A Humorous Personalized Notepad




About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

It is fun to have and use your own personalized humorous notepad, or to give them as gifts.  This piece of note paper shows a line drawing of a computer.  The text says, "First the wheel and now this!  How does (your name) get such great ideas?"  (Many years ago a similar sample came in some advertising literature.  The computer in the graphic was an outmoded Univac style computer that filled an entire room.  I chose to use a more contemporary image and make my own notepad papers.)

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Step 1: Get an Image

The drawing of the computer that I used came from a clip art graphics program I have.   In the graphic with this step you see a capture screen from Google Images.  I searched for "computer."  Look for a line drawing that will print well on your printer.  The image 3rd from the left in the 2nd row would work well.  Copy the image you want.

Step 2: Insert Your Image

Open your word processor and paste your image into a new document. 

Step 3: Anchor the Image

I use OpenOffice.org Writer 3.1.0.  Anchor the image to a character.

Step 4: Size the Image

Left click on the image's border to display the green edit points.  Drag one of the corner points to make the image the size you need.  This Instructable assumes you will be dividing a standard sheet of paper to make four note sheets.  In the USA a standard sheet of paper is 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  In many countries a standard sheet of paper is A4, that is: 8.69 x 11.69 inches, or 210.5 mm x 296.9 mm.

Step 5: Type Text

I formatted the page to left and right margins of 0.25 inches.  The top and bottom margins are 0.30 inches each.  I set the page for two columns spaced with 0.30 inches separation.  If you are using A4 paper, you will need to adjust these dimensions.

Type the text from the Introduction with your name. 

You can use other text, too.  They would probably require a different image, depending on the theme.  Some interesting text would be:

"I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but what you do not realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."

"For such a long time now we, the willing, led by the unknowing have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful that we now believe we can do anything with nothing at all." 

Brevior saltare cum deformibus mulieribus est vita. ("Life is too short to dance with ugly women.")

Brevior saltare cum deformis viris est vita. ("Life is too short to dance with ugly men.")

The five stages of any project:
1. Euphoria and Excitement
2. Disenchantment
3. Search for the Guilty
4. Punishment of the Innocent
5. Reward for the Uninvolved
(from Wiki Answers)

Step 6: Copy and Paste to Make Four Sheets

Highlight the text and image as one.  Copy.  Press Enter a few times to move the cursor down the page a bit.  Paste the image and text to make a second copy.  Repeat this two more times.  Adjust the number of line spaces made by pressing the Enter button so that the top two images and text are exactly opposite one another, and the bottom set of images and text are also exactly opposite one another, too. 

It is not easy to get the bottom images and text set at exactly the right point down the page so all four pieces have the correct amount of white space above the image and text when the sheet is cut in quarters.  The next step will offer a way to fix that fairly easily.  Just make the image and text sets exactly opposite from one another horizontally.

Step 7: White Space Above Text

The white space above the image and the text should be equal on all four notes when cut from one sheet.  Measure from the top of the text to the edge of the paper on the upper set of image and text groups.  The measurement on my setup was 9 mm.  Measure 9 mm from the top of the text on the bottom set and make a scratch mark with a knife point.  See the red arrow.

Step 8: Cut on the Scratch Mark

Cut the paper in two at the scratch mark.  The white space above the images and text on each portion of the sheet is equal.  See the green line.  The bottom edges are uneven.  See the yellow lines.  This will be corrected in the next step.

Step 9: Tape the Portions Together

Turn one of the portions from the page 180 degrees and join the ends of the two portions with frosted tape as shown.

Step 10: Copy and Cut

After taping the two portions together, make as many copies as you want.  Cut each sheet into quarters.  The image and text are now identically and evenly placed on each of the notes.  Place them into a desktop holder or clamp a stack of notes and paint the top edge with a rubber cement to make notepads.

File your master away so you can use it later to make more copies.

When you write memoranda on these notes people will want to know where you got them.  You can change the name in the master file and send them a copy by e-mail along with these instructions.  Then they can make their own.   

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    22 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very creative!! :D

    i feel like there should be another usage out of the notepads...or this technique in general. I can't think of it now...

    Anyway great instructable! I will try making this sometime. :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    In STEP 9, it’s useful to be aware to join the edges by ABUTTING!!! them*! ...(AVOID OVERLAPPING THEM, as I nearly-did!!)...
    ...as-such, also be sure to make the cut as >perpendicular< as possible to the long edge of the page (to avoid having the long-edge skew when cutting, rotating, and abutting); make a cut far from perpendicular and you'll appreciate this-point...

