Thursday, November 3, 2011

99.9% hand-recycled notebooks

Remember the paper I showed you how to make a couple weeks ago?  Well, I did something cool with them.  I originally started making them for wedding invitations (which have yet to be made since we're still a little far off and don't know all the deets yet,) but I was curious how versatile they could be.

So I though to myself, I wonder if I could make an entire notebook out of them? 

First I had to come up with a way to make a sturdy front and back cover.  I looked to my trusty always-around-the-house crafting supply of cereal boxes.  (Seriously, cereal boxes are the bomb.  I can't even count how many times I've looked to them to complete crafting projects.)  I carefully cut some out so they would be just an eighth of an inch or less larger than the inside sheets on all sides.  Now I had to cover them with something that looked nice.  The first one I made, I covered with the paper that I made, but that required that I had sheets be larger than the inside sheets, which would have made the notebooks a little small, blah blah blah, cool, but I needed something better.

So I looked around my crafty room and saw it.  My old environmental science textbook that I tried to sell back a hundred times and no one would take.  Bingo.  I ripped out some sheets with nice pictures of nature on them and brushed on a light coating of acrylic paint.  Once dry, I sprayed them with some finishing spray and glued them on the cereal-box-cover sheets. 

For the inside, I cut the papers so that they were even on all sides and sewed the binding together with old de-knitted sweater cotton yarn.  Pretty nice, huh?  Yeah, it was a little painstaking, but I think the result is really cool.  They can be used for general notes, a journal, or even a nature journal (keep it out of the rain, though.)  I think the inside paper would be really good for water coloring, since it absorbs water pretty well.  And just think, they are notebooks that are completely (save the glue) made out of post consumer product.

The insides of the covers were scored so they open and close nicely.

They turned out so nice, I thought, "I wonder if I could sell these?"  What do you think?  I looked on Etsy to see what was available, and there definitely weren't any journals with hand recycled paper on the inside.  But what made me discouraged was that there were so many journals on there already that were being sold for 5 bucks or less.  With all the effort I put into these, there is no way I could sell them for that low.  I was thinking maybe $15?  But then I thought, "I wouldn't buy some silly notebook for 15 bucks, why would someone else?"  

So I need your help, dear readers.  What would YOU pay for one?  I'll even add an incentive: each person who responds to this post with a suggestion, I will enter into a drawing to win one of these.  How's that?  But you have to promise that if you win, you have to tell me what you think after I send it to you, k?  Lets say I'll hold the drawing next Thursday.  That gives y'all a week to respond.  Cool?
Here are some more specs on them to give you a better idea:  The small ones are 4.5x6.5 inches and the larger ones are 5.25x7 inches.  They all have 10 sheets of hand made paper inside of them.  The paper varies based on what batch they came from so they are all unique.  I can't wait to hear what you think!  (And let me know if you want more details about them.)


  1. Those are awesome! My brother in law makes some crappy ones (haha) that he just glues cereal boxes, or some other decorative contact paper to $1 comp books. I would much prefer something likes yours! I think I would pay 10-12? 15 yeah, because I know the maker.. I don't think 15 is such a stretch, especially if it is used for something like a journal, or something you keep around for a while.


  2. Love em! Went to etsy to compare prices and they were all over the's an example:

    The pages themselves are not handmade, just the covers. So I think $10 for the smaller version and $15 for the larger is reasonable. Maybe you could even add some of your stamps to them to add to the value??

    Keep up the great work!


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