Introduction: Duct Tape Pocket Notebook

I always carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go, this is because as an artist/writer. ideas for stories or drawings are around every corner in life. I used to carry a little A6 sized reporters pad for these ideas, but the pad bent in my pocket, or got soggy from the rain. Slowly over time, the pad became so damaged that I didn't like using it. I went to the stationary shop to find a replacement, and I tried the waterproof paper (which by the way, doesn't work like you'd expect it to, writing and drawings still smudge, the paper just doesn't get all mushy) so I set out to build my own, version, not so much 'waterproof' but will protect the paper from getting wet from wet pockets.

Step 1: Getting Stuff Together!

It's a fairly simple Instructable to follow, and only need basic things:
-A4 Paper (I found in my area it's the cheapest kind of paper)
-Corrugated cardboard
-Precision crafting knives
-Duct tape
-Stapler/Staples

I made another one before that used wood glue, so the binding of the paper is completely up to you, this may mean wood glue, hot glue, or book binding materials would be needed instead.

Step 2: Cutting the Paper, Folding the Paper

Simple step really, I personally wanted a slightly rough look to the book, so it looked obviously home made, so I tore the paper by folding and creasing the paper multiple times and then tearing the paper down the centre by gripping the paper on either side, making a small tear on the top, and then just pulling the paper apart.

I tore each sheet of A4 until it made four A6 sheets.

I then took each of the now A6 sized sheets, and folded each one in half, to make eight A7 pages per A4 sheet.

Step 3: Turning the Pages Into a Book

Next I took the eight folded A7 sized pages and put them inside each other, I had six sets in total. With each of them I opened the page sets (I know there's a technical name, but I can't think of it) to the middle page, I placed an eraser underneath where I was to staple, and took the stapler (fully loaded with staples of course) I opened the stapler and punched a staple through to the eraser, if you have a long-arm stapler there's no need to do this. You then need to loosen the stapled sheets from the eraser, and bend the arms of the staple into the middle, this way you have made on set of pages.

Now place the sets of pages to the side for now.

Step 4: Making the Cover

Now grab the corrugated cardboard, and lay it so that the length of the corrugations are horizontal, relative to yourself, this makes the cover harder to bend in theory. This would be opposite to how I cut the cardboard in the photo.

Lay one set of pages on top of the cardboard to measure, you ideally want the covers to be 1mm bigger on the top, bottom, and one side of the cover, as this point, I cut the card freehand, but guides would definitely help. Cut two of these.

A spine should also be cut, assemble the pages and two covers, press down on the whole thing and measure the spine. Cut the spine with precision from the cardboard.

Step 5: Covering the Cover

Cover both of the covers in a duct tape colour, simple.

Then take the spine piece, and lay some duct tape under it, stick both covers and the spine together, fold the top and bottom piece of the duct tape spine over the top and bottom of the cover pieces. Flip the cover and lay another strip over the middle of the book on the side too, make sure the ends of the tape are on the inside of the cover, this will be covered up shortly.

Add on decorative duct tape to make it a little more pretty, I opted for a single strip of blue duct tape.

Step 6: Putting the Pages Together, and Into the Cover

I change my method for putting the page sets together each time, the method I used here was to tape two sets of pages together, do that three times in total to get three sets of 16 pages, then I taped two sets of 16 together, and stuck the third set on top of the final.

Next I folded out the first and the last pages of the book, and duct taped them to the covers, I didn't actually attach the spine of the pages to the spine of the cover, but if you wanted to, hot glue would be suggested.

I wrapped the paper on the covers with more duct tape so that the paper was hidden.

Step 7: You're Done!

The book is all done now! Enjoy your doodling, or note taking, or whatever, with the knowledge you've made it yourself.

Comments

author
-JMS- (author)2014-04-09

Do you like Syaracuse Orange? I noticed your duct tape colors.

author
coolsista9 (author)2014-03-21

Woah woah WOAH!!!!

author
billbillt (author)2013-05-25

great idea

author
tjk94 (author)2012-07-05

Very well done...I have been using a similar duct tape notebook for a few years now though i prefer to make mine 5.5x8.5 in (half sheet of US printer paper).

I know my notebooks have gone through several versions with new features being added and improved constantly...I cant wait to see what features you add.

author
Silentz (author)tjk942012-07-06

That size tends to be my favourite for drawing when I'm at home, I don't like having all the empty space on a full sheet, but I hate running out of room with smaller pads. I simply carry this one around with me because it fits in my pocket a lot easier than a bigger one, although text notes are now made on my phone.

Thank you for the comments, do you have an instructable for your notebook?

author
tjk94 (author)Silentz2012-07-06

I tend to carry my notebook around with my computer which is generally in my backpack so I don't mind it being a little bigger. Before that though I used one of about the same size as yours.

I haven't made an instructable for mine yet, though now I will probably do that the next time I make one.

author
tjk94 (author)tjk942012-07-08

Also, by the way, the "sets" of pages are called folios (I think that is spelled right).

author
Silentz (author)tjk942013-02-13

Thanks for the tip! Learn something new every day!

author
Greta R. (author)2013-02-12

for book binding i use a needle and thread. it works really good!

author
Silentz (author)Greta R.2013-02-13

I would have done, but I'm so cheap and lazy, I couldn't be bothered to search through all the rubbish in my garage to find needles/thread. Neither could I be bothered to go to the shop to buy some, but great idea all the same!

author
Jessie Marie (author)2013-01-02

Cool!

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Bio: Basically, I just really love duct tape and electronics. I've been fixing my broken electronic items since I was about 14 years old, and ... More »
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