    BTW: BRAVO to Phil B for this rather effective EFFORT and TIME SAVING Instructable-method !!!!! What a GREAT insight !!!!!

    *Here's why: Such abutting-joining is critical to getting / maintaining the overall length of the paper to be the same as the original-paper-length, because in doing so --> you'll be able to directly place the paper on (against) the standard registration-edge of any properly-adjusted photocopier <-- and reliably get a successful image-positioning result, as the 'other-end' is a correct distance from the registered end.
    ...if you overlap-the-edges, rather than abutting-the-edges, then the lower-end images will fall too far near the center of the page when-copying, and the lower image distance to the lower page-edge of the photocopy will not match the distance of the upper image's position to the upper page-edge...to appreciate this-point, make a page with the edges-overlapped in an exaggerated-fashion, and observe the photocopy-result, which will result in non-similar image-to-page-edge distances for the top and bottom images.

    ...PS-btw; if the copier registration edge is mal-adjusted such that the edge-distances for top and bottom images are not the same, just shift the page-original laterally on the copier a bit until the output-copied-page has the same edge distance for top and bottom images. (...if that process won't-work such that you feel or find that you must overlap the original on top of the copier's registration-guide, then spin the original around 180 degrees, and try this tweak-method again, and it should work...).

    --Many apologies if this post was too long! Hope it proves helpful to-someone....!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Oh brother, did I write that...!??

    Sounds like I'm yelling, and, way more technical than I actually-am, and fwiw, I just got very lucky to not overlay and tape them ...eek...! my apologies !!

    Anyway, if someone needs a cure for insomnia (or a headache!!), I think my post above just might do the trick...! :)!!

    Again - many-apologies... !!

    Use a material called "Padding compound." It can be found at most high end office supply and art supply stores (Not Office Depot and such). It is designed to be painted on to the edge of pads to make "tear off" pads.

    A simple Google search displayed several sources for it. I used to make pads from recycled paper for the school district. 10 years later, I still have some of them and the still work great...

    I have used regular casein wood glue, diluted with water. It is not as good as padding compound, but works for small numbers. Thanks for the tip on where to find it!

    Phil Bwizardonmain

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I have come to place loose note pieces in a holder.  Padding compound is probably the best way to do it.  Thanks.

    Phil Bstringstretcher

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I have seen at least one Instructable on gluing up the pads.  I did it once myself with a couple of pieces of wood and a "C" clamp.  Then I painted on one coat of regular rubber cement.  I pressed some sewing thread into it when it was almost dry.  The thread looped around in a random pattern.  Then I pained on more rubber cement.  It worked pretty well. 

    tdbtdbPhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Rubber cement likes to bond dry, so I would modify that to:

    1) clamp pages together
    2) paint edge with rubber cement
    3) let dry
    4) apply threads
    5) more cement, not too much
    6) paint a scrap with rubber cement
    7) let all dry
    8) apply scrap to edge
    9) trim

    I wonder if problems will arise because rubber cement is too polite - it comes off easily. It's the best for bonding paper face to face, not sure about edge to face.

    Also, step 5 may cause a problem if the solvent in the new coat of cement dissolves the first coat, maybe combine steps 2,4 and 5, skip 3.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    glad to see there's a way to DIY 'true' stuck-together notepads.  Thanks for this one.

    Phil BRobbie245

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you.  One slogan I meant to include for possible use on a note pad is, "The only one to get his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe."

    I used to work in the print shop class at my high school, so I have quite a few custom notepads around the house with my name on them.

    6 replies
    Phil Bmasterochicken

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Do you enjoy using them?  I enjoy the look on the faces of people when I give them a note with the text about "First the wheel, now this..."  Usually I end up offering to send them a digital master with their name on it.

    Thank you for your comment.

    masterochickenPhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I have three pads of letterhead with my name on it, and three pads just for jotting down notes that say "REMEMBER THIS" in a kung fu looking font. They're fun.

     I have a few notepads of the Joker, God of War, Trigun, and MGS lying around I made in print shop in my high school. They are pretty badass.

    Phil BCabanaman

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    We did not have a printing shop in our high school, but that was 46 years ago, too.

    masterochickenPhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

       Every high school in our our district has one except for one school. School letterhead, business cards, sports program, and shirts for staff, school logo shirts, team logo shirts are all made in the school. I remember when all the classes were getting they're budgets cut, it was the only class still allowed to take a field trip.