actually, the whole time i was writing this post i was thinking about blue’s clues…

  4. Thanks — I think this is exactly what me and my 8yo daughter need for the illustrations she wants to do for a favourite book.

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