Good morning! I thought I’d take a little break from all the Halloween crafting with this fun tutorial for making your own mini notepads! They are so cute and make great gifts since you can customize and personalize them any way you want! A few years ago my mom made similar notebooks, that held Post-It notepads, as favors for my bridal shower. I have since modified the idea to hold little 3″x 5″ notepads and have made them on different occasions as gifts. I now have a go-to pattern and process for making these and today I have the tutorial and free pattern for you!
What I love the most about these little notepads, other than being inexpensive to make, is how easy it is to customize them. My mom created them in my wedding colors with a cute saying on the cover ,”Showers of Love, Sprinkled with Happiness”. A year ago, I designed costumes for a Nancy Drew play and needed small gifts for the costume shop staff. I created my own paper, with research images I’d used for the costumes, and covered the books with it. The possibilities are endless and these can be customized for any occasion!
Below is the tutorial and free printable pattern for making your own little notepads! I chose to use scrapbook paper I had on hand and love how they turned out!
Supplies Needed for DIY Mini Notepads
- Free printable pattern: Located at the end of this post
- Tag board or chip board
- 3″ x 5″ notepads
- Decorative paper for cover of book
- Decorative paper for lining of book
- Ribbon (optional)
- Glue stick
- Scissors, pencil, ruler
- Exacto knife or box cutter
- Paper cutter
- Scoring board and embossing stylus (optional but very helpful!)
STEP 1: Use the printable pattern to cut out the three pieces of decorative paper you will need; the cover, lining, and topper (the paper that covers the top of the 3″x5″ notepad). I chose to cut my cover and topper out of the same paper but you could do this any way you like!
STEP 2: Cut the three pieces needed from the tag board. Use an Exacto knife or box cutter to cut these out.
STEP 3: Fold the cover along the fold lines. If you have a scoring board, score the fold lines prior to folding.
STEP 4: You can chose if you want to mitre the corners of your cover. They are visible since the lining leaves about 1/8″ of cover visible all the way around. You can see the cover done two ways in the pictures below
“Step 6”, mitered and not. If you want to mitre them, which does give it a bit more of a polished and clean look, draw a diagonal line on the side flaps after you have folded them over. Cut the triangle off. So you will be cutting four little triangles off, one on each corner.
STEP 5: Glue the tag board sections to the inside of the cover. Line the front and back tagboard pieces up with the folded edges of the cover. Center the spine piece in between the two covers. I used non-wrinkle glue sticks which gave me a nice smooth finish on the outside.
STEP 6: Wrap the cover edges around the tagboard and glue in place. Be sure to really hold these edges down until they are secure and do not peel up. If you mitered your corners, glue the layer with the triangle cut out of it on top.
STEP 7: Glue the lining down. I chose to pre-score my lining where it would get folded. This seemed to help keep the lining from bubbling in the center. When glueing the lining down make sure to close the book while the glue is still wet so the lining can shift in a little bit.
*Tip: If you want to add ribbons now is the time to glue them to your book before adding the lining. I kept about 1″ of ribbon under the lining, you don’t want the ribbon to be too short or it will pull out. You could use guerrilla glue to really secure them or you could always poke holes in the board and tie them that way.
STEP 8: Glue the notepad to the right side of the book. I let my notebooks sit open under a couple heavy books for a few hours to really secure the notepad. Your notebooks are all finished! Aren’t they cute! Perfect to carry in your purse or keep at your desk for quick notes or shopping lists.
Free printable pattern: Download, save to desktop and print at 100%.
Shop the supplies I used: