Notebook to Rule Them All

Introduction: Notebook to Rule Them All

I truly enjoy creating and designing. However, a problem that I have is marking on a clean sheet of paper. I don't know if others have the same issue, but it gets even worse when it is a piece of nice paper that is bound inside of a really nice notebook. As a result I don't buy sketch notebooks or wring journals. Rather, I have been using copy paper. I would whole punch it and then place it in a three ringed binder. Problem solved; ruin as much paper as I want with my designs and notes.

This works, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted something with a lower profile. I started using binder clips with page protectors. This was nice but the plastic sleeve was not rigid enough to write/draw on while laying on the couch. Therefore, I started to prototype. This is the result of some trial and error, lessons learned and curiosity.

I hope you enjoy this build!

Step 1: Materials


Paper Clips (4)

Preferred Size Paper Clamps (I am doing 4 small)

Gorilla Packaging tape

Black Vinyl

Step 2: Cut the Acrylic

I have found that the size I prefer is 11.5 by 8.5 inches.

Step 3: Paper Clips

Unbend the paper clips to that they are straightened out. Cut them both down to 5.75 inches.

Step 4: Dismantle Binder Clip

Detach the flange from the binder clip. Simple enough.

Step 5: Feed the Clip in the Clamp

Feed the straightened out paper clip through the clamps holes.

Step 6: Tape It

Tape the paper clips with binder clips onto the longer edge.

Step 7: Additional Steps

Some of the additions that I made are to have elastic nylon bands in order to keep the notebook closed and another to hold my pens and pencils on the side. I also have additional vinyl that frames the acrylic. These additions can be seen at the end of the video at the beginning.

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    7 years ago on Step 3

    I typed up a longer explanation, pressed the "I Made it!" button and lost my text, so here's the short.

    Thank you for this guide! I could not find a product for a decent price online that compared. Spent probably 20 hours trying to build this though because I kept running into issues I wasn't sure how to fix. I created a smaller version for a smaller notebook. I guess the scale reduction and strong clips were too much for the gorilla glue because the bars kept moving off the outside edge to the inside surface... and bending the paperclips.

    Switched to brass bars instead of paper clips, and tweaked some brass mounting brackets to fit the brass bars (cause they were a smidgen too small for my bars), and mounted the brackets using compression rivets (I think they're called that).

    No more bar bending and no more bar moving!


    7 years ago

    I used one of those sanding block, it's like a sponge, to smooth out the edges.

    Hey! This is really cool, but how did you get from the ragged, burr-filled edge in step two to the really clean beautiful edge at the end? I'm having some trouble cleaning my acrylic up, and yours is gorgeous.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very interesting idea!

    I go back and forth between sketchbooks, notepads, and loose paper for drawing out my ideas. Generally, I just use whatever's nearest! But I can see why a dedicated, custom notebook like this would be really nice.

    That step 2 photo . . . yikes, man! You're living on the edge! : o


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am the same way with the "grab whatever is closest." I have napkins that I keep around with ideas on them.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Might I suggest replacing the tape with epoxy resin to hold the wires in place. It would probably be more durable. You might also consider bending the paper clips 90 degrees where they exit the binder clips and drilling holes in the edge of the plexi to accept the wires, and then epoxy them in place. This would be stronger still.