Introduction: Make Your Own Notebooks!

About: Designer living in NYC for grad school. I love laser cutting, Adobe's Creative Suite, random art projects, and baking goodies for friends!
Stop buying Moleskine or Field Notes notebooks and start making your own! It's super easy and saves you money and a trip to the store. This project uses a pamphlet stitch to bind a cute notebook.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need:

- 5 sheets of blank printer paper, 8.5” x 11”
- a ruler
- a pencil
- an X-acto knife
- decorative paper for covers
- string
- needle

Optional book making tools: awl and bone folder

Step 2: Prepare Your Paper

Cut your printer paper in half to make 10 sheets of 8.5” wide by 5.5” tall paper. Using a bone folder, fold each new sheet into half to make them 4.25” wide by 5.5” tall. If you don't have a bone folder, use your fingers to crease the paper.

Step 3: Prepare the Cover

Cut a 8.5” wide by 5.5” tall cover from a piece of decorative paper, and fold it in half.

Step 4: Prepare the Spine Holes

Place printer paper inside of the cover and, using the awl, poke three holes in the spine: one in the center and one about two inches from the center hole on each side. If you don't have an awl, you can use your needle or X-acto knife to poke these holes. Be careful not to cut yourself with the awl and X-acto; both are really sharp!

Step 5: Thread Your Needle

String your needle with enough string as three times the height of your notebook, about 16.5". I'm using waxed linen thread, but you can use any type of string or ribbon to bind the notebook.

Step 6: Sewing Time!

Starting on the outside, pull the string three-fourths of the way through the middle hole, leaving the rest of the thread hanging without a knot.

Step 7:

Take the needle through the top hole, pulling tight but without pulling the extra thread through. 

Step 8:

Take the needle back through the middle hole.

Step 9:

Finally, take the needle through the bottom hole.

Step 10: Finish With a Bow!

Tie a bow with the beginning string and the extra string, pulling tightly. Cut off any extra string.

Step 11: You're Done!

You've made your own beautiful notebook! If you want a true Field Notes feel, use a corner rounder punch and use kraft cardstock for the covers. The possibilities are endless with the types of papers you can use for the inside and cover and the different types of string you can use to bind it!