Pretty Little Notebook

Did you know I have a day job?  Fascinating.

I’ve been crafting so much that it’s seeping into my professional life.  Earlier, I made a pretty calendar to brighten my desk at work.  I now see the possibility to change things that I had previously accepted as just drab.

Meet my Work Notebook

This is my work notebook.  It’s a hardcover lab book that’s standard issue at my office.  I carry it with me everywhere and use it to keep track of projects I’m working on.

I carry this everywhere I go at work.

I was at Paper Source one day and saw this amazing paper.

It’s purple-freaking-paisley.  Isn’t it lovely?

Yup, no question about it.  This stuff was coming home with me.

Work notebook, meet awesome paper.

How to Mod Podge a Notebook

First, I laid the notebook down and measured around it, leaving at least an inch extra on each side except the side that would touch the binding.

Measure the paper, leaving a little extra around 3 of the sides.

I opted to cover each flap of the notebook separately and left the binding alone.

I placed a piece of newspaper inside each flap so I wouldn’t accidentally glue any pages together.

Insurance against mishaps.

I spread Mod Podge over the cover,

Cover the area with Mod Podge.

and carefully placed the sheet on top, smoothing out as I went.  I find I get less bubbles if I spread the Mod Podge on the surface and then add the paper rather than Mod Podging the paper and sticking it to something.

Carefully place the paper on top of the Mod Podged cover.

I repeated with the other side and let the whole thing dry at least an hour.

Then, I opened each flap and trimmed out the corner of the excess paper in order to create flaps.

Cut out the corners to make flaps.

Spreading Mod Podge on each flap, I carefully folded them over and glued them to the inside cover.

Spread Mod Podge on flaps.

Fold flaps over to secure.

To give it a finished look, I cut out two pieces of white cardstock and glued them to the inside covers.

White cardstock measured to fit inside cover.

Gluing the insdie cover.

Nice finished look inside.

I let this dry for another hour and was d-o-n-e.   I thought about adding a layer of Mod Podge to the outside to seal everything but decided against it.  I’m still carrying this thing with me all day every day and it’s holding up really well!

Tips & Ideas

  • The purple paisley paper is available online here or at your local Paper Source.
  • If it’s your first time covering a book, leave the binding as-is and cover the flaps.
  • Cut paper the size of the flaps but leave an inch on each side to fold over.
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28 thoughts on “Pretty Little Notebook

  1. What a neat idea. I actually love the idea of using a lab book instead of my yellow legal pads I have about 4 of at my desk, all half-filled.

    Love the way you brightened it up!

    • I think as long as the wrapping paper wasn’t too thin, it should work. My experience with cheaper wrapping paper is that the folds sometimes turn white.

      If you wanted to make it more sturdy using more fragile paper, consider Mod Podging over top of the paper when you are done. I didn’t think it was necessary with my notebook, but it might make a wrapping paper version work pretty well.

  2. Hi Nat-

    I have to disagree with the title of your blog – You are very CLEVER :) Very clever title. Love it.
    I love purple and love what you did with the note book. Why not make everything around us pretty, right? I call the notebook I carry around with me -my brain – cause if I don’t write it down I forget all about it. I am heading over to Paper Source right now.
    My best- Diane

    • Thanks!! Yes, I’m looking at everything around my office now with a creative eye. Having the notebook covered instantly brightens my day and I love carrying it around! Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to see how your notebook turns out!

    • Thanks for taking a look! I’m can’t remember where the paper is made, but I got it from Paper Source and it can be ordered online (link above). A lot of their papers are imported and I have fantasy about traveling to Asia with a poster tube and bringing home more paper than I know what to do with!

  3. I started doing this with theme notebooks about ten years ago and giving them away to friends. I use fabric and add a bookmark ribbon. People love recieving them BUT NEVER HAVE I SEEN SUCH AWESOME PAPER or thought of using paper, much more clever and easier to!!

  4. I love that paper. I took Paper Source for granted when I lived down the street from one in San Francisco..now the nearest one is a state away. Sure I can order online and pay too much for shipping, but it’s just not the same. I secretly plan our visits home around getting to spend some alone time at Paper Source. Pathetic, no?

    • I agree. There’s something fun about going there and looking at the treasure trove of paper they have. We finally moved closer to one and I love going there!

  5. Pingback: Picture Journals « My Creative Corner

  6. How heavy is the paper? Is it cardstock (enough to use as a mat for like a wedding invitation) or thinner than that?

    • It’s not heavy enough to use as a mat for an invitation, but if you wanted to do that, I’d just glue sheets of it to heavy stock and use it that way.

  7. Thanks for the great post! I wanted to do something like this (with my art for the cover) but wanted a more professional finished look – yours is perfect! I love how you fold the edges over and also how you add the cardstock afterwards. Nice!!

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