Upcycled Paper Notebooks

by Ashley Weeks Cart

Drowning in a sea of computer paper waste? Piles of old cereal boxes crowding your recycling bin? Got some pesky paper bags stashed under the sink from that time you forgot to BYOB (that’s Bring Your Own Bag, although booze might certainly lead to such forgetfulness)? Well then, you have the fixings to make your own recycled paper notebook, and put all that paper to work. Again.

1 brown paper bag
1 cereal box
25-30 pages of paper with printing on 1-side only
Some colorful scrap paper (old magazines, calendars, wrapping paper)
2 book rings
3-hole punch

1. Fold all pieces of paper waste in half width-wise (text facing inward, obviously).
2. Hole punch all paper with just two holes at top and bottom (must adjust the 3-hole punch accordingly).
3. Cut cereal box into two rectangles sized 6″ wide x 9″ tall.
4. Using glue, cover cereal box rectangles in brown paper bag. Watch out for air bubbles- use a ruler (or comparable object) to smooth out the surfaces and allow to dry flat under the weight of some heavy books.
5. Once completely dry, apply a rectangle of colorful scrap paper on the side of each of the cereal box rectangles where you can see the folds of brown paper bag. Again, dry flat under heavy weight.
6. Once dry, hole punch both rectangles, fill with the stack of folded paper, and bind together with 2 metal book rings.

Best of all, once you’ve packed those pages with your brilliant musings, just dig back into your recycling bin, and refill, for free!

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart