Nifty Notepads

No matter how much I try to reduce my paper use, there always seems to be a pile of scrap lying around. Good thing there’s plenty of opportunity for reuse — worm bin fodder, packing material, collage scraps. And of course there’s the trusty pocket notepad, a great way to use up any one-sided paper you might have hanging around. There are lots of methods to the making — here are a few to get you started.

Glue binding

Cut 20-80 squares of paper with a paper cutter or by following the edge of a cardboard square. Use the same cardboard as a backing and with binder clips or rubber bands press tightly together with the paper scraps. Brush on your glue binding. If you’re planning on making a lot of notepapds, you might want to look into a bottle of padding compound, a strong, flexible glue especially designed for notepad binding—but if you’re just experimenting, a couple of coats of Mighty Tacky or rubber cement will also work.

Staple binding

This quick and dirty pad couldn’t be easier. Take about 20 squares, stack on top of each other, then staple a row across the top about a quarter of an inch in. Good for keeping by the phone or on the fridge for emergency list-jotting purposes.

Stitch binding

Probably the sturdiest of the three options, and the most attractive. Take a stack of 20-40 squares plus covers (vintage postcards or sturdier cardstock), hold together with binder clips, and mark a straight line down one side, about one inch from the edge. Punch three holes along the line with an awl or a nail. Cut a length of embroidery thread approximately four times the length of the booklet spine and thread through the top hole. Stitch down through the second hole, then up through the third hole. Sew a loop from the third hole around the bottom edge of the booklet, then a second loop from the same hole around the back edge. Proceed to the middle hole and stitch a loop from the middle to the back edge and repeat bottom hole sequence with the top hole. Tighten the thread and tie the two ends together. Nifty!


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