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16 September 2010 @ 03:41 pm
Cubicle Crafts: Cardboard Inspiration Notebooks  
I love notebooks. Love. However, I'm obnoxiously picky about them - they need to have hard backs (none of this flimsy stuff!), but the front cover also needs to be able to fold behind the back all the way, so hard-backed journal-type notebooks won't work. I also want to be able to easily remove pages without making it look ratty. Once I could drive, back-to-school shopping became an epic tour of every stationery store in the state. If I found JUST the right notebooks, it was an auspicious omen for the school year!

I'm not in school anymore, but these notebooks (almost) make me wish I were!!

Paper (1-sided non-confidential paper rescued from the recycling bin at the office, or to be schmancy, use actual store-bought filler paper!)
Thick corrugated cardboard (from shipping or paper boxes)
Scissors or an x-acto knife
Split rings - mine are called "Loose Leaf Book Rings" when I order them
3-hole punch (for the paper) and a 1-hole punch (for the cardboard - though you could try to use the 3-hole punch!)


Text version:
1) Assemble your supplies.
2) 3-hole punch your interior paper.
3) Measure and cut your cardboard covers. I recommend your cover dimensions be 1" bigger each way than your paper, so it can hang over on each side (so for the full-size version, covers are 9.5"x12"). Round the corners.
4) Using a hole-punched page as a template, mark where the holes need to be punched on the covers. The split-rings I have are 1" diameter, so I put the hole a little more than 1/2" in from that edge.
5) Hole-punch the cover.
6) Assemble your pages using split rings.

You can easily add or remove pages by just opening the rings again (hint: academic handouts or pretty magazine pages)! Either leave it as-is for a more industrial look, or decorate with whatever you like! You may notice that the paper has "graph paper" printing on it -- I just downloaded some free graph paper from the internet and printed a few sheets, since I love graph paper, and filler graph paper is ten gajillion dollars a pack.

I also made a smaller, 1/4 page version, and cut out little file-folder tab pages from cardstock to divide different sections.

*note: Those reams of paper are not related to this project.
Your *Mom*'s A Cylon!: Manhattan - Hiastrum_presul on September 16th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
<3 <3 <3

I love it. I wanna go out right now and get supplies and make myself one. I looooove it.

I'm picky about my notebooks too. I can't write in the notebook if I'm not feeling the good mojo from it. My school notebooks now are so boring, maybe that's why I never want to touch them. Haha.

Little Red: peanuts - think i'm in lovemylittleredgirl on September 16th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'M SO IN LOVE! Originally I was thinking of making this a craft inspiration notebook and just gluing cool things to the pages / hole-punching pretty magazine pages / etc... but now I kind of want to go buy filler writing paper and use that instead!

Try as I might, I just can't love writing on non-lined paper.
Havochavocthecat on September 17th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Is it wrong I want to make one of those and then decoupage awesome pictures to the front? *ponders*
Little Red: sga - arts & crafts - qwirkymylittleredgirl on September 17th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Dude, that's totally what I'm going to do!!! It's not only RIGHT, it's DECREED. You must!

I wonder if I made journal-sized ones and made the covers pretty (with fabric! and buttons! or clever magazine collageness!) and put them on Etsy, I could guilt people into actually buying them for money. (My sister is now on etsy and nags me constantly to Start Selling Things, but I am all, What Could I Possibly Sell That People Would Want? So I've been puzzling on this!)
Melyannamelyanna on September 18th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
I think you probably could, especially if you had options for lined and unlined paper. (I might not do buttons on sketchbooks just because they might make things wobbly.) But there are people selling notebooks and journals on Etsy!
ankareeda: sparkicolorusankareeda on September 16th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
So awesome and cool! ♥
Little Red: lazy - stephie squeemylittleredgirl on September 16th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
(Deleted comment)
Little Red: sg - jonas dork - lindir_jaxmylittleredgirl on September 16th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Like, your OWN office?? With a door that closes? I would be so jealous!!
Allie O'N: Propel Phonealliesings on September 16th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is so cool. I have a friend who hates paper ripped out of a notebook, and he hates knowing that it means the number of pages indicated on the front is no longer true. Doing a project with him, I pretty much had to procure a binder and loose-leaf for the sanity of everyone involved.
Little Red: trek - trill spots - lovetruthbellamylittleredgirl on September 17th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC)
HA! If you made one of these for him, you'd have to somehow put a little clear pocket in front so he could write on a scrap of paper ACCURATELY how many pages were inside. :-P
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: J/E - computer (by awanderingbard)joyfulfeather on September 17th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
That's awesome! And adorable, too. Does the looseness of the paper not drive you crazy, though? Maybe it's just me -- I just have issues with things being able to move around under my hands or when I'm carrying them. (Control issues, maybe?) Anyway, regardless, very awesome! I love your cubicle crafts!
Melyannamelyanna on September 17th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
You could solve that with a trip to Kinko's, where they'll put a coil or comb spine on it for you. I know a couple people who've done that with small paperback things where the original binding wasn't that good. Obviously that's a more permanent creation than Red's, but it would work if you're not going for removable/refillable.
Little Red: sg - hatching plots - lindir_jaxmylittleredgirl on September 17th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
It's truly amazing the stuff that they can do at Kinko's. The Kinko's we have around here is pretty awful and broken-down, but IN THEORY, they do amazing stuff. Love all the paper color options! And the laminators. Someday, I will own a laminator!
Little Red: aw - cj/d *hugz* - natushkamylittleredgirl on September 17th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
Yay!! :) I have the same issues with squirrelly paper, which I decided to abandon a little for this project. However, the more rings you use, the less movey it is. The smaller one with 2-rings is a nightmare for paper-moving, but the 3-ring one seems totally acceptable so far. It's less clunky than a 3-ring binder because it folds back on itself, which I think makes the difference as far as frustration level vs. paper-moving!
~*Cassandra*~: TV: Law & Order CI || Zach smilepolkadotsnplaid on September 18th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
You are amazing.
anranr on September 20th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
You are very clever! I love seeing your art creations. :)