Take Note: DIY Notebooks in 5 Minutes

DIY Notebooks in 5 Minutes on Paper & Stitch

I’ve made DIY notebooks here and it’s resulted in what felt like an infinite number of places to jot down notes or sketch out ideas. But for some reason no matter how many I make (or buy for that matter), I can never find a notebook when I need it. WTF?!

So, I figured I would make a new set of DIY notebooks to stash around the house, the studio, my purse, etc so I have some again. And I wanted to make them really special. If I really love them, maybe I won’t loose them this time?!  So, I made them with wallpaper, but not just any wallpaper… the wallpaper dreams are made of!

Want to make a set of your own? Here’s how to make your own wallpaper notebooks in about 5 minutes.

Love this patterned wallpaper


  • decorative wallpaper samples (cool wrapping paper works too)
  • scissors
  • scrap paper
  • long reach stapler (I like this $10 one from Amazon)
  • bone folder (also from Amazon)

All of the wallpaper is from Kelly Wearstler and I actually bought a bunch of samples for a project I want to do in the studio. But while I try to whittle it down to the one I love most and figure out the budget, I had these leftover samples that were dying to be DIYed.


The process for these DIY notebooks is similar to the DIY library card notebooks from WAY back (don’t judge those photos too harshly…it was six years ago). But there are some difference and specifics for using wallpaper, so I created a new tutorial…

1. Start by cutting out scrap paper and folding it in half to create the notebook shape you want- using a bone folder to create a crisp fold, like the photo. For the scrap paper, you can use anything…colorful paper, lined paper, graph paper, etc.

Sizing note… I really like creating a mixture of standard size and nonstandard size notebooks. The one in the tutorial photos is small and square. I cut paper 10 pieces of scrap paper down to 7 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. When folded in half, it creates a 20 page square notebook that is 3.5 x 3.5. The green and black striped notebook in some of the after photos is 4.5 inches by 5.5 inches when finished – so the initial bundle of scrap paper was 9 inches long and 5.5 inches tall.

2. Next, unfold and trace around the edges of the scrap paper onto wallpaper. Then cut out the shape that was created with scissors.

3. Wrap the wallpaper around the outside of the folded scrap paper pieces and glue to the top pieces of scrap paper, after it’s lined up properly. *This step is actually not 100% necessary, it’s just for additional support for the cover. You can skip this step to save time, if you don’t think your wallpaper needs extra support.

Fold over again and use the bone folder for creasing, if necessary.

4. Next, using a long reach stapler (which you can find on Amazon), staple 2-3 staples directly on top of the fold of the sheets of paper / wallpaper cover set. *Unless you are creating a super tiny notebook, a regular stapler won’t work for this, because they’re too short to reach the middle fold of the notebook to staple vertically.

How to make DIY notebooks in 5 minutes

And that’s it! From start to finish one of these DIY notebooks will take less than 5 minutes to make. But I have an even quicker idea that you can try too if 5 minutes is just too long…

If you want to save yourself some steps, another option would be to recover an existing notebook with wallpaper for a fresh new look. I’ll you’d have to do is cut the wallpaper or wrapping paper down to size (like step 2) and glue it to the existing cover, starting with the front and wrapping the paper around to the back.

Use wallpaper scraps to create DIY notebooks in 5 minutes.

DIY Notebooks in 5 Minutes on Paper & Stitch

Use wallpaper scraps to make DIY notebooks in 5 minutes, on Paper & Stitch.

Photography and styling Brittni Mehlhoff

What do you think of these little guys? Do have a million little notebooks lying around like I do?

30 comments | Click here to reply

Those are so cute! And yes I always have about a million and five notebooks already laying around for every different reason but rarely get used. It’s kind of annoying but not all at the same time.



That’s the perfect way to explain it, Stephanie. Kind of annoying, but not at the same time. One day I’m going to find a huge stash of notebooks somewhere I’d least expect it, but until then, I needed to make a few more. 🙂


What a cool idea, I love those!


Thanks Michelle!


As someone who buys way too many notebooks this is going to be such a great money saving DIY, and the results are so cute

– Natalie





That is a really good point, Natalie. Might as well save some money if you’re going to be losing those notebooks anyway, like you and me. 🙂

Also… Thanks Gemma!


Bah! This is genius! This is seriously exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you for making it so simple.

Lisa Mecham

Thanks Lisa. Glad to hear that.


Love these! I’m going to use the lovely papers from FLOW’s Book for Paper Lovers to make a bunch of tiny notebooks. (You can never have too many. :))


Nice Jennie. Sounds perfect.


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Good lord those wallpaper samples are gorgeous!


Right Cat?! I’m kind of obsessed with them.


Cute idea! I have an 7″ by 81/2″ sample wallpaper book from the mid-1980s that I’m gonna play with!!


That’s amazing Peggy! That wallpaper sample book will be perfect for these.


These are great! I love the potential of a fresh, empty notebook.


Ahh these look so cute!! Love the idea!

x Annabelle


These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing them with us 🙂 You can never have too many notebooks!


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Agh I love all of these designs! Love this <3 And the photography is gorgeous too x


Tabi Bee

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Your idea is great! I look forward to trying this method and then maybe I will be able to keep track of inspirationall thoughts as they come.
Thanks for sharing!

Sylvia Pelekane

OMG! I cannot wait to try this out! I have so many notebooks and will definitely be trying this out for myself. I’m obsessed with bullet journalling at the moment so will need to make my own like this. Great post.

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I love these. Would be happy to send you a few wallpaper scraps for your next one.

Kind Regards


Wilful Ink

Cool! I could use some to recycle my papers and earn by selling them online too. Thanks for this great idea 🙂


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