Sunday, July 29, 2012

DIY Pocket Notebook

Today I am sharing how to make your own pocket size notebook using vintage wall papers. These mini notebooks are the handiest things and I almost always have one tucked into my purse. They also make great hostess gifts for friends too! My version recycles vintage wall paper, since there is always an abundance of it at local thrift stores and some of the patterns are really neat. But you can any colorful paper if you can't find wall paper. The benefits of using vintage wall paper are that wall papers are thicker and a little tougher than normal paper, and if you plan on making a lot as gifts for a party, you will be able to use a whole role.

Here is what you will need:

a role of vintage wall paper from a thrift store, or other paper
old cereal or food boxes
8 sheets normal  8.5 x 11 in sized computer paper
thread and needle
craft glue

To make the inside pages, fold you sheets of paper in half to score. Unfold and cut along the score mark, dividing the sheets in half. Now fold your half sheets in half, but do not cut. These will be your pages. To make the outside, take your half pages and your cereal box. Measure and cut a rectangle that is 1/4 in larger than you pages on all sides. The easiest way to do this is to trace your page and then with a ruler draw a second line 1/4 in. out from the the tracing all the way around. Now cut out your cover and it is ready to cover.

Now take your cover (which should be in one piece, not two like in the photos. I accidentally cut down the wrong line, but decided to use it anyway!) and your wall paper. Cut a piece of wall paper much larger than the size of the cover. Turn the wall paper print side down and trace your cover. Then draw another rectangle 1 in. larger on each side of the tracing. This will give you extra paper to fold over the edges on to the inside of the notebook. This second line is also what you will cut. Once you have cut it out of the wall paper you should have a large rectangle with the tracing of the cover on it, 1 in. inward. Now cut a 90 degree angle at each corner, making sure to stop and not cut into the corner of the tracing.

Now its time to get out the glue and completely cover the inside of the wall paper. Once covered with glue, adhere your card stock cover to the inside lining it up to the lines that you traced earlier. Then wrap the extra 1 in. around and onto the inside of the card stock, gluing it down also. The 90 degree cut corners should meet without leaving any excess paper. To cover the seems and make it look like a real book, take just one of the pages that you made earlier and glue it centered on the inside.

Fold your cover in half and make a score mark. Take 2-3 of your pages, not all of them, and line the center fold up with the center fold of the cover. Take your needle and poke holes along the center fold of the pages and the cover. Then take your 2-3 pages and use them as a template and poke holes with the needle in all of the other pages. Now, you should have all pages and the cover with holes that line up. Use the needle and thread to sew the pages into the book, using the holes that you just made. I used a running stitch down and back again and tied off at the end. Your note book should now be finished!

Here are  a few photos of the finished product. Notice the stitching on the outside edge and the knots at the bottoms. Enjoy!

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