Step 1: Gather Your Books!
For this tutorial I will be making two books; one with an ecosystem journal and a cover I customised, and one with a soft imitation leather journal and something called, I kid you not, a "Bloke Pad" where the only thing I liked was the nice grid paper inside. To save money, try buying your books from places with sales on their notebooks, or at Half Price Books, for instance. I find a lot of their notebooks are infuriatingly lacking in just one necessary aspect, which inspired this tutorial. All of these were bought at Half Price Books, except one which was on clearance at Barnes and Noble.
And you will also need:
-a craft knife
-glue (I prefer a glue stick)
-elastic(if you are making a pen loop)
Step 2: Cut the Book Block Free
Find the end page at each end of the book. It's usually thicker and decorated, and it's also usually where the block is connected to the cover.
Cut this in half with the craft knife, aiming for the empty spot in the spine. You should be able to take out the block completely.
If you accidentally cut into the block, like I did in the ecosystem block, cover the entire spine of the block with a glued on strip of scrap paper to strengthen it. Let dry before continuing.
Step 3: Attach the Book Block to Its New Cover.
If the block is too big or, alternatively, too small, fear not for there are solutions to that problem. Just make sure the block is centered and the spines are parallel, then glue and place the other endpage on the other side to complete the basic book.
Hooray! You've "made" a custom book! Now some quick steps to make them useable.
Step 4: Adjustments: Soft Cover Book
...then I got bored and used scissors, cutting it in dozen-page chunks. The result is rough, but I'm less picky on finish when it comes to personal supplies.
Step 5: Adjustments: Hard Cover Book
The first thing that needed to be fixed was the lack of a spine. I had an extra composition book spine from another project, so I trimmed out a bit of the spine and glued it over, applying glue to the edges, but not the center, so the book opens easier.
The second fix was the endpages. The endpage was far larger that the book block, which made it clumsier that you'd think. I trimmed down the end page to match.
The last fix was the pen loop. The default elastic pen loop was both too weak and too far out of the book to remain useable, so I yanked it out and glued in a new one that was both more secure and actually in the book. It fits the pen I chose, and fits in the book.
Step 6: Success!
For the extra book blocks, I recommend you hang on to them for a bit. They could be added to another more ideal cover, or the pages could be used as always necessary scrap paper. If all else fails, recycle the things. This tutorial is made for the sole purpose of satisfying those with very fickle notebook needs and does not encourage fickle waste of resources.