How to Make a Notebook

Four Methods:Making a Simple NotebookMaking a Decorative NotebookMaking Playing Card NotebooksOther Notebooks to Try

While store-bought notebooks are nice, making your own notebook will save you money and make you stand out in a crowd of boring spiral notebooks. They can also make great gifts and serve well as an outlet for imagination. All you'll need are the right supplies and a bit of creativity.

Method 1
Making a Simple Notebook

  1. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 1
    Gather your loose leaf paper together. This is the paper you will use for the inside sheets of the notebook. You can use lined or blank paper--it all depends on what you plan on using your notebook for. Stack these sheets together, making sure that they are all perfectly lined up and the edges are even.
    • You can use whatever size paper you would like. However, for someone who has never made a notebook before, you may want to consider using simple lined binder paper. This paper is generally 8x11 inches. It is easiest to use because it has its own three-ring hole punches already.
  2. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 2
    Place one sheet of construction paper on top of your stack of paper. Take the other sheet of construction paper and place it underneath the stack of paper. This construction paper should be the same size as your inside sheets of paper. Make sure the edges of all of the pages are lined up.
  3. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 3
    Get out your three-hole punch. If you only have a handheld one-hole punch, you can use this as well. Insert your stack of paper, making sure that you keep all of the edges perfectly lined up. Push the stack in as far as it will go so that the edge of the paper can press up against the back of the three-hole punch. The holes should be roughly three or four inches into the paper from the edge of the stack. Press the punch down so that it makes the holes.
    • If you use the one-hole punch, use a ruler to mark out where the holes should go. You will want your holes to break the edge of your paper stack up into three sections. Make your holes about three centimeters away from the edge of the paper stack.
  4. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 4
    Take the ribbon and tie it though the holes. You can do this in a variety of ways. Run your ribbon through the two end holes and tie a ribbon above or through the middle hole; cut the ribbon into three smaller ribbons and tie a bow through each separate hole; or weave it through the holes and then tie it together.

Method 2
Making a Decorative Notebook

  1. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 5
    Stack a five or six sheets of paper on top of each other. These should be sheets without any hole punches in them. An easy size to work with is paper that is 8x10 inches. Once the edges of all of the sheets are lined up, fold the sheets in half horizontally (this means folding the tops of the sheet over so that they are lined up perfectly with the bottom edge of the sheets). Turn your pages so that they lay like a book in front of you.[1]
    • You can use more than six sheets of paper if you want--just remember that this will make double the number of pages because the paper is folded in half. For example, if you use eight sheets of paper, you will actually get 16 pages.
  2. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 6
    Make three holes in the folded over stack of papers. You can either use a handheld one-hole punch or a bradawl. Open the paper stack up so that the edges are all lined up and the stack opens up like a book. You will be placing your holes along the crease in the center of the pages. Measure three centimeters in from the top and bottom of the center crease.
    • You can also make this method easier by simply stapling the inside pages together. Line a stapler up so that the staple runs parallel along the center fold. Space your three staples out so that they spaced equally along the center of the pages.
  3. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 7
    Run string through the holes you have made. You can run your string through the bottom hole from the front and down through the top hole so that both ends of the string are on the inside of the pages. Take the ends and run both of them through the center hole. Tie them above the center hole on the outside of the pages either using a knot or a bow.[2]
    • Alternatively, if you made two holes, run the string through the bottom hole, starting at the back of the pages, pull the string through and then run it up through the top hole so that the ends of the strings are hanging out onto the outside of the pages. Tie the string together so that it makes a bow or knot over the middle of the center crease on the outside of the pages.
  4. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 8
    Find the middle of paper you will use for the cover. Your heavier piece of paper you are going to use for your cover should be slightly larger than your inside pages. For example, if you used 8x10 inch paper for your pages, use 8x12 paper for your cover. Lay the piece of paper out so that it is horizontal and use a ruler to find the center of the paper. Make a light line with a pencil so that you know exactly where to fold the paper.
    • The paper you use for your cover should be pretty thick. You may want to consider paper that is thicker than construction paper.
  5. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 9
    Decorate your cover. A beautiful and very simple way to decorate this kind of notebook is by using a small 8x8 inch piece of paper with a cute design on it. You can find this kind or paper at your local art supply store. Measure the paper and mark the center. Fold it in half and then fit it onto the spine of your cover. Glue it down so that the edges match up with your cover. The decorated paper should cover about three-fourths of each side of the cover, leaving room for any other decorations you might want.[3]
  6. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 10
    Open the folded cover up. Lay the pages down so that their spine is fitted into the inside center of the cover. Put glue onto the front and back sheet, line them up with the inner cover, and then press them down. Your cover and pages should now be attached.

