Tutorial: Scrap Paper Notebooks

After living in this house for a year, this weekend I really started getting everything in my studio in lovely, functional order.  I've added an entire wall of shelves so all of my supplies are easy to grab and peruse.  I've got two lovely new desks being delivered next week and I've even selected--maybe--a paint color to get rid of these knotty pine walls that I loathe so much.  

Most of yesterday was spent assembling the new shelves and cleaning out my studio a bit.  In the process, I found BUNCHES of old test prints, including a stack of calendars from last year.  A lot of the findings are being either tossed out for recycling or sent to friends if they are in good condition, but I thought this little pile of calendar sheets from last year's printable calendars could be put to good use:


I decided to whip up some tiny notebooks using some of these remnants, so I started by cutting off the usable portion:  


This left me with enough paper for a notebook about 2.5 x 2.5 inches.  

Next I dug through some of my old sketchbooks and found one with quite a few unused sheets.  The sketchbook pages were about 9 x 12, so I used the scissors and cut them into rough thirds.  No need to be too neat with these step, it gets prettied up later.  And you can really use any paper you've got laying around:  old notebook pages, sketchbook pages, graph paper, computer paper, etc.  

Then I stapled about 4 sheets of sketch paper to each of my pretty patterned papers, like this:


Since I just did a quick, rough cut on the sketch pages, there is a lot leftover.  When stapling, I just line up one of the edges and don't worry about the others.  

Be sure to staple close to the middle.  I use a long arm stapler for these, but as long as you are making small notebooks, any stapler will do the job nicely.  

Next, I folded all the little notebooks along the staple line:


The staples make it easy to fold on a straight line, but you can also use a bone folder if you'd like.  

Now there is still ton of extra paper hanging over the edges, so I go back to my paper trimmer to get rid of the excess:


If you don't have a paper trimmer, you can always just use scissors to do the job.  I like the paper trimmer because it leaves nice, clean lines and makes sure the edges of the mini notebooks are even.  

And now after trimming the excess edges off each mini notebook, I'm done:


Cute, right?  

These will probably get tucked into the next few orders I send out or I might use them for quick grocery lists, but they would also make cute and easy party favors.  If you wanted to get really crafty with it, you could make your own little mini books in this format too!