Saturday, 31 August 2013

DIY Handmade Notebooks

Just in time for Back To School preparations, I had a go at putting together some pretty handmade notebooks. I used to make these lots when I was younger and the simple book bounding technique I'm going to show you makes it really easy. You can make personalised, unique books from scratch - here's how...

Thick Card 
- this will be your cover
- 5/6 sheets, these will be your pages
Decorative Paper 
- or design your own!
String and/or Thread
- or something else sharp and pointy

001. Start by measuring up your paper. My outside cover was 8x12 inches, with the inside pages being slightly smaller at 8x10 inches. You can of course make your notebook to whatever size you prefer! 

002. Fold your 8x10 paper in half. Ta-da, pages! Looking more like a book already!

003. Find the centre spot in the fold. Then 3cm in from each end. Mark these before puncturing with the bradawl. Be careful not to puncture your fingers at the same time. This is where our string will go and how our pages will be held together.

004. Pull your string from behind through the first and last holes. Then both ends of the string need to be posted through the middle hole. These ends will pop out at the back and you can tighten, and tie into a bow. Done!

005. Taking your cover card (- the thicker piece at 8x12) Find the centre, mark and 'score'. To score a piece of card you need to line up your ruler - and lightly drag a pair of scissors down that line. Repeat if needed. This helps to fold the card in the correct place.

006. You can now see how your inner pages will slot into the cover. But it's looking a bit bare. Let's decorate the cover a little...

007. Fold a piece of fancy patterned paper in half. I'm using this polka dot design which measures 8x8 inches. Using Pritt-stick glue this down. 

008. Holding the book out flat, you can now glue in your inner pages. Glue the first page and last page to the inner cover. Don't apply too much glue, but make sure it gets right to the edges. 

009. In order to keep my notebook closed, I've 'sewn' on a button which string will wrap around. Again you need to make holes with your bradawl. One hole in the front cover where you can attach your button using the same string as before. And one hole on the back cover as seen above. Knot your string so it can't fall through the hole and wrap up your notebook! I wrapped the string around 3 times before twisting around the button. But you can make the string however long or short as you like. 

I played around with colours and designs and made this white and green notebook - the pages inside are even green too! These are perfect for doodling in, sketching or mind mapping ideas. They also make lovely presents. You can customise them to fit your own style. Perhaps using a ribbon instead of string, or having your binding on show rather than covered up.




  1. That looks amazing! Thankyou for sharing :) I'm promising myself that this coming Christmas, all the presents I make will be handmade so I'm definitely bookmarking this as an idea, they'd be perfect! x

  2. These are so pretty, such a good idea! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD 

  3. These are very cute and original.

    Jazzie x

  4. These are so sweet! I used to make them when I was younger too, but they never looked this good!

    Helen at "Hels Yeah" xx

  5. These are gorgeous! i've been looking for notebooks for uni but why not make my own aha!

  6. Too damn cute! I should try this sometime! But don't you feel a bit sad when you've filled all the pages and you consider throwing it away? Or maybe you can reuse the cover.
    Anyway that's a great tutorial!

  7. This looks beautiful. I love those notebooks. Great illustrations!

    Sofie x

  8. You are seriously amazing on DIY
    S xx

  9. These are great. Such a good idea. Perfect to give as gifts!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

  10. these are so cute you should totally sell them or something! i think i will definitely try this out soon as the one thing i haven't bought for school yet is a notebook

    xo Sarah

  11. thanks for lovely idea x

  12. These are lovely! Such a beautiful blog - I am now a follower and look forward to future posts :)
    Jenna x

  13. Very Cool!! I'm going to try and make some sketchbooks using this idea! :)

  14. Oh they're so quaint! Perfect for writing on a nice sunny day!

  15. Adorable! I love the little gold touch of that button! :)


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