Monday, February 07, 2011

"Share" & Tell

By Jen Notebooks, originally uploaded by byjen.

The other day I mentioned that I would share how I made these adorable notebooks, so here I am. I use these notebooks to jot down the obvious to-do's but also bits of ideas and inspiration that might fly in and out of my head in such a hurry. I have them strategically placed throughout my house and in my purse. They also make nice little gifts, which is what I originally made them for. But lately I have found them to be invaluable as I also strive for a clearer mind. I can't tell you how helpful it is to write stuff down so it can stop swirling around in my head like a twister. At the end of the day I can collect my "thoughts" from all over the house, rather than from my tired little head. This weekend I worked on putting together binders and master lists to add my notes to because I can just imagine myself running around the house wondering where I wrote something down. So let's get started. It's very simple and the possibilities are endless.
I first start with a small composition book (4.5"x3.25") that you can easily find just about anywhere like a Target or a Walmart for less than $1. I measured the full length (including front, back, and spine) and the height to be 7.25" x 4.5". I used these dimensions to create a blank document in Photoshop Elements and then  I decorated. I've been collecting quotes (I'm a collector by nature, thus my need to declutter) which I use on the cover. The quotes are great inspiration to see as I use the notebooks throughout the day. I like the clean look of white text on a colored background, but really anything goes. You can use scrapbook paper and photos, even some paint and stamps if your heart desires. With my original notebooks I printed my text using Microsoft Word (using a text box to achieve the colored background and white text) on rectangles that just fit the front and back. I then used decorative scrapbook tape to cover the spine.

When you trim your printouts/paper, there's no need to worry about getting it exact. I like to sand off the excess after I attach it to give the book a really finished look. You can also use an X-acto knife to trim the excess.  To attach the printouts or decorative paper, you can use the adhesive from a Xyron machine which I did originally. I've also used Mod Podge and it actually worked really well, too. To avoid bubbles I only worked on one side at a time and I coated both the notebook and the paper with Mod Podge using a foam brush. And there you have it. It's as simple as that. Wasn't that fun?

Now if you want cute little notebooks of your own, but don't have as much time I have put together a downloadable pdf which you can get here. Enjoy!
Today's Creative Blog

Keeping It Simple
Making the world cuter


scrapwordsmom said...

I have made these for myself and LOVE them! They are the perfect size. Love those quotes, Jen:)

Lorrie Everitt Studio said...

Too cute ... love the quotes! I sand the edges of everything too ... so easy to do and makes a big difference in the final presentation. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

Sally said...

Hooray for linky parties! I love these notebooks. I'm gonna make one. :)

Jen said...

Super cute! You're definitely the queen of uplifting to me. I'm still looking at the cute little note you sent whenever I need a pick me up. Thank you!!!!