Tuesday, July 6, 2010


There’s paper all around us these days. Junk mail, last year’s date books, old ledgers, snippets of scrapbook paper, school notebook paper, and you don’t want to just throw it away, but what’s it good for?

Scratch pads! I don’t know a single person who doesn’t need something to scribble a quick note on from time to time. Have you ever made your own? It’s remarkably easy.

You’ll need just three things: paper, card stock, and rubber cement.

First decide what paper you’re going to use. I chose to use an assortment, just for the interest of having different patterns and colors to write on, and took sheets from all the sources I mentioned above. The card stock is for the last sheet, to give your scratch pad stiffness, and it’s good to use it for the front, too, to protect the lighter-weight papers. What I used for mine was the back of a Bessie Pease Gutman calendar.

Cut all your sheets to exactly the same size. Or you could go random with them, which was my first thought, but I quickly discovered I liked a smooth, book-like edge better.

Shuffle the pages for maximum variety. If you want, make your cover pieces just a smidge bigger than the writing sheets, and choose them for their decorative effect.

Now stack them so that the top edges are perfectly aligned, put a sheet of paper under the stack to protect your work surface, and one on top to protect your weights, and then weigh the stack of paper down with something good and heavy. I used my cast iron bench press, but a concrete block, several heavy books, or pieces of wood clamped together with C-clamps are also good choices.

Paint the top, exposed, edges of the scratch pad with rubber cement. Let the cement dry, and repeat. Do that until you feel like you’ve got a good heavy coating of rubber cement. This is what holds the pad together.

When the glue is completely dry, take the weights off, and peel off the protective sheets of paper. Trim any excess glue sticking out. If some of your writing sheets have skewed in the process, you can trim their edges, too, if you like.

My front cover looked a little lopsided to me, so I added another image to it. You might want to decorate it with a bit of ribbon, lace, or other pretty item.

You can also make these more production-style, by stacking multiple scratch pad assemblies, and painting as for one. When the glue is dry, just tear them apart.

Another option is to glue one side, rather than the top edges. Your scratch pad would then open like a book.


storybeader said...

your scratch pad came out so cute. One problem: I want to keep the notebooks! But I may do this in the future. I don't have any children to pass them on to...

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Very cute!

You are so organized. I just lay the scraps in a pile and use them as they are!

Cindy Adkins said...

Wow--these are adorable!!! What fantastic idea...you are brimming with wonderful projects!

~k said...

That's a cool and cute idea! I'm always scribbling stuff down in notebooks!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Wow you are a very talented lady.
Thank you for stopping by my blog I am so glad you found me, I am now a follower of yours. You are amazing, love your coffee pot people...
I must try this note paper project.

Carol said...

Very clever! Thanks for following me. I'm following you back now. I love to find wonderfully creative blogs like yours!

The Fab Miss B said...

What a cool idea! These would make adorable gifts too- maybe paired with a pretty set of pencils and wrapped up in a bow. (Plus, your epehemera is so elegant! My paper scraps are just odds and ends from printer paper!)

Splendid Little Stars said...

very cool!

Related Posts with Thumbnails