Duct Tape Tear-Away Scratch Pad





Introduction: Duct Tape Tear-Away Scratch Pad

Convert scrap paper into a handy notepad with tear-away sheets using duct tape instead of specialty binding glue.

What you'll need:

Scrap paper
Cereal box or other cardboard for backing
Duct tape
Binder clips or rubber bands
Glue stick
Paper cutter

Step 1: Cut Your Paper and Backing

Using a paper cutter of your choice (swing arm, rotary, etc.) cut your scrap paper and backing to desired size. When you are stacking the paper after it is cut, be sure to stack so that the side to be bound consists of uncut edges. This step isn't absolutely necessary, but I have found that uncut edges are easier to align and adhere better.

I chose to make mostly 5.5" x 8.5" and 5.5" x 4.25" notepads. I also made one 4" by 2.5" mini notepad.

You can also leave the paper uncut if you prefer a full size scratch pad.

Step 2: Prep Your Pages

Once all your pages and backings are cut, align the edge to be bound until it is as smooth as possible. Any pages that are not aligned correctly will not adhere to the tape.

Use binder clips or rubber bands to keep the pages and backing in place.

Apply a thin layer of glue using a glue stick to help keep pages together while you apply the duct tape and to add a little extra stickiness. Do not use liquid glue, it will create wrinkles and seep between the pages causing them to stick together.

Step 3: Bind Your Pages

Cut a length of tape slightly longer than the width of the edge to be bound.

If you are making a notepad that is thicker than the width of your tape use several strips positioned side by side

With the back of your notebook facing up, position the tape so there is enough overhang to cover the thickness of the pad. It is better to have too much overhang than too little, the excess can always be cut away.

Press down on the backing to secure the tape, then flip the pad over.

Staring from the middle, pull the tape upwards while putting downward pressure on the pages before smoothing the tape along the edge. Continue this motion outwards toward the edges until the width of the notebook has been secured with tape.

Smooth down the taped edge, ensuring even adhesion.

Cut way any excess tape.

Step 4: Other Ideas...

>Rectangular or square notepads are easiest to make, but any shape with at least one straight side is possible (triangles, hearts). If you're particularly ambitious, you could try circles, stars... anything really.

>Before binding your pages, use a hole punch or a decorative punch to create an easy way to hang a scratch pad on a nail or thumb tack.

>Print lines or a decorative header on pages before cutting and binding them, making your own custom stationary.

>Apply a magnetic strip to the back of the scratch pad and hang it on the fridge for grocery lists.

2 People Made This Project!


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22 Discussions

Just made a couple. However, the glue from the glue stick I used didn't react well with the adhesive on the duct tape, making the intended contact surface slimy and slippery, rather than sticky. They hold together much better with the glue left out.

I am baffled!
I experimented myself with many different glues (Made some myself with no good results BTW) and then "BAM"... Your instr comes in and i sit here and i look like an idiot to myself.
Of course! Ductape! One of the 2 things which ensures the universe to run (The other is WD40).

Thanks a LOT!

*wanders off and builds a ductape-notebook*

Thanks for posting this. I made several of these at work - we got so much fax-spam that would just go into the garbage until I started making these - unfortunately the place I worked was not very eco-conscious :( but everyone liked the scratch pads! :D

1 reply

Oh yeah - when I made the pads, I would fold the front band of tape over a 1/2" strip of cardboard, instead of trimming it close to the pad. It made a flap that folded over the top bit of the pad and looked a bit more "professional" (and also kept the tape from sticking to stuff as the pad was depleted). It worked out pretty well!

You can use old calender pads for notes. They are already together and cut just go from back to from and you have 365 note sheets ready to go

Never tried it with duct tape. I've used Tacky Glue to make scratch pads. It is much easier to find than padding cement. I'll have to give tape a try.

So simple & great! - Here's an added idear, you can add a strip or two of magnet tape on the back of the cardboard and it can stick to your fridge. I also add some magnet tape to a pen/pencil that also hangs on my fridge for quick notes/messages/shopping lists.

This instructable really is a "wonderful one"! I've been wanting to make a pad of printed stock-take sheets for work, now I finally can! 5/5, excellent work :-D

OH MY GOSH! This is so simple yet, it's an awesome idea! I will be making a few of these...Thanks a bunch!

thanks for this, it looks like a really good way to make some sketchbooks from my mountain of spare paper

i've just made a notepad using your idea, and thus far, it seems fantastic. I've been using scraps of paper cut to size for ages to scribble things on at work, and now, they are all nicely pad-erized into one book. Cheers for the idea

This is great. i really want to do this! Thanks.

One additional step to consider, is after you use binder clips to hold the pad together, use sand paper and really smooth out the uncut edges. This would create a great surface for the glue and tape to adhere to, reducing the chance that papers wouldn't adhere properly. I'd try this in between step 2 and step 3. Great instructable, gonna try it this weekend, since the weather doesn't look to great here!

Easy, clean, intelligent and effective. A 5/5 ible, congrats , nice job :)

Good idea. How's the "sticky" degree compared with the normal notepad? Does the paper come off easier/harder with duct tape?

1 reply

I'd say it's about the same. The first few sheets might come off a little too easily if you trim the tape too close. Shaking and fanning hasn't resulted in any fly aways for me yet. One good thing about the tape though, you aren't going to accidentally break the pad in half as I've had happen with normal notepads. The sheets would separate from the tape long before the tape could rip. And, if that did happen it is easy enough to replace the tape.

I've been wondering what to do with all my scrap paper- I HATE trashing it. Its just been piling up so far. haha Thanks!