DIY Photo Notepads

DIY Photo Notepads 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. 🙂

DIY Photo Notepads (tear off edges)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. 

How to make a notepad Supplies:
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.

How to make a notepad    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.

Canon Pixma printerHow to make a notepadStep Two: Print and cut out your pages. Try to cut them as perfectly as you can so your notepad will fit together easily.

How to make a notepad  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.

Best glues to make your own DIY notepadNow 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.

  • This is such a cute idea! I want to do this for an anniversary gift for my husband!


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • What a fun idea! They could make great shower favors or even wedding favors!

  • This is utter genius!! I would never have thought of doing this. Brilliant.

  • that’s so cute and super easy! I love it and its so much more personal than a regular post it note.


  • What a cute idea! I love this!


  • I literally had dreams about this after reading it. Your job here is done.

  • oh this is such a cute idea,i really love it.
    best diy i have seen in a while,thanks for sharing

  • Hey! Pretty cool! Really neat idea. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Happy Summer!
    xx Lane

  • I’m with Les, can you translate take “down the opacity by about 50%” into a step by step?

  • Beautiful idea! I would love to design a notepad with my photos and paintings. Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Such a cool idea. I hoard cute pads and journals so this is just perfect for me! Thanks for sharing.

  • Really cute idea! This would be great as a baby shower or wedding gift idea!

  • awesome idea! I always just buy the ones from the target dollar bins- they serve their purpose but these are just adorable! xx. gigi.

  • Fun post<3 thanks for sharing
    follow for follow?:)


  • This is such an awesome idea! Can’t wait to try it out.
    You never cease to amaze me!


  • What a lovely idea! I love every kind of notebooks so I definately need to try this DIY too 😀

  • This is a really cool DIY project! Totally want to make this next time I need a notepad.

  • I’ve never realized that I can make notepads by myself so easily! I don’t know why, but i just thought I would need some special industrial glue.
    I’m sure going to try some!

    xo, Deborah

  • Super cute!! I am going to have to use them sparingly, only for the best notes! =)

    Juju Sprinkles

  • Again, another brilliant perfect idea!

  • Y’all come up with the most wonderful & unique DIY ideas. This rocks! :]

    // ▲

  • Oh this is such a brilliant idea!! it would make such a lovely present for a friend too!

    x Carina
    Running White Horses | Fashion + Travel

  • Nice! I love it! I also love creating my own personal stuff… I will try this. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this idea! Such a sweet project. Although I’d have trouble throwing away old grocery lists or to-do lists! haha!

  • What a great idea! I’m looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

  • This is such a cute idea!!! 😮 I’m definitely making this for my mums birthday! No doubt 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Xoxo Jessy

  • Love this idea! I’m kind of obsessed with notepads, so this is right up my alley!

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  • can you do (if possible) a step by step on word cause woooaahh!!! <3

  • OMG this is such a fab idea! Deffo gona have to give this a go for some friends pressies! xx

  • Those are so cute! That’d be fun to give someone for a new job to have as desk accessories!
    x Nora |

  • This is such a cute idea! Definitely going to do this 🙂

  • Completely off topic but I love your tattoo!

Lipstick 99 “Pirate” Swatches and Review

  • I love this idea for personalized note pads. I would feature my akita or African daisies on the ones I print.

    Happy Thursday

  • These are so cool! I had no idea you could make notepads like this so easily at home. Thanks for sharing!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.