DIY Decorated Notebooks

This project is part of my effort to spruce up my office and get more organized. I don’t know how organized it will make me, but these little notebooks sure are cute! The other project that I did was to cover plain file folders with scrapbook paper, and these look adorable also.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

It seems like most workplaces generate a lot of scrap paper. From my first job out of college to my office today, I’ve usually been the one to collect the extra paper for reuse. At my first job, teaching at a small high school, I used the extra paper other teachers left in my cubby to shred for handmade paper, something I’d love to do more of again. These days, scrap paper from the office is the raw material for my three prolific little artists, as well as my own notes.

Even though we’re reusing old paper, it doesn’t have to look sloppy. I decided to make these notebooks to corral all of those loose papers. They’re great, because they can be decorated to create infinite customized looks, and it’s easy to add and remove pages.

Materials:

Instructions:
Paper-covered notebooks

  • for each notebook, cut two pieces cardboard to 8.5″x11″
  • cut paper for the front and back to 8.5″ x 11″.  I mixed scrapbook papers to make interesting designs
  • glue the paper onto the cardboard with a gluestick
  • Wrap the cover in Clear Contact Paper.  As an optional step to make the inside of the cover more finished, I added white contact paper to the inside of the covers.
  • Punch holes on the left side
  • Use binder rings to hold the paper in place
Cute DIY covered notebooks.  Jewels at Home

Wrap the notebook cover in clear contact paper to protect it.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

As an optional step, I added white contact paper to finish the inside of the covers.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

I rounded the edges of some of the covers to make the design more interesting. For these, cut small wedges to fold the contact paper neatly.

Fabric-covered notebooks

  • for each notebook, cut two pieces cardboard to 8.5″x11″
  • cut fabric rectangles about 12″x15″ for the front and back covers
  • Fuse Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold to the back side of the fabric, and then iron on to the cardboard
  • After cutting the corners, wrap and fuse the fabric to the inside of the covers.
  • As an optional step to make the inside of the cover more finished, I added coordinating paper to the inside of the covers.
  • Punch holes on the left side
  • Use binder rings to hold the paper in place

Make your own fabric-covered DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

Make your own fabric-covered DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

Adding coordinating fabric to the inside of the covers gives a more finished look.

Here are the notebooks I made for myself.  I can’t wait to whip one out during a meeting!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

It’s fun look to make the back and front of your notebook from different papers that work well together. I love this one!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

These notebooks have rounded corners for added detail.

And here are the notebooks I made for the boys.  They each chose their own covers – Superman for little J, art pencils for my budding artist L, and navy for big boy K.  I wasn’t sure if the note books would catch on, but so far, the boys really seem to like keeping all their drawings organized in these!  Yay!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

The kids each chose the covers for their new notebooks.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

L is really into art right now, which is so fun for me. I looped an elastic through the middle ring of his notebook, so he can keep his portfolio together. He has been bringing it to school every day!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Here’s what L is working on in his notebook. I love it!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

More of L’s sketches, all neatly contained in his new notebook.

Yay for these little notebooks.  They would make great gifts, too!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Some holiday projects coming up next!

“Jewels”

Customized File Folders

As I was making the scrapbook paper and fabric-covered notebooks recently, I was inspired to spruce up some plain file folders at the same time.

My office at work is getting a bit overwhelming, and having something pretty – like these sweet patterns – to look at always cheers me up.

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

It all started with this lovely patterned file folder that I bought a few years ago.

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I found papers in my stash that coordinated with these folders, and I cut and glued them onto plain manila file folders to transform them into these eye-catching beauties!

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I really like how all the folders work together.  Now, to clear the rest of the office!

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I also made a folder for L, who has a lot of artwork to organize, though he now favors his DIY scrapbook paper-covered notebook .

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I also covered all the folders in Clear Contact Paper to make them last longer.  An easy project, and they look great.  Can’t beat that!

“Jewels”