If you’re like me, you need some ideas for people you need to give a gift to, but you’re on a tight budget, and don’t have loads of time, ether. Here’s an idea I had recently: Recover a NoteBook! All the hard work (binding the paper, cutting the paper, etc) is done. You only need 2 sheets of paper.
First, you’ve got to find some notebooks that are spiral bound, but the ones that aren’t actually spiral, but that funny type you can open. I’ve found these lovely 6×6 notebooks at ASDAS (UK version of WalMart) for only £1.50 each.
Once you open the spine, you can pull the covers off.
Once you get the covers off, line up your new covering paper. I’ve cut the paper to be 1 inch square bigger than the cover. So, this is a 6×6 cover, and I’ve cut the paper to be 7×7. Figure out which direction you want your paper to run, and mark the holes of your spine to match. This is really only important if you’ve got a pattern that has a definite ‘up’.
(If you want to use your printer to do lettering, this is the point to do it. I hand calligraphy my paper, so I skip that step.)
Once you’ve got it laid out, smear the top of your cover with adhesive. I’m using plain old white craft glue (like Elmer’s). If you smear the whole cover, you’ll help avoid air pockets and rippled paper.
With the paper upsidedown, with any up markings lined up correctly, place the cover on the paper, squaring the corners. I try and get the binding edge as close as possible so that the paper doesn’t overlap the holes on the back later.
Next, put a tad of adhesive on the corners, and fold over.
Now, make sure you get enough adhesive on the edges so that there won’t be any loose bit to catch and tear later, then fold the paper edge up and affix firmly. I use a popsicle stick to make it tight.
Once you’ve got the edges all folded over, add a tiny dot of glue into each of the holes for the spine. This serves two purposes. 1 – it softens the paper to punch through, minimising over tearing. 2 – it adheres the edges to the insides of the holes so it doesn’t pull up later.
Then, once you’ve got the holes touched with adhesive, flip it over. If you’ve got a light box, it’s useful in for the next step. If not, just hold the cover up to the light to find the hole. Then, using a thin tool (long needle, or other tool), punch through the front of each hole, and wiggle around.
Once you’ve done that, you’ve finished the main body of the cover. All that’s left now is to repeat the process on the back (if desired), reattach the covers to the spine and close the links back up.
And you’re done.
Decorate to taste, and enjoy the results. Looks very impressive, but doesn’t take much time at all. I’ve used the big flowers from this post to decorate the books.
Enjoy, and Happy Christmas Crafting!