this is a blog about memory keeping, funny stories & baked goods i make, and do my best not to eat. proper capitalization is always optional.


diy: small idea notebooks

i'm very much a visual person.
i doodle ideas pretty much all the time.
i have a couple of sheets of printer paper that i've been randomly jotting ideas down on the last month.
partly because we didn't have any more printer paper.
(we can't be the only family that has a child who steals paper for drawing & cutting)

but my paper has been a jumble of ideas & drawings..
some of which are so mish-mashed with other ideas i can't remember what my words mean.

this morning i wanted to hurry up & jot down an idea i had yesterday in the shower
(because really, don't all our ideas come when we can't immediately write them down?)
before it went 'poof' from my head...
because ideas of mine have been known to do that.

and, because we have replenished our printer paper supply,
i thought that i'd be oh so clever to make myself a little notebook.

well, two actually.
want to know how to make one?

here's what you need:

-several sheets of printer paper
-scrap sheets of scrapbook paper
-paper trimmer
-hair elastic (or rubber band)
-optional embellishments: chinese fortune, colored masking tape, pens, paper punch

1. figure out the dimensions you want your book to be. i made my book dimensions based on how long a reach my stapler had. (my stapler could staple 4" in from the edge, so i made my book 3.5" x 5".) i started out by cutting the height of my book with the printer paper. i measured 5" from the top & made my cut.

2. next, cut your book the width it is going to be.
my book was going to be 3.5" when folded, so i doubled it to 7" & made my cut.

 3. repeat the same cutting process as you did for the insides on the scrapbook paper you choose for your cover. .

4. stack your papers together, putting the cover on the very top.

5. fold your book in half, using a pen or other straight object to make your fold crisp.

6. open your book back up, & line up the stapler to the crease. put staples in along spine. (i used two) you could staple from the inside, or for the outside spine. i chose to go from the inside. the choice is yours :)

7. with the last step your book is done. now it's time to embellish. i put a piece of tape along the edge on the front cover.

8. i know there is a fancy way to do your corners, but this works for me. cut the piece so it's flush with the cover & then fold down.

9. i had a piece of glitter paper that had a star previously die-cut out of it. i cut it out & trimmed it down.

10. i attached the star with some tiny staples (tim holtz tiny attacher) & then put an old chinese fortune on top with some scrapbook tape.

& i had my little book all done & ready for ideas.

now. if you are ANYTHING like me...
things usually don't go right the first time when there is cutting involved.
i typically start hacking away & then get stuck somewhere thinking..
what did i do wrong?

this time was no different.

somehow (well obviously because i cut the wrong way) i ended up with a book far to long to staple.

it ended up being 4 1/4" inches long & 3.5" wide. 
(i bet you can guess why) 
and rather than cut off the ends & end up with a book smaller than i wanted....
 i came up with an alternate binding.  

see what i mean?

so i cut a cover to fit the paper size...
& then went in search of some rubber bands..
i came up short...
they have apparently run off..
(and i KNOW i had an entire bag left over when i made these flowers..)
never fear though..
i remembered some elastic hair ties i had that have been hiding underneath my bathroom sink for fear of having to actually hold up my thick head of hair.

so i slid it over the top & onto the spine...

put some tape & some stars punched out of glitter paper on it...
& saved the day.
(well not really.. but i saved the paper)

two simple bindings.
took all of 1/2 hour to make the two..
(even after messing it up once)
and now i have a home for my doodles & ideas :)

i plan on making a few more for the dude..
but they'll go along with another project for another day!


ps- if you make some i'd love to see..

linking to:


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my thrifty hurricanes!

    I love these little notebooks! I know what you mean, I always have small notepads around because I'm constantly jotting down to-do lists and random ideas. :)

  2. What adorable little note pads! Love them. They'd make great gifts for kids!

  3. Fabulous ideas and great tutorial. I love the idea of using the hair tie and the books look great!


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