I've recently noticed that mom's always looking for something to write a list on even though she's got an iPod (which I keep trying to tell her is great for keeping multiple lists). So for mom's day this year, I thought I'd make her a notepad that's small enough to fit into her iPod holder while providing her with an easy place to jot down her little lists (cuz old habits die hard).
Step 1: Decide the size and shape you want your notepad to be and make a template with a stiffer paper. I found this makes cutting the paper a lot easier because you can just paperclip the template onto your individual papers and cut around that instead of trying to measure each piece individually.
Step 2: Cut out a ton of paper! The smaller your notepad, the easier this will be because you'll be able to get a lot of sheets from one piece of paper. The great thing about this is that you can use any paper you can find as long as you're able to write on it. I used a combination of scrap papers I had lying around. Although, full disclosure, I did purchase a small package of graph paper cuz I really wanted to have that type included. Also among my papers is a book page from a children's book, old stationary, kraft paper, some cool space shuttle paper I found in a box I was unpacking once (sometimes, I save the most bizarre things), and an old airmail envelope (I even made sure the envelope pocket was still usable for even littler notes -- if there is such a thing).
Step 3: Organize your papers in the order you'd like them to be (instead of having all the graph paper together, for example, I spaced them apart between other types) and make sure they're all stacked together evenly. Add some stiffer paper as a front and back, then use bull dog clips to hold it all together.
On the top seam of the papers, paint on a layer of white glue (yes; ordinary white glue. I bought some on clearance for a dollar) and let it dry. Continue adding layers of white glue (drying between layers) until you think it's enough. That's really vague, I know, but I think I just kept adding and unclipping to see how the paper was holding up to flipping to determine if I should add another layer of glue. I think between 3-5 layers is probably sufficient.
Step 4: Once dry, your notepad papers should be stuck together at the top allowing you to flip through the book rather easily. I finally added duck tape on the top to cover the seams and to further ensure the papers stay together. I chose it because it's flexible, but you could use any kind of tape you like (but duck tape comes in some fantastic colours and patterns these days!). I left my book fairly plain because I like how it's a party on the inside and all business on the outside, but you can decorate the front and back of the notepad however you like.
You're basically done with the notebook BUT if you want to add a little extra you can:
Cut some slits in the back paper and thread in some elastic.
Pull the elastic tight and stick a pin in to determine whether the elastic is tight enough to hold the book together but loose enough to open the flap. Just play around with it a bit at this point. Once you figure out the size it should be, hold the elastic tight and sew a simple straight stitch across the two ends of the elastic.
Boom! Now you've got an elastic to hold the pages shut.
You could cut the ends off and stop here OR you could:
Use the exact same method to figure out the size for a mini pencil and sew the elastic tails together to make a little pencil holder!
NOW you can go ahead and cut the ends off.
Don't forget to leave a sneaky note inside once you're done!