Did you know that making your own tear-off notepads is really (and I mean REALLY) easy? It's true! You can use your own photos, original artwork and other design elements to create something really unique to jazz up your desk area. Or you can gift your DIY notepads to friends.
And yes, I still use phrases like "jazz up." What can I say? I've just always had a way with words. 🙂
To create my notepads, I worked with Canon USA and used my PIXMA MG7520 photo printer to create my own little notepads. For this project I loved the convenience of being able to print as many pages as I needed to create my notepads. I printed on plain copy paper so these would be easy to bind and write on, but I still wanted to use our photo printer to get the best quality I could. I didn't want any of those weird stripes that more traditional office printers make. Just be sure you're adjusting your paper type settings to plain paper when you print.
–Canon PIXMA MG7520 printer
-plain copy paper (I used 5-6 sheets per notepad)
-thin cardboard for the back of the notepads (recycle a cereal box for this!)
-book binding glue (I used PVA)
-clips or small clamps to hold the pages together as they dry
I have heard that other glues will also work for this project (like rubber cement) although I've found that PVA is the best quality for book binding projects. You need very little glue to hold these together, so this project is super budget friendly.
Step One: Create the pages for your notepad. I chose to make my entire note page a photo, so I took down the opacity by about 50% so it would be easy to write over the images (for to-do lists or notes). You can do this in Photoshop or even Microsoft Word. Once I decided on a size for my notepad, I tried to fit as many pages onto one sheet of paper before printing.
You could also add text to your notepads. I made one of mine say "Take Note" and one say "To-Do List" at the top. Go nuts and design some stationary that you want to use.
Step Two: Print and cut out your pages. Try to cut them as perfectly as you can so your notepad will fit together easily.
Step Three: Cut out a cardboard back for each notepad. Assemble the notepads so the top edge is flush and then hold them together with clips or small clamps. Use a thin layer of glue on the edge. The goal here is to make sure some glue touches every page and the cardboard back. Allow to fully dry (3-4 hours) before using.
Now you're ready to take notes and tear off the pages. Enjoy your new notepads! xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
I never knew this could be SO easy! I will definitely attempt making this as a gift for a friend 🙂
Great project, bookmarking and will be back to make one of my own (at least one!)
I had no idea it was so easy to make tear off notepads! I’d like to make some using reused/recycled paper from my office.
OMG! Those are great! Such a creative idea! 🙂
Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂 XOXO
This is such a great idea!
This is such a cute idea! I want to do this for an anniversary gift for my husband!
What type of paper cutter do you use? Thanks!
In the version of Word I have, there’s a “Transparency” scale right at the top of the main tool bar. You can slide it up and down until the image “fades” to your liking.
What a great idea! This would be a great gift for the grandma’s in our family.
Love it! You guys come up with so much fun stuff, thank you 🙂
Flashbacks to my dad owning a print shop in the 80s (and making these with the leftovers but upside down). How could I have forgotten how easy it is?!?!? But these are far cooler with actusl images on the front.
Is there another program beside Photoshop or PowerPoint that I can use to edit my photo? You mentioned Word.
Thank you, that doesn’t sound too hard.
Ditto. Love the tattoo, too & the notepads!
These are so cute! Realistically though I would never use them. I’m one of those people who finds something pretty and then it’s so pretty that I never want to use it or risk making it look bad, so it just sits around wasting forever. These are gorgeous, but i’d be too sad to write on the pretty pictures. It’s an amazing idea though!
What a cute idea!
You can do something like this easily in Microsoft PowerPoint. Just import the photo from a file, then click on format >picture. From there you can increase the brightness and decrease the contrast until you like the way it looks. This basically fades the photo into the background.
I loved the idea! I’ll try it out soon or later 😀
What a fun idea! They could make great shower favors or even wedding favors!