I love paper. There’s just something very soothing about working with it. And it’s precisely why many of the craft projects I do involve cutting, pasting, folding, decorating and printing on paper.
But even with this great big love for paper products, I do acknowledge the fact that I really ought to be conserving and recycling them more instead of hoarding and tossing them right away. This led me to upcycling projects such as collaging, making my own paper and junk journaling — just simple, fun ways to keep me from wasting paper so easily.
Lately, I’ve been really enjoying compiling loose papers and handstitiching them into notebooks. I searched online for different ways to make notebooks that took the least time and required the most basic materials. Here are some of what I found that might interest you too:
These are all easy methods you can do in an hour max, as long as you have the paper and simple tools on hand.
I went for Incredibusy’s Saddle Stitch bind but instead of using cotton thread, I used a fine type of jute rope to give it a little rustic touch. The papers I used are from an old notebook (you can tell by its yellowing edges) that had a torn cover. The board papers I used as covers are from other old clothing catalogs.
Here’s a quick step by step which I modified for easy reference:
- Collect sheets of paper and a piece of board paper (approximately all in the same size)
- Fold in half
- Mark 3 dots along the center (spine) of first sheet
- Push a large needle (or anything sharp and pointed like a push pin or pen) through the dots you marked. Do the same with every sheet of paper, using the first page as a template.
- Stitch by pushing needle and thread through center hole from the inside, out to the cover of the book, and back through the top hole, then through the center hole and back through the lower hole, to the inside of the book again. Tie loose ends tight.
I often store magazines, brochures, wrapping paper and even product packaging that I like knowing that I can transform them later on into something pretty or useful.
The kids loved what I made so much that they asked me to make small ones for them too. So I had them collect different pieces of paper that they liked. They pooled together magazine pages, construction paper and random patterned paper scraps from their drawing pile and gave them to me. I did not bother making all the pages the same size because I thought the colorful cascading pages looked cute too. I just made sure to pick a hard enough board paper for the covers. Then I used the same saddle stitch binding method on them too.
I’ve been really enjoying using these notebooks since I made them and filling the pages has been incredibly satisfying and soothing. I just love that they’re made out of paper I already own. It will absolutely be no surprise if I end up collecting more papers and spending quiet afternoons sewing notebooks together.