Instructables
Picture of A Durable Cover for a Pocket Notepad
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I like to carry a small pocket notepad and a pen. When I want to give a phone number or a book title to someone, I can quickly write it on one of the pages, tear it out, and give it to the person. But, the covers on these little notepads quickly become tattered and worn. Soon they fall off. Then the front pages with information I have written can become torn or even fall out. The second photo shows my current notepad after only a couple of months of daily use. 

Materials required:
  • Notepad
  • Plastic sheeting from a file folder, etc.
Tools required:
  • Marking pen
  • Scissors
  • Needlenose pliers
  • 1/8 inch hole punch or drill
 
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Step 1: Remove the wire binding

These little notebooks are bound with a wire spiral. Each end is bent over to keep it from working its way out. See the first photo. Use needlenose pliers to straighten the wire on one end in the pattern of the spiral. Begin to turn the spiral to remove it from the notepad. See the second photo. The third photo shows the spiral removed from the notepad. Normally the wire spiral appears a little more evenly wound. I carried this notepad in my back pocket and sat on it a couple of times.

Step 2: Make new covers

Picture of Make new covers
I have some plastic file folders. The plastic from a pocket folder like you might receive in the registration packet at a convocation or the plastic from a milk jug will work, too. I happened to have yellow plastic available and used it.

Remove a sheet from the notepad to use as a pattern so you can cut two new cover pieces. 
Sabata1 year ago
I bought a notepad with this sort of cover several years ago. It was much more durable than typical card stock covers. I often thought about rigging something like this but never got round tuit. I just might have to give it a go now. Thanks (again) for the inspiration, Phil!

I wonder if you could cut slots rather than punch holes in such a way that the cover would fit both 11 and 12 hole notepads. I think my awful ASCII drawing will make sense...

This:
=== === === === ===

Instead of this:
o o o o o o o o o o o o
Phil B (author)  Sabata1 year ago
It seems your idea might possibly work. I expect you would just need to lay sheets with 11 and 12 holes over one another and see where and how you could make adjustments to the holes for a "universal" cover. Thank you.
kritter2 years ago
I add a paper clip to hold the notebook shut when in pocket or purse. Use the ones that clip on, usually different sizes in black, take the two "wings" and flip out straight or flat to notebook.. Easy to use and carry, flip up one of the wings and use as a hanger at office, home or vechicle.
Phil B (author)  kritter2 years ago
Thank you for your comment. That is a neat idea.
londobali2 years ago
Neat work!

Because my working desk is always a mess, I'd clip/clamp the inside sheets before taking off the spiral, prevent them from all over the place and getting miss-alligned.. :)

Keep 'em coming Phil! :D
Phil B (author)  londobali2 years ago
Thank you.
chobbs19572 years ago
I may give this a try. I spend a lot of time in cotton, corn, and peanut fields where sweat, sometimes rain, really complicate my ability to keep something available that I can write on.

I have historically used a lot of note cards, something a little thicker than paper or even the covers to these little note pads, but even the thicker card stock misses the mark pretty big.

Thanks, Phil, once again, you offer some very practical advice! May you be blessed!
Phil B (author)  chobbs19572 years ago
I spent the summer in East Tennessee. The tattered cover you see in the "before" photo came to be after only two months of working in a shop with no air conditioning during hot and humid weather with all of the accompanying perspiration. Despite the humidity and the perspiration, the paper sheets inside the cover remain undamaged and pretty much in the original condition. I think the plastic cover pieces might help you quite a bit. Blessings to you this Lord's Day!
iceng2 years ago
Neat line of hand punched holes.
Phil B (author)  iceng2 years ago
Thank you. They wander a little, but I was trying to "hit" a dot from a marking pen. Just hitting the dot met most of the requirement. Getting the punch centered on the dots and the holes in line is a bonus, if and when it happens.