DIY Tutorial: Handmade Notebooks

I love notebooks. I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t?

They’re so versatile and multi-purpose, we are really only limited by our imagination. People use them for ideas, sketches, to-do lists, notes, diary entries… It is basically an essential in life – for me at least.

As we speak, I have brand-new still-in-packaging notebooks waiting for their turn to shine, because I can never resist getting them!!! Even if I don’t immediately see a need for them!! (need to #stahp)

Hence, it really boggles me to have never thought of…
making my own.

After seeing a couple of tutorials and trying out for myself, here’s presenting to you… 5 steps to your very own handmade notebooks!

p.s. these guys would make wonderful gifts for friends and loved ones ❤


 

things you need blog.jpg

Things you need:

  • blank paper (we used 80gsm printer paper) – 7-10 sheets, depending on how many pages you want to have
  • coloured/ patterned card stock or thicker paper for cover material
  • string

Equipment:

  • paper cutter/trimmer
  • needle, thread and thimble/ anything that lets you push down the needle
  • hole punch

 


 

Step 1: For A6 sized notebooks, cut the A4 sized papers into two. The paper cutter makes it much easier, but you can easily do it with scissors or pen knife too.

giphy

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Step 2: Next, we fold the paper in half. Use something to go over the fold to make it crisp.

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Then, put the pages together.

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Step 3: Use the pages to measure and see how big you want the cover to be, giving around a cm allowance. Then, cut and fold according to the same instructions in steps 1 and 2.

Step 4: For binding your notebooks together, there are two methods – choose the one that suits you best!

step4 mtd1

Method one: hole + string

This method is super easy, and can be done in a jiffy! Simply punch holes and tie the string – just make sure you tie the knot inside, unless you prefer to see the knot outside 🙂

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Method two: sewing (oh you’ll need a ruler too)

This method requires more steps and effort, but the end result is much better too! It actually reminds me of those store-bought kind – except my skills not there yet… haha

step4 mtd2-1

Measure and dot along the inner bone (I do around 1/4 inch from the edge and an inch space between each dot) as a guide for when you start sewing.

Note: Remember to tie at least 2/3 knots at the end of the string so it wouldn’t go all the way through.

step 4 mtd 2-1

Start sewing from the inside, where you have the dots. You’ll need the thimble or something hard and sturdy to help push the needle through, while supporting the book on a flat surface. You can put cork board or a sponge below to catch the needle, but I just did it off the edge of the table.

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Once you get the needle and thread through the first hole, measure and draw the dot guides on this side as well.

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Sew as in the diagram above – called a basting stitch – to end up with a dashed line look like…

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this! When you reach the bottom, sew upwards in the same fashion, and you’ll end up with something…

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… like this!

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To end off, tie three knots and trim off the excess thread.

Step 5: Decorate (optional; an idea as in picture below) and celebrate your new notebooks!!!

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The completed notebooks should look like this! (or better 😉 )

comparison.jpg


 

Now… all that’s left is to think about what to do with your awesome new notebooks! Travel diary, sketch book, bullet journal… perhaps scrapbook?

Check out our Instagram for a bullet journal spread posted recently, and head on over to our website to print memories you can touch and feel in your hands – and go into your notebooks, too, of course!

Happy crafting!

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