Friday, February 29, 2008

A Quick Project and A Great Way to Recycle!

We're celebrating Ben's birthday with cake and his real store bought present on Sunday, but I wanted to have a little something to give him yesterday on his real birthday, so I made him a personalized notepad.

This is a very easy project and very fun, because it almost seems like magic that something so simple actually works.

You want to start with the paper you'll be using. I used the printer to print the design four times on a letter sized page. I think the quarter sized notepads are a useful size. I recylcled paper from Ben's work. They go through a ton of it, always printing out presentations and things, so I ask him to save me the old stuff and that's what I use in our home printer. You could also use paper from junk mail, old envelopes, backs of used notebook paper, and you could use post cards, greeting cars, or empty notebook covers for the covers. This one is made without a cover.

I use my paper cutter to cut the sheets to size. This is a big Fiskars one that I inherited from my Aunt when she went to all Making Memories stuff, but you can find smaller ones that work well for as little as six or seven dollars at Walmart in the scrapbooking stuff.

If you don't want to use up printer ink, or if you're using this as an art project for kids, you could easily cut the paper to size, then rubber stamp, use stickers, color, scrapbook, etc for the decorations.

I use cardboard cut from old note book backing, or from boxes for the backing. This was the side of the box my printer ink comes in. I also sandwich two more pieces of cardboard front and back. This is because the very last and very first page are always kind of messy, so it's good to be able to just pull them off.

I even out the pages really well and make sure the top of the sheets are exactly level and even. I tap it all on the counter in a wood/notepad sandwich to make sure that it's all even, then, I clamp it all down. I use these little plaques that I've had around that never got used for whatever I'd meant to use them for. You could probably use lots of things for this, two heavy duty paint stir sticks, rulers, scrap wood. You want clamps that are really nice and night.

Here's the secret to the whole thing: paint a coating of plain old Elmer's white glue onto the top edge of the notepad pages. Use it right from the bottle and apply a fairly thickish coating. The thicker you go, the stronger the pages will hold together, but it will also increase the drying time by alot. After that, you just have to let it dry completely.

After it's dry, just unclamp it all, and peel off the extra front and back cardboard, making sure to leave one of the back pieces of cardboard with the pages to be the backing for the notepad. Here is a shot demonstrating how the pages stay together, like a real note pad.

The finished project! This says, "I've got ___ things I have to do today....Gotta stay on top of my life." Which is something Ben always says when he's planning his day and making his to do list. I think it's from a tv show.
I hope you all enjoy this idea! It could easily be adjusted, I'm sure rubber cement or tacky glue would work just as well, and the notepads can be any size or made from different kinds of paper. If anyone tries it, I'd love to hear about your results!

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Alison said...

I saw a very similar project on Martha Stewart awhile back. I thought it was great way to make use of used paper

S.B. said...

Cute idea! We also use recycled paper left over from my husbands work.

Mom2fur said...

I really have to try that! What a great idea!

Sophia said...

I'm a paper junkie and have always wished I could figure out how to keep a notebook like this together. Thanks so much! I'll have to make some real soon ...

Bethany said...

Glad you ladies liked it! Hope you'll all get the chance to try it soon.

Alicat, that Martha is always beating me to everything!

Hadias said...

Hey Bethany. What a great project. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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