Friday, March 11, 2011

Thrifty Notepads


In our family growing up, every last scrap of paper was used.  Clean notebook paper was reserved for school assignments, but lists, notes, messages and the like were scribble on the backs of "scratch paper."  And if you didn't use the whole paper, you tore off the part you used and left the rest for next time.

Even now when my dad has asks for a piece of paper while at our house, he turns down any clean paper and sends me off to get a piece of scratch paper (even if the said clean paper was from mini notepads I discovered at work that are 10+ years old and had no hope of being used).

I have a drawer dedicated to scratch paper.  I open junk mail just to salvage the wasted paper that was only printed on one side, and recycle the rest.  I regularly use them for notes, menu plans, and grocery, shopping, and to-do lists.

But I love new notepads and notebooks.  Our local Hy-Vee had notebooks on sale at the beginning of the school year for .19 and I stocked up on a reasonable number.  But they kept setting them out at the same price.  And even yesterday I couldn't resist getting 5 notebooks for $1.  Let's just say that I probably have enough to get Henry through high school...

Back to using up scrap paper.  My stack of paper was getting large, and I rarely need more than a quarter-page of paper at a time.

So I made notepads.

All you need is paper, chipboard (optional), ModPodge, and a small paintbrush

Step One (Optional): Borrow a paper cutter, guillotine style - I was doing a large stack of paper and would have been there forever with my scrapbooking-style paper cutter

Step Two: Cut paper to desired size - I did quarter page (My tip: when I cut the paper, I keep it lined up so that my top edge has all un-cut edges, which makes them line up nice when you stack them together.)

Step Three (Optional): Cut chipboard to same size for backing (cereal boxes work great) - The chipboard isn't necessary to holding the notepads together, it just might make writing on the last few pages a little nicer

Step Four: Arrange the paper into stacks and clamp it together - leave the side you are going to glue hanging out 1/8-1/4 inch
I had a flower press I made way back in grade school, but some woodworking clamps and a few scrap boards is another easy idea.  And I'm sure there's plenty of other creative ways to squish the ends of your paper together.

Step Five: Apply ModPodge to the exposed edge with a small paint brush - I did 4-5 thin coats, letting it dry a few minutes (or hours when I got busy) in between

Easy Peasy.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love your notepads! With my drawer full of scratch paper, I could put the paper (and the drawer!) to a much neater use with your notepad idea. Thanks!