Method 3
Making Playing Card Notebooks

  1. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 11
    Measure your playing cards. You will need two playing cards, preferably from the same deck. Use a ruler to measure the length and width of the playing cards. This will help when sizing the paper later.
    • Example: Uno cards measure 2 and 3/16 by 3 and 7/16 inches.
  2. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 12
    Stack 10 pieces of white paper together. Make sure that all of the edges are lined up. Measure out the length of the playing cards, making a mark where the measurement ends. If possible, use a paper cutter to cut the pages into strips where you marked the length of your playing card.
    • If you don’t have a paper cutter, use scissors to cut strips of the paper that are the same length as your playing cards.
  3. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 13
    Take the strips and cut them using the width of the card as a guide. By doing this, you should create rectangles of paper that are exactly the same size as your playing cards. Repeat the previous step and this step on 10 more sheets of paper until you have as many sheets as you would like to have in your little notebook.[4]
    • Try not to exceed 50 pages, as this will make your notebook very thick and hard to bind.
  4. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 14
    Stack your pages together. Place a playing card on top, and one on the bottom with the design you want facing outward. Tape the edges together so that all of the edges are as even as possible. Once all of the edges are lined up, Place large binder clips on the sides and bottom of the stack. The clips on the sides of the stack should be as close to the top as possible.
  5. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 15
    Mix up your rubber cement. Once your rubber cement is mixed, spread a good layer of the cement along the top of the stack. This is what is going to keep the notebook together. Cover every inch of the top, making sure you haven’t missed any spots. Make sure that none of it drips down onto the face of the playing cards.[5]
    • You can also spread a small amount on the very tops of the side edges. This will help to make sure that the notebook doesn’t break open when you flip the pages over.
  6. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 16
    Wait for the glue to dry. Once it has dried, apply another layer. You will need to add multiple layers to make sure that the glue is bonded strong enough so that the notebook doesn’t fall apart. Generally, around five layers will do. Once you see that the glue is drying on the edge, rather than soaking into the paper, you have reached the final layer.
  7. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 17
    Cut out a piece of colorful paper. This piece of paper will be the binding of your notebook. Cut it so that it is a little longer than the width of your notebook and about one inch wide. Turn the pad of paper upside down so that the top is positioned in the exact center of the piece of colorful paper.
  8. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 18
    Bend the edges of the colorful strip so that they fold down over the top, front and back of the notebook. Put glue on to the colorful strip and hold it down so that it lies folded along the top, back and front of the notebook. Hold it there for at least 20 seconds so that it stays in place.[6]
  9. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 19
    Cut away the extra paper. You may have some extra colored paper hanging over the sides of the notebook. Use scissors or a craft knife to cut these edges away.
  10. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 20
    Place your notebook under a larger book. Your notebook will need a little time to bind together before you can start using. Placing it under something heavy and flat will help the glue to bind to the pages and make sure the notebook dries flat and straight.

Method 4
Other Notebooks to Try

  1. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 21
    Make your own stab stitch notebook. This is a more advanced form of notebook making but can be very rewarding. A thimble is a handy tool to have for this project!
  2. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 22
    Make a notebook in one minute. If you are in a huge hurry and really just need to throw together a notebook, why not try making one in under a minute? While not the prettiest to look at, it is definitely still useful.
  3. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 23
    Decorate a notebook you already have. If you don’t have time to make a notebook, you can always personalize one that you already have!
  4. Image titled Make a Notebook Step 24
    Make a study notebook. If you are looking for something less crafty and more functional, try making a study notebook. It is sure to help you on your next test.


  • Use creative designs and ideas to show your feelings or your ability to draw or write fun things.
  • You can also decorate the front cover of the notebook
  • If you're going to hole punch a lot of pages, hole punch a couple at a time.

Things You'll Need

Simple Notebook

  • A stack of loose leaf paper
  • Two pieces of construction paper
  • A 3-hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Anything you want to use to decorate

Decorative Notebook

  • One piece of thick cardstock paper (8x12 in)
  • 5-6 pieces of blank or lined paper (8x10 in)
  • Decorative paper
  • String
  • Hole punch, bradawl, or thick needle
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Playing Card Notebook

  • Two same-size playing cards
  • Plain white paper
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife, paper cutter, or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Rubber cement
  • Colorful paper
  • Binder clips

Article Info

Categories: Binders Files and Folders