16 August 2010

DIY: Handmade Ideabook/Notebook

I like to carry around some sort of note pad or book with me to write down ideas, draw pictures of brainstorms, glue in magazine clippings, or just jot down things I like while I'm out and about.  I have several different 'ideabooks', as I call them, scattered around the house, but I always have one in my bag (except when I take it out to remind myself of the idea and forget to return it to my bag). I usually make my own books because I either can't find the size of book I like, or the books in stores have ugly paper, and I hate it when notebooks only have lined paper in them, it makes me feel like I can't draw pictures, weird I know, don't ask.

I love different writing textures too and recycling paper from different things, so I filled this cork covered notebook with scraps and paper from other notebooks.  I made this particular notebook quite a while ago, so I don't have pictures of it's progression, but honestly it is super simple and is meant to be made and bound how ever you want and with what ever materials you have on hand.  I have a bin that I use to collect odds and ends, scraps of string, paper, you name it (more on that in another post) so I went "shopping" in my junk bin for supplies for this book.  Everyone should make one...here's how

- utility knife
- ruler
- self healing mat
- hole punch
- 4 1/4" x 5" cork
- various 4 1/4" x 5"  pages cut from a calendar, and collection of scrap papers
- spiral spine and hard cover from old notebook
- 20 or so pages of white sketch book paper
- scrap cardboard the same size as your notebook

1. cut all pages to size with a paper cutter or utility knife, self healing mat, and ruler, or scissors, its up to you.

2. cut hard back cover and front cork cover the same size.

3. using the scrap cardboard as a template, I measured where I wanted my holes for the spiral spine to be, cut them out of the template (I used a utility knife to make square holes, but you could use the hole punch and save loads of time) then use the template to mark where the holes go on the inner sheets and punch away. I'd stack 4 or 5 sheets to cut at a time, depending on the thickness of your paper.

4. mark the cork and the hard back cover holes with the template, the cork and hard back cover are likely too thick for the hole punch so you could do square holes, like me, or use the punch to make a partial cut and then cut the rest with the utility knife, again up to you.

5. arrange your covers and inner papers in the order you like and bind them using the spiral spine.  Bend open the spine enough for the pages to fit and start with the back cover and add pages to the spine until your book is done.  You could also use metal rings clips, or string or ribbon to bind the book, be creative!

Its so silly, I love making notebooks, but then I feel bad for using them because they looked used, don't ask!?! They are also great to have for keeping track of things, making lists, etc

How do YOU keep track of your ideas?


  1. I found this very neat, so much so that i emailed it to my friends!!!please keep up the good work!!

  2. I love this idea... I'm always looking for new DIY projects. Thanks for sharing!



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