Introduction: Icecairo's Laser-cut Notebook Cover With Islamic Patterns

About: Fab Lab Manager at icecairo (green technology innovation hub, website: Co-founder of Refuse (an upcycling plastic bag initiative, facebook page here:…

This tutorial is post the laser-cutting process (which I'm preparing another tutorial for), on simple DIY tricks how to assemble this Notepad Cover to fit with different paper sizes, sticky notes, notebooks to be as REUSABLE as possible.
PS: This design is a work in progress inspired by SnijLab's Notepad cover design, which I adjusted some measurements, and added some details and patterns to personalise it more :)

Laser-cut at icecairo's Fab Lab

Under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license

Step 1: The Designs

So I found the folding notepad on Obrary platform, you guys can check it out, it's a pretty cool "open library" website. (they recently did some adjustments too, and more sizes based on Snijlab's design) and now it's gone all the way to Egypt to be laser cut at icecairo's Fab Lab
I thought I can try to hip the design a little, thus I added an Arabesque Islamic Pattern on the front of the cover (which is easier to track front and back) and added a place to write your NAME on the clip inside.I'll share the open files shortly to laser-cut !

Basically the design was made as a notepad cover to fill it with either single papers or sticky note..etc, then I thought why not let it be a NoteBOOK cover, to cover all the ugly notebooks we sometimes own, but don't want to throw away, right? I want to make this as REUSABLE as can be.

Also when I first test printed the notepad cover from Obrary, I found the clip that holds the paper to be a bit confusing, I couldn't really understand how it functions and from where to glue it. Guys from Obrary were friendly enough to have a forum about each open design for support, thus we tested together, but I decided to post instruction pictures too :D

So here's the tutorial on how to finish the final touches for this really cool notepad cover (in case you want to use the clip) and other possibilities (if you don't want to use the clip)

Here we go!

Step 2: Materials You'll Need

Let's not forget that this is the post-laser-cutting process!
Supposedly now you have laser-cut one copy, still unfolded. This design is based on the 3"x5" notepad, in the picture you'll find two copies, but this is only to illustrate the back and the front

So! these are the materials you'll need:

1. Bendable laser-cut cover (with whatever material you've cut, here I have used 3 mm plywood)

2. Laser-cut clip

3. Elastic Band (you can choose the colour you want :D)

4. Super Glue tube

5. White Glue (like paper adhesives)

6. Gluing Brush (for applying the adhesive)

7. Sticky notes/paper/notebook

Ps: Before applying any of the process, I applied Flax Seed Oil on the wood with a piece of cloth (to give it a natural golden-like wooden finish), and left it around 24 hours to dry completely.
Why Flax Seed Oil? simply because it's a better environmental friendly way to apply a finish layer on the wood, Flax Seed is very common here in Egypt, so it's also a local and affordable substitute.
If Flax Seed is not available, you can try Olive Oil, if you have any other recommendations of course, feel free to share :)

Step 3: Applying the Adhesive on the Clip

At the beginning the clip seemed a bit confusing, until you realise it's pretty simple.
So now we'll need the white adhesive, and a small glue brush to apply the glue on the clip.
You need to apply the adhesive on the top part only of the clip on it's back, like seen in the picture, thus the lower part becomes flexible to act as a clip.
Make sure that the back of the clip is the one that doesn't have your "NAME" on :)

Step 4: Sticking the Clip to the Cover

After you've applied adhesive on the top of the clip, place it on the cover, a few millimetres below the laser-cut hinge.
Make sure you're placing the clip on the back of the cover (where there is no pattern), and on the side where there are two cut lines at the bottom.

Step 5: Applying Glue on the Elastic Band

Now it's time to attach the elastic band.
The length of the elastic band is the double width of the notebook cover with double the thickness of the material, I added an extra centimetre for the gluing area, so the whole length was around 28 cm

I used Super Glue to stick the ends of the band, applying the glue on around a 1 cm area on the band and pressing it on an equal length at the other end of the band.

You can, of course, stitch the two ends instead of gluing to give a better result, but I found super glue to be much easier (since i am horrible at stitching or sewing), and it actually withstands better than I expected.

Step 6: Placing the Elastic Band

At the two laser-cut lines of the bottom of the cover, we'll place the elastic band we just glued.

Start placing the band from the inside of the cover, then lead the band to the other side, and place it around the width of the cover like seen in the picture.

Step 7: Other Possibilities, a Work in Progress

Since the main idea was to make the cover as reusable and flexible as we can.
I tried also using another method of not covering sticky notes, or paper, but to try covering notebooks with ugly patterns or such.

In this case, I did not use the clip, but I just placed the notebook inside, and when I close the cover and hold it with a band, it already fits perfectly. The possibilities are still a work in progress, since relying on the band to hold the notebook to the cover might not be the best solution when wanting to use hold the notebook without loosing the cover, but at this phase it works well for holding several things together, like a notebook, a business and a pen all at once..

Share feedback, maybe other ideas you want to share to enhance this.