Make It So: DIY Pocket Notebook

Hello again! It’s been awhile since I posted here last but I’m back now with a new installment of Make It So, everyone’s favorite geeky arts and crafts feature.

If you haven’t caught on yet from my previous posts, I’m a total geek about paper and notebooks. I have a pen on me at all times, but I don’t always have a piece of paper handy to write down a thought or doodle a doodle. And notebooks can get expensive — even the cheap ones add up when you’re on a college student’s budget — plus I have more paper already on hand than I know what to do with. So if you’re in the same position as I am, today’s tutorial will walk you through creating your own simple little notebook from paper and supplies you probably already have and a method called the three-hole pamphlet stitch.

April: DIY Pocket Notebook

First of all, here are the things you’ll need to gather up for this project:
-card stock or heavier paper for the cover (1 sheet)
-paper for inside (several sheets)
-embroidery floss or other thin string
-embroidery needle
-scissors
-ruler
-pencil
-push pin

And here’s how you put it all together:

1. Cut down your cover and inside papers. I wanted a square notebook 3 inches by 3 inches, so I cut the inside paper down to 3 inches tall and 6 inches long. NOTE: This project works best with thin paper for the inside pages. I cut 9 3×6 sheets for a total of 36 sheets in my finished notebook. The cover is 3 inches tall by 6.25 inches long.

April: DIY Pocket Notebook

2. Fold all the sheets in half, and unfold.

3. Measure and make three marks along the center line (created by the fold) of each sheet. I made one mark in the center of the line and one mark 3/4 an inch from the end on either side. Mark the same spots on the cover, as well.

Hole Measurements

4. Use a push pin to carefully poke holes in all the sheets where you made your marks.

5. Stack all of your sheets together, including the cover.

April: DIY Pocket Notebook

5. Thread your needle with a piece of thread about 2-3 times as long as the height of your notebook. Mine was about 9 inches long.

6. Sew your notebook together using the following diagram. Make sure you tie the loose ends into a knot or a bow!

3 Hole Pamphlet Stitch Diagram

OPTIONAL: Cover the spine with masking or washi (paper) tape. This is a good option if the notebook will be going in your purse or pocket a lot, because it protects the string binding from coming un-knotted!

There you have it! A little book for notes and doodles and whatnot, made by your own two hands. You can make books of all sizes and sorts using this method. For much larger books, try the five-hole pamphlet stitch (there are plenty of tutorials for it online).

As always, if you make it so, let me know. And I’ll see you back here next month!

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One thought on “Make It So: DIY Pocket Notebook

  1. Lovely tutorial! I’m linking to it from my blog because it’s just what I need and currently don’t have time to make one on my own. I hope you don’t mind 🙂

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