Friday, June 3, 2011

Scrappy Notebooks

We have so much 8x11.5 paper used only on one side floating around; don't you? I'll often give it to my daughter to use to color on, and sometimes I'll actually find a piece at the exact time I need something to take a message down or write a note to school on, but much of it ends up in the recycle bin. That's not as bad as throwing it out, but surely I can do better?

How about making notebooks!

I collected sheets of paper printed only on one side, folded them in half, ripped along the fold, then folded them in half again with the printing on the inside. The book is bound with the open edges on the left and the folded edges on the right, so each page is blank on both sides. Follow? I've seen this in more than one place, but for this book I was following directions for the Slack Stab-Stitched Recycled Book in How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith. I used Kraft Paper card stock (I'm a bit in love with this stuff at the moment) for the covers.

The binding is a sewn stab stitch. As the name says, it's slack, so that the book will open flat. I love the look of stab stitch, but I don't always like how it chews up some of the page. The slackness, at least in my attempts, can cause the stitching to look a little sloppy when the book is closed. I tore my pages and cover, rather than cutting them, so the books have an all-around relaxed look. I stamped the covers in about five minutes flat. You can tell I didn't take my time with it,  yes?

My daughter was ready for me to be done already, it was time to start the sauce for dinner, and these are books made of scraps otherwise destined for the recycled bin... for my own use, perhaps sloppy covers for my scrappy books isn't such a bad thing. The ball of yarn and sea star stamps are both hand-carved, and I've been wanting to pair that ball of yarn with "knit notes" on a notebook for a while. The "summer plans" notebook will hold just that--the list I make with my kids each year that covers what we'd all like to do, see, visit, and make during the seemingly very short time they're not in school.

Speaking of school, I used several recent notes from school when using these books. It occurred to me that if I had kept every single notice that came home this past year--and some I get twice--I could make a recycled notebook for every single teacher and then some, sending their notes back to them in a usable form. It's too late for this year, but I think I already know what part of next year's teacher's gifts will be... (which is pretty funny, considering I have no idea what I'm doing for this year!)


Anonymous said...

this is a great idea! really great - it's a much better way to use scrap paper but this at least keeps it all together nicely and is much nicer to use!

Olivia said...

I love these! It makes me happy to see a quick whipped-up project that a) recycles waste and b) doesn't have to be perfect. And the teacher gift idea is brilliant! (It surprises me that schools aren't simply emailing notices to the parents by now)

amy said...

We get some by email. Some we get by email AND notice. I prefer email but not every family has a home email account so there tends to be lots of duplication to be on the safe side. But it seems a little much to get an email followed by two printed copies of that email sent home with my kids!

Jill said...

My eighth grader brought home a parent handout that was a calendar of important dates, the kind you want to keep on the fridge for reference. But it was printed on the back of the progress report I had to sign and send back. I'm all for printing on both sides to save paper, but this was moronic. And these people are responsible for the education of my children.

Michelle said...

Love those! I'd love to make some for Ella, but she freaks about using "used" paper. I'll have to make some for myself. I need to look into how to do that stitching.

I couldn't even contact my kid's teacher's by email. They had school email addresses, but they never checked them. Drove me crazy.