Designed By Judi Kauffman
When the copy center near me had a $1 sale on spiral binding services, I
thought it might be fun to make some notebooks, sketchbooks and journals with
stamped covers. It's only $2 when they're not having the sale, so the cost
is reasonable and the result is very sturdy and functional.
This is a very easy project, and it makes a nice gift or item to sell, as
well as something you can make for yourself. The children who were visiting
on the day I made mine made their own and were thrilled with their creations,
so it's a good project to do with young people.
(Note: All stamps used for the notebooks were from the Tactile Impressions
I & II sheets, Red Castle #49010 and 49020)
- Two 8-1/2" x 11" pieces heavy cardboard (railroad board, heavy illustration
board or mat board)
- Assorted stamps and inks of your choice
- Paper for inside the book (8-1/2" x 11")
- Embossing powders, optional
- Laminating film, optional
- Copy center/printer with plastic coated spiral wire binding
- Color the surface of the board (front only, or both front and back covers)
with dye or pigment ink, using the direct-to-paper method where ink pad is
the applicator for the color. Dry with heat tool or air dry.
- Stamp pattern stamps in rows as a grid pattern (red notebook), in rows as a
horizontal/vertical pattern (green notebook), or randomly (purple notebook).
Add accent stamps (pods on green notebook). Emboss as much of the pattern as
you want. On the green notebook, only the pods are embossed. On the red
notebook all of the patterns are embossed. On the purple notebook, none of
the patterns are embossed, but a bookmark-size strip is added to the cover as
- Stack the front cover, 1/2" of paper (computer paper, text weight stock, or a
mixture), and the back cover. Take to a copy center for spiral binding. If
your copy center will bind thicker books, add more paper.
OPTIONS AND OTHER IDEAS
Punch the covers and inside pages on a 3-ring punch and use rings, ribbons,
or keychains to hold the notebook together. make them loose enough so pages
will freely turn and book lies open, flat, when in use.
- Make sure to allow 3/4" at left side where there is little or no pattern if
you don't want the design to be punched by the binding (red book).
- Bind the notebook at the top like a stenographer's notebook, or make it long
and narrow for grocery lists. The binding can be cut to any length, so the
notebook size doesn't have to be 8-1/2" x 11".
- Laminate the covers to make the book shiny and spill-resistant (purple
- Stamp the inside of the covers, emboss or color the edges of the boards.
- If the book is decorative and won't have to travel in and out of tote bags,
the cover can be less durable. Add dimensional embellishments like charms,
buttons, wire and beads, yarn and more. These items would snag or fall off
in a tote bag, so omit them for your everyday books.
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