DIY Notebooks in 5 Minutes (Two Ways)

DIY notebooks that are cute and easy to make. Plus, it will only take 5 minutes!

Image of DIY notebooks made with cool wallpaper and glue.

I’ve made little DIY notebooks here and there for years. And honestly, it’s resulted in what feels 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 the *right* notebook when I need it.

So, here I am making another set of notebooks to stash around the house. I’m building on a notebook tutorial I wrote back in 2016 and adding a second way to make notebooks that is equally fast and cute, IMO.

I wanted to make them really special. If I really love them, maybe I won’t lose 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.

DIY Notebooks Two Ways

Neutral patterned wallpaper and scissors on a white table.

Materials Needed

  • 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.

How to Make DIY Notebooks from Scratch

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. Cut and fold paper.

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. Unfold, trace, and cut paper.

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 and glue the pieces together.

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. Staple all paper together.

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.

Step photos that show 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…

How to Recover an Existing Notebook

If you want to save yourself some steps, another option would be to recover an existing notebook with wallpaper for a fresh new look.

All you’d have to do is cut the wallpaper or wrapping paper down to size (like in step 2 of the first tutorial) and glue it to the existing cover, starting with the front and wrapping the paper around to the back.

AND if you use peel and stick wallpaper, which I just so happen to have leftover from some previous projects (the yellow bathroom makeover and our family room), it’s even easier than that.

With wallpaper that already has a sticky backing, all you need is a notebook that’s ready to be recovered, the wallpaper, and a pair of scissors. That’s it!

Instructions

Just cut down a piece of wallpaper that is 2-3 inches larger all the way around and peel off the sticking backing.

Attach the spine of the notebook to the middle of the wallpaper, then the front and back cover.

Next, cut the excess overhang of wallpaper from the spine area (top and bottom).

Then fold over the remaining excess not the front and back flaps.

Wallpaper scraps being used to create small, cute notebooks.

Notebooks made out of wallpaper scraps and a few other materials.

Wallpaper scraps and craft supplies on a table to make notebooks.

DIY Notebooks

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.
Total Time5 mins
Keyword: diy, january, notebook, organizing, wallpaper, writing
Author: Brittni

Ingredients

  • decorative wallpaper samples cool wrapping paper works too
  • scissors
  • scrap paper
  • long reach stapler
  • bone folder

Instructions

DIY NOTEBOOK IDEA #1: Making Notebooks from Scratch

    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...

    • 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.

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

      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.

      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.

        DIY NOTEBOOK IDEA #2: How to Recover an Existing Notebook

        • If you want to save yourself some steps, another option would be to recover an existing notebook with wallpaper for a fresh new look.
          All you'd have to do is cut the wallpaper or wrapping paper down to size (like in step 2 of the first tutorial) and glue it to the existing cover, starting with the front and wrapping the paper around to the back.
          AND if you use peel and stick wallpaper, which I just so happen to have leftover from some previous projects (the yellow bathroom makeover and our family room), it's even easier than that.
          With wallpaper that already has a sticky backing, all you need is a notebook that's ready to be recovered, the wallpaper, and a pair of scissors. That's it!
          Just cut down a piece of wallpaper that is 2-3 inches larger all the way around and peel off the sticking backing.
          Attach the spine of the notebook to the middle of the wallpaper, then the front and back cover.
          Next, cut the excess overhang of wallpaper from the spine area (top and bottom).
          Then fold over the remaining excess not the front and back flaps.
        Tried this recipe?Mention @paperandstitch or tag #paperandstitch!

        Photography and styling Brittni Mehlhoff

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

        34 comments | Click here to reply

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

        Nikki-ann

        Ahh these look so cute!! Love the idea!

        x Annabelle
        travelsandtea.com

        Annabelle

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

        Lisa

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

        Brittni

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

        Peggy

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

        Brittni

        Good lord those wallpaper samples are gorgeous!

        Cat

        […] Drop everything, let’s make like, 20 of these. via Paper & Stitch […]

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        Nice Jennie. Sounds perfect.

        Brittni

        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. :))

        Jennie

        Thanks Lisa. Glad to hear that.

        Brittni

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

        Lisa Mecham

        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!

        Brittni

        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
        http://www.workovereasy.com

        Natalie

        Thanks Michelle!

        Brittni

        What a cool idea, I love those!
        https://www.makeandmess.com/

        Michelle

        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. 🙂

        Brittni

        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.

        http://aneducationindomestication.com

        Stephanie
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