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.