I took an old hard cover book and turned it into a notebook by using a few simple tools. It was really inexpensive and, although it was a learn-as-I-go project (I didn't really have a game plan going into this), I love it. I saw a lot of tutorials on how to make notebooks out of old books, but none that I liked. Some had book rings, some required expensive tools, and others were just plain wrong. So, I took a little bit of advice from all three and came up with my own version. I have written instructions at the bottom of this entry! It's easy and I promise you can do it. Check it out!
*This project is really easy/cheap, but it is fairly time consuming. It takes a few days because binding pages takes glue that needs to really set. I know rubber cement says it's fast drying, but to bind pages, it takes time. So if you are going to start this, please fully read the instructions before diving in!*
Again, Sorry for the lack of pictures. If I make another, I will add pictures!
Old book with little to no meaning/worth (I picked mine up for 50 cents at a thrift store)
Scrap piece of canvas material that will cover the binding of your book (*edges folded under*)
Notebook Paper (Enough to fill your book binding (I used almost two packages of loose leaf college ruled)
Paper Slicer (You will need one of these for this project. They are probably ~$8.00 at walmart. You will be cutting the lined paper multiple times, so a pair of scissors just wont cut it (cut. it. ey? ey? yeah you got it.)
Rubber Cement (if you are under 18 you may need an adult with you- I know it's ridiculous- OR you can just go to meijer at midnight to buy it and do the self-checkout. No one on the graveyard shift cares how old you are ;)
Needle & Thread & Pins
Two sheets of matching Scrapbook paper (for inside covers)
*Superglue is optional.
Heavy Books for weight
PART 1: PAGESStep 1: Cut your notebook paper to fit into your book. You can see my from my pictures that I cut mine so that the holes were no longer on the paper, but the red line still showed, and the header was fully in tact. You can cut your paper any way you like. This is probably the hardest part of the whole process because you can really only cut as many papers at a time as your slicer will allow (my cheap one is about 10 at a time) so it can get really monotonous. But try to be persistent and get it all done in one sitting because pretty soon your eye adjusts to the right place to cut and it gets easier.
Step 2: Once you have your pages cut, then you can line them all up. Place them on the edge of a table and place some heavy books on top of the page so they don't move. I tried to use clamps but they bent the pages, so books work better. Then let the edge of the pages you will bind hang JUST off the table. Paint on the first coat of rubber cement. Leave for at least 2 hours. Then paint another coat. Then wait again for 2 hours. Then paint another coat. Then wait. Then paint another coat. Let the last coat dry overnight. Once its dry test your pages to see if thy are all stuck together and wont fall out. If you are all set, then move on. Other wise- repeat the coat and wait process until you pages are bound.
PART 2: BOOK
Step 3: Use your x-acto knife to cut out the page in the old book. Yea, cut em right out of there. No need to be shy!
Step 4: Take your scrap book paper and cut them into three pieces: One for the left cover, one for the right cover, and then one that will sit in the binding but will overlap the left and right covers about an inch. Use your rubber cement to glue the three pieces on (left, then right, then center.)
PART 3: BINDING
(I actually did this part after part 4, but I think it would be easier to do before.)
Step 5: Cut your canvas scrap to fit the binding of your book (I had mine cover JUST the binding so that I could easily sew in the creases where it isn't so thick)
Step 6: Pin the top and the bottom to the book to hold in place. Then pin by pin ( about 2 inches apart) pin down the canvas on each side of the binding. Make sure to fold the edges of you canvas under to avoid an unclean fraying edge. It looks a lot nicer and is worth the extra 60 seconds I promise.
Step 7: Once everything is pinned in place, then start sewing. Yes by hand! It takes about 45 minutes each side. (sounds like a lot, I know but I was watching The Walking Dead, so my timing may be a bit off ;)) It will be hard to get the needle through the book so I used a hard surface to tap it through on each stitch. Try your best to make sure each stitch is equally spaced apart. They should be no longer than a pinky nail width across (like half a centimeter I guess). Oh, TIP** Hide your knots at the end of your threads by tucking them in the fold of the fabric (tedious I know) or in the binding of the book.
PART 4: LAST STEP (PUTTING IN THE PAGES)
Step 8: Take your bound pages and coat them with rubber cement and tightly place them in the binding of your book (on top of the scrapbook paper, obviously). Make sure this is tight and place the book under the heavy books again to hold in place for at least 2 hours.
Step 9: Take it out and check to see if it is stuck in (It should be stuck pretty well (don't wrench it open, it's going to be somewhat delicate). If there are little pockets where it didn't stick very well (which happened to me) take your super glue and dribble it into the spots -careful not to get it on the other parts of the book- and hold tight (either in your hand or under the books again) for 15 minutes. I know superglue dried fast, but I would rather be safe than sorry, and 15 minutes is no 2 hours.
Step 10: Your book should be finished! Get out a pen and start journaling for goodness sake!
*Note: If you want to hide your stiches on the inside of your "hinges" you can try putting the binding on before putting the scrapbook paper in (Do steps 5-7 before step 4). Like I said, I learned as I went with this project (No game plan) and I really don't mind the visible sticthes. I'm a big fan of character and tiny details, so I like them, but if you are a morestreamline person, I'm sure it would work to put scrapbook paper over second. Okay enough chatter, get out there and make one!!
Don't forget to comment! <3