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05/01/2012 / avenues of artistry

taking care of business notebook

i love to customize gifts, creating hand made, one-of-a-kind items. i love giving gifts so much that i often pair what ever i make with store bought  item i know they will enjoy because i usually can’t help myself.  in this case i gave my dear friend two kinds of loose tea i bought at a teashop in Claremont, CA. what a sweet little place.

side note:
if you find yourself in Claremont the Cheese Cave is a must! an amazing selection of cheese, beer, wine, home goods and fine foods. owned by hip young folks with a passion for food that nourishes you and the planet!  i would also recommend the tea shop. a wonderful tea selection and a ton of cute tea accessories. while searching for images i found this blog with a bit about Claremont. i hadn’t read this blog previously but i loved the context he gives to this city.

ok… back to the project!

this dear friend of mine who i made this gift for, taught me the phrase –  “TCB” which many of you probably already know, stands for “taking care of business”.  so made her a “TCB” notebook with a built in folder to keep important papers or notes handy.  i constructed it so it could be hung up on a bulletin board/refrigerator or folded like a traditional notebook.

attaching the paper in a simple way, so it can be used over and over again. i thought i could continually make her new pads of paper whenever she runs out. hopefully she will use it for years to come.

here is how i made it! ( i don’t have a picture for every step of the way but i hope the photos i do have help you create this. feel free to ask any questions you have if something isn’t clear!)

– find a large piece of very thin, pliable mat-board or cardboard. fold it in half to start planning out where the notebook paper will go. This is also a good time to plan the placement of your images & decorative paper.

– gather your notebook paper & cut it to size. the size should be determined by how big you want your notebook to be. it should also be relative to the cover.

-stack all the pages together and punch two holes towards the center – see above photo for placement.  if your paper is much larger you may want to make more holes. i like to use push pins to make the holes. leave the push pins in and clip the papers together with binder clips. this helps the holes stay in alignment.

now you can start creating your masterpiece! to make this i only used collage which is something i hadn’t done in years. i did use a little paint in the end (but more about that later)

-block off the area where the notebook paper will be and the area for the folder.

this is the bottom portion of the piece of cardboard. the orange section is where the paper will be attached.

– to make the folder i glued the sides and bottom edges down of the map paper leaving the top unglued.  make sure that the background is dry before you put in your folder to make sure it doesn’t get stuck!

the map is the pocket!

i used glue to keep all the pieces of paper down & matte modge podge to finish. keeping the  different papers looking like the lovely unique papers they are

– for the cover- i decorated it with all the different papers but i also wanted to do a color wash of sorts creating an aged look. so i mixed a small amount of paint into the modge podge and strategically placed it around the images.

before the extra paper & color wash

a bit more paper & a color wash

– place the pages down into the blocked off area. use the push pins to make small holes in the cardboard cover behind the notebook paper. while the push pins are in the paper & the cardboard cover clip the notebook pages to the cover with larger binder clips. this will make it easier to get the twine through the holes

– use another push pin to punch 2 more holes in the cardboard cover above the holes in the notebook. this will be used to loop the thread through.

– to attach the paper remove the push pins. attach the notebook paper to the cardboard one side at a time.

– use a needle with a big eye and thread thick twine from the front of pages through the cardboard cover.  leave a long piece of twine in front of the notebook pages.  then, push the needle up through the other hole in the cardboard above the paper. tie both sides of the string the notebook paper. do the same on the second side of holes.

the idea being that the knots aren’t on the back side of the notebook. making it easy to write on up against a hard surface

– dab some glue on top of the knots and cut ends.

you’re done! ta-d-ha!

i pay homage to those who are expert instruction writers and have enough experience to know to take photos each step of the way

i truly hope some of you will be inspired to make your own notebooks as a gift, or for yourself.

as a side note i  LOVE to use recycled paper from old projects & all of these materials are recycled or found.

oops one of the recycled papers got put in backwards! this is a VERY old print i made

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