Nifty Notebooks

Paper notebooks

My swag pile was depleted so I needed to make some more notebooks to giveaway. I feared that this would require a trip to Wal-mart with all three kids on a snow day. (Our last trip to the store required everyone to sit in timeout when we got home. I probably needed it the most. yikes. So I was not looking forward to another trip.)

So you can imagine my excitement and relief when I discovered the paper I thought I had used up was not gone. Β Whew!

I thought I’d share the instructions for making these little notebooks because they are fun, easy, and cute.

What you’ll need:

Fun paper

5 sheets of plain white paper

Cutting device (paper cutter, rotary cutter, or scissors, if you are awesome.)

Sewing machine with a leather or denim needle.

1. Cut the fun paper into a rectangle – 5 5/8″ x 8 5/8″. Fold in half.

Outside of notebook

2. Cut the white paper in half. 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. Put half sheets in one pile. Fold in half.

Inside of notebook

3. Insert white paper inside fun paper.

Paper inside cover

4. Sew down the fold. Refold the notebook and Tada! a notebook.

Sewing down the fold of the notebook

I’ve contemplated using fabric for the outside, but haven’t tried it yet. Now that I am actually out of fun paper, I may have to.Β Finished notebookFor promotional purposes, I put a sticker on the front with my name, website, and tagline on it. I figure this is something that people will keep around for a little while.

If you would like a notebook, email me at joselynvaughn @ with your snail mail address and I’ll drop one in the mail to you. Currently, I have the colors pictured below. If you have a color preference, let me know.IMG_0879


  1. These are great to tuck in your purse for when an idea hits. My kids love them too–hence the reason why my purse one is always missing! πŸ™‚


    1. That’s what I was thinking too. πŸ™‚


  2. Thanks for the info on making these. Do you use a card stock weight for the fun paper or is it like scrapbook paper for the cover? I just came from a meeting of our library club. Our park is celebrating its 40th anniversary, so every club is setting up a table at the party/open house. These little notebooks would make a nice gift for visitors to take home. Maybe put a big # 40 on the front. Thank goodness the open house isn’t until April 5!


    1. I used scrapbooking paper for these, but you could certainly use something heavier. As long as your sewing machine can handle it.


  3. If you ever make it to a GRRWG meeting, I will gladly give you a big pile of scrapbook paper. I have way more than I will ever use. Thanks for reminding me of these. Looks like another item on the to-do list.


    1. That would be awesome! Someday I’ll make it back. πŸ™‚


  4. kristilynnstudio · ·

    Cute! I think maybe I could handle sewing a straight line!


    1. You definitely could. You could make some awesome covers too.


  5. Awesome idea Joselyn. If you could bring one for me to the next GRRWG meeting, I’d be forever grateful! πŸ˜‰


    1. I don’t know when I’ll be at another meeting, but I’ll bring some along next time.


  6. What a clever idea! Thank you for sharing the how-to. I could do this!


    1. You definitely could. My kindergartener even helped with the folding. I was thinking if you wanted to get fancier, you could put washi tape over the stitching. Lots of options.


  7. I love these. I just found one in my drawer. I also have tons of paper you can use. I’ll let you pick some for doing the PowerPoint!


  8. Joselyn, these look great. Explain about the sewing needle, please. A regular needle wouldn’t go through the paper? What if you used material and paper? I have some squares I was going to do a quilt for first grand. Couldn’t get over my fear of cutting and messing up. (He’s heading to 5!) What if I Can I just cut the paper in half and then use that size? I’m not a numbers measuring kind of person. πŸ™‚ Our chapter is doing a program on SWAG in May. I’ll definitley want to share this idea and of course give you credit.. πŸ™‚


    1. That would be awesome! I think a regular need will go through paper, but not as easily through so many pages at once. A denim needle or leather needle is meant for heavier duty materials. I don’t see why you couldn’t use material and paper. I haven’t tried it, but maybe tomorrow. πŸ™‚

      The white paper is just cut in half. The fun paper was originally 12″ square, so I had to size it to match. I made it a little bigger than the white sheets, so that when it folded, it covered all the edges.

      I would love to see pictures if make some. πŸ™‚


      1. Thanks for further explanations. I just may experiment and I’ll send you pics if I do. It sure would be cheap and kind of different. Do yo think I’d need to starch the material to give it a bit of stiffness? It’s such a practical gift. Everyone is always looking for something to make a note on or to give the grands something to scratch on. πŸ™‚


      2. That’s the question I had about using fabric. I was going to try some upholstery or canvas. Something that was already stiffer.


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