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How to Make Your Own Mini Notebook

Updated on February 23, 2013
A mini notebook is a fun project that can be made out of household junk.
A mini notebook is a fun project that can be made out of household junk. | Source
Materials you'll need.
Materials you'll need. | Source
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Cut your cardboard in the size you want.Cut your paper pieces the same size.You should end up with pieces that look something like this.
Cut your cardboard in the size you want.
Cut your cardboard in the size you want. | Source
Cut your paper pieces the same size.
Cut your paper pieces the same size. | Source
You should end up with pieces that look something like this.
You should end up with pieces that look something like this. | Source

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.

Materials:

Here's what you'll need to make your own mini-notebook:

  • scissors
  • yarn or string
  • cardboard or thick paper
  • junk mail or other source of normal-thickness paper
  • a hole-punch or drill

Optional:

  • glue
  • decorative items like glitter, stickers, or magazine clippings


Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. Choose a source of paper for the pages. Junk mail, paper bags, and the backs of old printed papers or forms usually work well.

If you're using a drill, be sure your notebook pages are held firmly in place with paperclips or binder clips.
If you're using a drill, be sure your notebook pages are held firmly in place with paperclips or binder clips. | Source
Mark where you want the holes to go.
Mark where you want the holes to go. | Source
Carefully drill the holes.
Carefully drill the holes. | Source
Example of a simple bookbinding stitch known as the Long Stitch.
Example of a simple bookbinding stitch known as the Long Stitch. | Source

Instructions

  1. Decide what size you want your mini notebook to be. Work within the limitations of your materials.
  2. Cut your cardboard pieces so that both are exactly the same size. These will be your front and back notebook covers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Assemble your notebook the way you want it to look. Be sure the pages are perfectly lined up between the front and back covers.
  7. 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.
  8. Use a pen or pencil to mark where you want the holes to go.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Your finished mini notebook may look something like this.
Your finished mini notebook may look something like this. | Source

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!

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    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      I've made similar books to this for theater props in the past. Ours weren't as substantial as yours, as we just tied them in two or three spots with a ribbon. We used beautiful decoritive paper to cover the cover cardboard. It is a fun project and can lead to beautiful results. I can imagine a child doing this with some drawings inside to give as a gift. Voted up.

    • profile image

      loksmi 4 years ago

      My mom used to make these when I was a child. I found it so cute and useful...It's a great way of recycling.

      We don't even need to drill and stitch it. As it is a tiny notebook, we can just staple the pages together. That's what my mom used to do.

      Also, we can use other thick materials instead of buying cardboard, maybe sheets from old calendars or any waste boxes.

      Thanx for reminding me of this :) Cooooooool article!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I used to just staple pieces of paper together but I like your notebook better! Recycling is the way to go today and we do throw out so much paper. Very helpful hub.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Clever idea. Never have a notepad when I need one. Thanks for this. Voted and shared.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Very nice hub and recycling is the way to go now....thanks for sharing this. Shared and votes up.

    • iamvinita profile image

      Vinita Solanki 4 years ago

      Nice trick. I used to do it during my school days. I used to collect all remaining waste pages at the end of every notebook and then staple it altogether which can be later used as a rough note. From your hub, remembered my childhood days.

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