Recycled Paper Notepads
What you will make:
See how to make beautiful and functional notepads from recycled
paper! You will use paper from the home and office that is printed on
one side, along with scraps of leftover craft paper to make these
up-cycled scratch pads. Making the pads is as easy as cut, stack, staple
and bind. Make several at a time and you will always have a notepad
handy when you need to jot something down or make a shopping list.
Keep several notepads on hand to give as gifts. Your
environmentally oriented friends and family will appreciate your
effort to recycle paper!
Related crafts: Up-cycle drawings and other art to
Artwork Bookmarks or turn leftover craft paper into
Bind the kids' drawings and school papers into
Here's what you need:
- Letter-size paper printed on one side
- Cardstock for backing, ¼-sheet
- Scraps of decorative paper for binding, at least 2" by 4¼".
- Paper cutter or craft knife/rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat
- Paperclips or bulldog clips
- Glue stick
- Optional: Perforating blade for rotary cutter,
strips of white and colored cardstock
This project is rated EASY to do.
How to Make Notepads from Recycled Paper
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Collect Papers
letter-size paper that is printed on one side. It is best to use
paper with printed text or just a few small pictures. You will need
4 to 6 sheets of paper for each notepad. You will also need a
quarter-sheet of cardstock, any color, as a backing for the notepad.
Collect scraps of decorative craft paper and strips of cardstock.
The decorative paper for the binding strips need to be at least 4¼"
(105 mm for A4 paper) by 2" to 3½" (50 to 90 mm). The optional
cardstock strips need to be at least 4¼" (105 mm) by ¾" to 1¼" (19
to 32 mm).
- Step 2: Cut
Cut the letter-size paper into equal quarters by first cutting in
half lengthwise at 5½" (148 mm for A4 paper), then in half
again across the width at 4¼" (105 mm). Cut a piece of
cardstock the same size as the cut paper—this is the notepad
Cut one binding strip for each notepad that is 4¼" (105 mm for A4
paper) by 2" to 3½" (50 to 90 mm). For the optional layered binding, also
cut a coordinating cardstock strip that is 4¼" (105 mm) by ¾" to 1¼"
(19 to 32 mm).
You will also need to cut a narrow strip of cardstock to cover
the staples that is 4¼" (105 mm) by 3/8" (10 mm).
- Step 3: Stack
Make a stack of 16 to 24 quarter-sheets of recycled paper, blank
sides up. Place the cardstock backing on the bottom of the stack.
Make sure all the edges are stacked straight and evenly.
binding strip face down on top of the stack, aligned with the top
edge. Be sure that the top, left and right edges of the binding
strip are even with the stack. Clip the stack together on the sides
with two large paper clips or bulldog clips.
For a layered binding, lay the cardstock strip between the stack
of papers and the binding strip, aligning top and side edges.
- Step 4: Staple
With the stack binding strip up, staple twice along the top
edge, about ¼" (6 mm) down from the top. Flip the stack over and glue the narrow cardstock strip over the
staple backs. This will prevent the staples from cutting through the
- Step 5: Bind
Fold the loose edge of the binding strip back, up and over
the top, and to the back. Make creases as needed for a neat look.
Turn the notepad over and glue the loose edge of the binding
strip to the back of your notepad. The binding strip should cover
the staples completely.
- Step 6: Make Sleeve (optional)
Make a sleeve to protect your notepad when carrying it in a
backpack or purse. Download and print the
Notepad Sleeve pattern. Follow the instructions
on the pattern for making the sleeve. The thumb tab at the top of
the sleeve can be cut with scissors, but a 1" circle punch works
even better. Just place the top of the completed sleeve partway into
the circle punch to make a semi-circle cutout. Tip: For a more durable sleeve,
print the pattern on heavy paper (24# or more).
To keep with the theme of recycling, why not make the sleeve from
a magazine page or an old map? Do to this print the pattern on
cardstock, cut it out, then use this template to trace the sleeve
pattern onto your choice of
recycled paper. Keep the template for the next time you need to make
Tip: Use the sleeve to store your handmade
greeting cards. The sleeve fits quarter-fold (4¼" x 5½")
cards, like those featured in Aunt Annie's
That's it! Your notepad is complete!
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