How to Make Your Own Mini Notebook
My latest obsession is making crafts out of junk. Upcycling trash for useful or decorative purposes is extremely cost-effective and good for the environment. Creating a mini notebook is easy and fun, and it requires the purchase of very few materials that can't be found in your recycle bin.
Here's what you'll need to make your own mini-notebook:
- yarn or string
- cardboard or thick paper
- junk mail or other source of normal-thickness paper
- a hole-punch or drill
- decorative items like glitter, stickers, or magazine clippings
- Choose a source of cardboard or thick paper that you want to use. Good options include boxes for dry goods such as pasta or cereal, greeting cards and postcards, and cardboard boxes.
- Choose a source of paper for the pages. Junk mail, paper bags, and the backs of old printed papers or forms usually work well.
- Decide what size you want your mini notebook to be. Work within the limitations of your materials.
- Cut your cardboard pieces so that both are exactly the same size. These will be your front and back notebook covers.
- Cut out pieces of paper for the pages. Make sure your pages are exactly the same size as your front and back covers. I used an old sandwich bag from my Chinese takeout dinner for the pages, but the backs of old school papers, junk mail, and used envelopes also work well. Cut as many pages as you'd like your notebook to have. I ended up with about 20.
- Decorate your cardboard if you wish. Try painting magazine clippings with glue, pressing them into place, and accenting with glitter glue, paint, etc. You can also try covering the cardboard with fabric and gluing it down.
- If you chose to add decorations, press the cover pieces flat beneath a heavy object to prevent wrinkles and allow the glue to dry overnight. Resume with instruction #6 once the glue has dried completely.
- Assemble your notebook the way you want it to look. Be sure the pages are perfectly lined up between the front and back covers.
- Use paperclips or binder clips to hold your notebook pieces firmly in place. Binder clips may cause dents or scratches in your covers, so I recommend putting pieces of junk paper between the covers and the clip for protection.
- Use a pen or pencil to mark where you want the holes to go.
- Use a drill or hole puncher to bore holes through the notebook for binding. Drill through your marks as-is or hole punch a few pages at a time, and be sure the holes line up perfectly.
- Use the yarn or string to tie your mini notebook together through the holes. Bookbinding stitches are fun to try. A simple internet search should turn up some fun tutorials if you want to get fancy.
Use your mini notebook for to-do lists, taking notes, writing your grocery list, and anything else you can think of. Plain ones are nice to carry in your purse or keep at your desk, and decorated ones make cute and thoughtful gifts. Happy crafting!