Tiny notebook tutorial

This is another tutorial for something that seems rather intuitive, but someone asked how the little notebooks were made, so here goes:

What you need:

  • Backing: A rectangle of cardboard, like the ones at the back of a legal pad
  • Filler paper: 20-30 rectangles of plain paper of just about any kind suited to the use to which you’re going to put your notebook (e.g., printer paper for a notepad, drawing paper for a sketchbook, miscellaneous papers for a funky look)
  • Cover: A rectangle of decorative paper for the front (here I’m using a piece of lightweight art paper on which I’ve used one of my hand-carved stamps)
  • A small ponytail elastic (I like the “non-ouchy” kind without the metal part, but you can use an ordinary one as you like)
  • A small paper clip
  • Something to cut with: scissors, a craft knife and ruler, or a paper cutter
  • A hole punch
  • A stick, wooden sandwich pick, or the like

The first three items, the back, filler paper and cover bits should be the same size. We made our notebooks 4 x 4 1/2 ” (because we needed a lot of them and needed to get an assembly line thing going) but you can use any dimensions that are pleasing to you.

The sticks should be a bit shorter than the smaller side of your notebook, and should not have any splintery or rough edges

Step 1: punch your holes. If you’re using a handheld paper punch, make a template for the hole placement using an extra sheet of the filler paper. Fold the paper in half and punch a hole through both thicknesses about 1/4″ from what will be the top of the notebook and about 1/2″ froom the side. Unfold this paper and line it up with a few sheets of your filler paper–punch holes through the holes you’ve already made. Repeat until you have as many filler sheets as you need. If you’re using an adjustable multi-hole punch, set the placement for the holes using the guides on the hole punch.

Do the same for the cover paper and the backing cardboard.

Step 2: Sandwich the filler paper between the backing and the cover and line up the holes so you can see all the way through.

Step 3: unbend your paper clip as shown:

Poke the small hook you’ve made through one of the holes, working from front to back, and pull through a loop of the hair elastic:

Insert one end of your stick through the loop, then repeat with the other hole, the other end of the same elastic, and the other end of the stick:

All done!

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2 responses to “Tiny notebook tutorial

  1. hi, good idea to make the tiny notebook. I like it! Thanks for sharing. ;-)

  2. Thanks! I’m thinking a little 3-pack of these would make a good stocking stuffer.

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