by Ashley Weeks Cart

I’ve had this DIY on my To Do list for some time. Since I’m in the midst of a winter vacation from work, and am hunkered down thanks to the blizzard that hit MA, I decided that this afternoon was a great time to give it a whirl while the babe, husband, and pups napped. Ever since I had Feel Good Lists created for two of my girlfriends, I’ve been needing to bind together the pages of their lists. I thought about having a company like Kinkos do it, but when I did some research, it seemed that making your own notepad wasn’t brain surgery after all! Give it a try – it is remarkably addictive.

Paper for notepad
Paper cutter
Adhesive (all-purpose Elmers, Rubber Cement or Padding compound)
Paint brush
Cereal box or left over cardboard for backing
Magnet (optional)

1. Determine what you’re using for your notepad, and cut all pages to the desired size. In my case, I printed the lists on blue linen paper, and cut them into sheets sized 4″ wide x 11″ long.

2. Next cut a piece of cardboard to the size of your pages. This will be the backing of your notepad. I used an old cereal box, and had the cereal box image facing to the back (what would go against a fridge, for example).

3. Line up all the pages on top of the cardboard piece, and clamp between some heavy books, or between large paper clips, or if you’re really jazzy, proper padding clamps. It’s most important to clamp the top end of you notepad, where it will be bound together.

4. Apply glue to the edge of the pages that will serve as the binding area. I used all-purpose Elmer’s spray glue because I live in the boonies and could not track down padding glue, or even rubber cement, at a reasonable distance. The spray glue went everywhere, so I would suggest applying the adhesive with a paint brush, to control the mess. Allow plenty of time to dry. I let mine sit for over one hour. If some of the pages don’t bind together the first time through, just apply a second, or even third coat, if necessary. Padding compound is of course the best medium to use, but my all-purpose Elmer’s worked great, too!

5. If desired, apply magnets to back of pad.

6. And voila! It’s a great way to repurpose scrap paper for grocery lists, or create drawing pads for your kids. A nice gift idea for a parent or teacher is to have your child do a drawing, and then have it printed in the lower corner of each piece of paper that you compile into a notepad. An easy, personal present!

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart