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This is something every DIYer will love. It's very easy to make, very cheap, and extremely useful. After discovering Kaptinscarlet's great ible on binding books I began turning many of my e-books into hard copy's. After finding out about the Maker's Notebook I decided to do it myself and save twenty bucks. By using word, excel, and a few handy resources found on the web, I created my own project book. What's great about this is it's fully customizeable, which is what DIY is all about.


Since making this I've already filled it with a great deal of projects on my mind. It's proven to be a great tool for keeping myself organized and in the DIY mindset. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

 
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Step 1: What You'll Need

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For this ible you'll need a few things, and here they are:

Microsoft Word - I made a template that can be downloaded, edited, and printed; if you wish to use this then you'll need a copy of Word .
Printer - The book I created prints on 40 sheets of paper, each sheet will then be made into 4 pages in the actual book. This means you'll be making a 160 page book.
Hard Cardboard - This will be used to construct the hard cover of your book. You can buy these at a craft store or find them. I happen to work at a company that throws away a lot of three ring binders. Behind that plastic cover is some great cardboard perfect for making books.
Book Cover Material - In the Book Binding Ible I have referenced you will use fabric to make your cover. I will not do this in this ible. I will be using a plain old brown paper bag which is easily obtainable at the grocery store. Feel free to use whatever material makes you feel good about your finished product.
White Glue - I have used white glue in my book binding with great success. Use whatever you wish, but in this ible I will be using the white stuff.
Scissors - Used to cut the paper bag.
Box Cutter - Used to cut through the cardboard. I suppose an exacto knife could be used here as well.
Rubber Band - We'll be using a rubber band to keep our book securely closed at all times. This is optional.
Staples - These will be used to bind your book together.
Common Sense - There will be no political correctness found here. You are responsible for your own actions, this means that if you slice through your hand to your bones with a box cutter it is not my fault. It is your own, you dumb dumb dummy. Seriously though, be careful with this stuff.

Step 2: The Book Files

Here you will find the files I have created for your very own project book. It contains 130 note taking/project planning pages, 8 pages of electronics reference matarial, and 19 blank pages for additional references to be added. What I like about this is if you think of something you need you can pencil it in now, and print it up later for additional notebooks, it's fully customizable!

You'll find tht each file is split into 32 pages which you will print seperately in Book-Format. I have split the files for you convenience, this way you will not need to specify the page numbers when you print. Each computer/printer is different so you may need to fool around with the settings to print this in book format. For me, after I click print, I select Preferences, then Layaout, and under print type I select Booklet. Fool around with the settings here; for me it took about 6 times to finally get it right.

Step 3: Customize Your Book

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Fill your notebook with anything you will need. If you will need to reference it often, it should be in your reference section. Planetary patterns, the physics of a death ray, how the big bang created time (what?), whatever it may be, put it in there. Use my own research as a template, take stuff out, add things to it, make it completely your own. Take it a step further and share what you have added. I would love to make this a living document, and I'm sure everyone would love to see what you have done with this.

Step 4: Print and Bind with Staples

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Now that your book is ready to print it's time to get down to the actual building process. If you're having trouble, please refer to the fantasticle book binding ible written by KaptinScarlet. Please also see the photos I have attached for more details as to how I have done this.

Step 1: After you have printed your booklet, fold and staple each 8 sheet combo of 32 pages together. You do this by first taking the first 8 page combo, pages 1 - 32 (in my document the first 2 pages are blank so your combination should end on page 30). Fold the entire combination as a group in half. Unfold the group of papers

In this part you will be binding the group of papers with a staple. Turn this group upside down so that the spine is facing up. Take a pushpin and poke 4 holes through the spine, 2 holes for each staple. I found this is easily done by taking a single staple and pressing it into the spine so that a small mark is made. Use these marks as your guide as you make your holes. Once you have poked 4 holes through the spine insert 2 staples all the way through. On the opposite side bend the staples shut so that they bind your papers together. Do this for each 8 sheet combination.

Step 5: Measure your booklet and cut the cover

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Measure your booklets front and spine. Use these measurements to mark out cutting locations on your hardened cardboard making sure to add a few centimeters to the length and the width. These extra centimeters will give you a little gap between the pages and the cover of the book. When adding length make sure you add the same length to each cover and the spine as well. The width of the spine should be the width of your booklet. To sum up, the height of the spine should match the height of the front and back covers. The front and back covers should be the same all around.

Once you have your markings go ahead and cut the cardboard with an exacto knife or box cutter. Try to keep the line as straight as possible. This may take a few cuts depending on the material being used.

Step 6: Cover those Covers

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Once you have your covers cut out, lay them down side by side on a brown paper bag. You'll want them laid out as follows: Cover, Spine, Cover. Leave a small space in between the spine and each cover to allow for flexing, the opening and closing of the book. This should be about double the thickness of the cardboard you're using.

While the covers lay on top of the paper bag trace a perimeter of each cardboard piece onto the bag. This perimeter will be your guide as you glue the covers to the paper. Once your lines are drawn out you can glue the covers to the paper by applying a coat of white glue to the cover and sticking it to the paper. Use your perimeter marks as a guide to keep your covers lined up.

Once each cover is lined up and glued to the paper, place a heavy object on top of them so that they are pressed firmly to the paper as they dry. Once they are dried cut the excess paper around the edges of your covers. Leave a few inches from each edge, this will wrap around the cover. Also cut out each of the four corners for convenience of folding.

Step 7: Wrap the Cover

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Once the covers have dried completely to the paper and the paper is cut to the right size, we'll now wrap the covers. To do this first fold each edge of paper onto the inside cover. While holding the paper down tightly, mark the edge with a pen. Do this for all four sides.

Spread glue onto the cover keeping the glue within the area to be covered by the paper, this is the reason for marking the edges. Once you have covered the cover with glue fold the paper onto the inside cover. Do this for all four sides, and allow it to dry completely.

Step 8: Glueing the Booklet's Spine

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Once combination that make up your booklet is held together with staples it's time to bring them all together. Stack them together in order and upright. You'll probably notice that the booklet is a bit thicker towards the spine. It's not hard to see why. To fix this we will press the spine firmly together in a make shift vice. To do this we'll be using the completed book cover, two clips, and a few rubber bands.

Insert the booklet into the book cover in reverse so that the spine is facing out. Compress the spine by clipping the edge of the book towards the spine. This will compress the edges. Now tightly wrap a rubber band around the book at the middle of the booklet. This should do the trick. Make sure it's tight and can't budge easily.

Now that the spine is clamped tightly take some white glue and apply several coats to the spine making sure you get out to the edges and between all the cracks. I did this with my finger; it was really quick, easy, and not too messy. Just have something to wipe your finger off with when you're done.

Step 9: Booklet Wings

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Once the body of your book is completely bound and stable enough to stick together take a brown paper bag and cut it according to the size of your booklet. You'll want to cut a piece just as long and several inches wider than the width of the spine. Mine comes about 3 inches off of each edge of the spine making it about 3.5 inches.

Glue the spine to the piece of paper you just cut. I did this first by marking out the center of the paper with a ruler and a pen. Then outlining the "landing strip"; this is exactly where the booklet where be glued to the paper. Then I applied another coating of white glue to the spine making sure to get every area, especially the edges. Take your booklet and carefully place it onto the landing strip. Allow it to dry by placing any sturdy object on either side of the booklet. This booklet is small so I used a salt and pepper shaker.

Step 10: Seal the Deal - Glue the Wings to the Covers

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To finish up we'll be gluing the booklet to it's cover. To do this apply glue to the wings except for the center, or the spine. This will allow the booklet to move freely as it is opened and closed. After the booklet has dried to the cover your book is complete. The only thing left to do is to customize the cover to your liking.

Step 11: Customize Your Cover

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Now that your project book is complete feel free to spiffy up that cover. Do some artwork, throw on some stickers, do whatever you want to it to truly make it your own.

As always, comments are welcome, and please share what you have created. We'd all love to see what you have come up with.

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dlwhite586 months ago

How did you make the template in Word?

Spaceman Spiff (author)  dlwhite586 months ago

Open up excel and create the square grid by shortening the columns. Then highlight the edges of each cell by using the borders tool. Now copy and paste a region into word. That should do it.

jsenna made it!9 months ago

Great instructable! made it for my gf!

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Spaceman Spiff (author)  jsenna9 months ago

Awesome, thanks for sharing.

mbcharney made it!1 year ago

Found this ible the other day and finished it tonight.

Only comment would be to make the grid lines darker for printing, which I did..

The only thing I did different, besides the lines, is instead of a rubber band I used a large binder clip to keep the book closed.

Thanks for the ible idea!!

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Did you use A4 paper in the book?
I'm not sure what A4 paper is. I used ordinary printing paper.

A4, is standard printer and copier paper... Although its identified as a "international" paper size. The names of each size vary from place to place.
A4 = 210mm*297mm

more can be seen at http://www.papersizes.org/a-paper-sizes.htm

instead of taking all of the time to make the cardboard pieces, you could go get a binder and add anything you want. really good idea :) thanks
elisa56652 years ago
This is a wonderful instructable! I will try this sometime soon!
dj. navarro2 years ago
Nice! I've always wanted to make my own notebook/project book! :D
dur.sk83 years ago
I was going to buy a notebook like this
but now i can make one by myself
thanks for sharing
here's mine.. NOTE: i couldn't print the graph paper supplied with the files so i bought some instead. P.S: i stuck a qr code on the back of it so if i ever lost it, someone would know who it belongs to. i used this site: www.goqr.me
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You'd better print your name and address next to that QR code thing. Because if I was the guy that found your book I wouldn't know what to do with that.
next time try by creating you QR code with uQR.me QR code generator, you'll be able to change the QR code destination if you want without having to reprint it...
that's very convenient when you print your QR code somewhere... you never know when you'll need to change the content
pfred23 years ago
I like how you use binder clips in step 8. I've "bound books" with just those. For my shop notebook I use a 3 ring binder. Do they still make those? I even have a 3 hole puncher for mine. Makes it easy to add pages!
Plo Koon3 years ago
dude that is an insanely awesome username! i like the pic too
TashaDax3 years ago
I think I love you :)
carsoncool3 years ago
Can you please make it a non zip file?
glier4 years ago
completely love the idea, make a book out dedicated for a proyect with complete info on how, why, and what are you really doing, excellent for a time capsule :D.

my first will be how to make a proyect book :D
sebgonz4 years ago
Great instructable. I've been wanting to do something like this for all my little electronic projects that do. I think I even have a Harmons bag lying around somewhere that I could use. :)
I should have known a simple project book can get you 15k views in 4 months. And you published it while I was celebrating my birthday! How did you know? o_O

Oh well, I'm making one. Food for thought for 'ya: Swiss Army Project Book (SAProB) complete with arc welder and high temperature induction furnace! Oh no, idea... You see, this is why I need one of what you made! I'll just do a smaller version and put technical drawings in there to make it look cool when in fact the random circuits and whatnot are just random symbols put together lol. Rate rate rate...
lionel10244 years ago
Awesome instrucable, and awesome user name!
who r u?
SageMinto4 years ago
This is exactly what I need! Muhahaha! >:D

I'm going to really need this when I go to college in the fall. Thank you!
Spaceman Spiff (author)  SageMinto4 years ago
You're welcome, I'm glad you liked it.
bumbums4 years ago
Does this mean you need a3 paper and an a3 printer?
Spaceman Spiff (author)  bumbums4 years ago
No, I did this on regular 8.5 x 11 paper so you should be fine using a basic printer. The only thing is you will have to fool around with the settings to get it to print right. For me it was as simple as selecting booklet mode. Usually any printer that prints on both sides will have this capability. If yours does not you may need to fool around with printing onto one side first and then the other second. The split files should help you with this.
TheHobbit814 years ago
Love this ible. :) 5 Stars.

One problem, the links to most of the files don't work for me, can you please re-post them or whatever? I think that the last one worked but not the others.

Thanks in advance.
Spaceman Spiff (author)  TheHobbit814 years ago
Thanks for the rating, and I'm glad you liked it. As far as the files go I'm not sure what's going on. I was able to open them up with no problems. Either way I put all the files on a zip instead. Rather than downloading each file I thought it would be easier to just download one zip. I hope this helps; let me know if it doesn't.
That did the trick, I'll post back with pic's of the finished product.
I can not get this to print the way I'm expecting it to. I want it to be half-page duplex meaning that it print is a way that you can just stack the pages and staple them, resulting in having all pages in the correct order.

I found this link but it requires a full version of CutePDF or an expensive plugin for Adobe Reader. Not going to pay to do this. :(

Any thoughts?
You could always print it to double sided pages and use a bander to bind it using those plastic wring bands maybe. Check out staples to see if they could do that for you.
This is AWESOME! I made one and it became a cute webdesign project book. I used some origami paper for the cover and added little satin laces to decorate it. Very useful! Thanks for this!
You're welcome, glad you liked it!
This was a great idea. I loved making mine. Thanks so much!
I made a wider gap between the spine and the larger peices-- about twice the thickness of the cardboard. You might find your notebook opens and closes easier that way.
I'm actually binding a book this very moment. I'll try it out.
Spaceman Spiff (author)  Spaceman Spiff4 years ago
That worked out great, thanks for the tip. It wasn't very tight at all.
Yay!
My first book using your ible-- not perfect, but not bad for the first bookbinding attempt in decades!

And i really like your project template. i don't need electrical engineering, reference, so I left that signature off. If i come up with another one, I'll add it to the collection.

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