Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Handmade Notebooks and Scrapbooks

by Ernest Walbourn (English 1872-1927)

Take a look at the cardboard backings that come with stickers and other products, which have a punched out hanger area for displaying in the stores. Instead of throwing them away, try looking at them a different way and thinking of other uses for them.  If you get two of them the same size, they can be used as covers for scrapbooks or notebooks.

They can be traced on to brown paper from paper bags. Use the cardboard for the cover and the paper bag for pages.

Below is what the cards look like when covered in various scraps. Instead of buying expensive scrapbook materials, try wrapping paper and parts of  greeting cards, daily calendar tear-off pictures or the lovely floral photographs from seed catalogs.

Trace around the cardboard pieces, including the holes as you see on the left. Trace the same piece on plain paper to make pages.

Brown paper can be used to cover the cardboard, and you can also just use it as a template for tracing your brown paper pages.
Here I have used thin scrapbook papers, gift-wrap and the front of cards.

Put something through the holes to tie the book together, using string or sewing notions.

This one has an end paper on the other side of the cardboard to cover the advertising.

This one is tied with pretty satin wired ribbon,
and  the inside of the cover is covered with more wrapping paper to make an end paper.

This is tied with piece of curly ribbon that I have in my box of old ribbons and yarn.

This card hanger was covered in glitter paper and topped with a card, and then tied with a white brocade wired ribbon. Wired ribbon is available at dollars stores, 9 feet on a roll for a dollar, and is just as good as anything like it in higher priced stores.

This one is covered in scrapbook paper and tied with narrow tulle.

One of cardboard pieces covered in paper bag material and tied with a canvas type ribbon.

Paper bag scrapbook tied with string.

Uses for these notebooks:
1. They are great for pasting in clippings from church bulletins.
2. Diaries for  trips.
3. Menus and recipes
4. Small scrapbooks are easy to fill up and only need a few pages.
5. Use one to write a special letter in, numbering the pages as if it were a book.
6. Record beliefs and thoughts and keep it for the next generation. Haven't you ever wished your grandmother had left a special book for you? 
7. Place pretty pictures of things you enjoy looking at and make a coffee table picture book.
8. Small books like these make good favors for ladies Bible classes or notebooks for their studies.
9. Use one for a small address book, including your most-used addresses.
10. Place photograph corners in them and some older photographs for family members who are interested.
11. They are so quick and easy for making subject books for you or your children's homeschool subjects: an ancient history lesson with hand drawn maps and notes; a nature-studies project with pressed leaves or sketches and hand-written facts; a mathematics book with all your times tables and measurements to refer to often; a sketch book,  or a one week diary.

Please click all the photos on for larger views!

Ideas for fastenning the covers and pages together:

Try crocheting a closing in the hanger holes.
Use a colorful shoelace.
Jute rope now comes in colors--check out a site called Hydrangea Home. These  ropes can be used to tie the books together.
Long wire twist ties from packaging can be saved for this job, but I personally don't like them, as they are not soft and can be sharp.
Raffia also comes in colors. It is a plastic grass that looks like hay, and is strong enough to tie these books together.
Try that big thick yarn you see in WalMart as a tie for hand made books. Look in their craft aisle for more things that could be used as ties.
Cut a long strip of paper and wind it around the holes and glue them down.
It might be fun to use a piece of wired ivy  if it was miniature. Check the miliner section of JoAnns and find wired stems of flowers which would easily bind this book together.
A strip of flat lace ties easily on these books.
Ordinary thin ribbon works well.
On the books that have a hole punched, thread a large button on yarn for binding and a decorative touch.
Tear a strip of white muslin and use it for a ribbon. It looks great with the fluffy edges.
Cut a piece of fabric thin enough to use as a tie. There is no need to hem it and you can also cut a strip of fabric on the bias.
Chenille stems are okay but like twist ties they tend to be sharp if the wire ends are exposed.
Thin wired ribbon is also good.


Anonymous said...

Great Idea and so feminine and lovely

Lynne said...

Thank you for sharing ideas and examples to use for scrapbooking. I like the different options used for tying the pages together. Can you recommend a good glue to use - one that does not cause the pictures/pages to warp and curl?

Barbara Jean said...

These are so beautiful.
Great idea and it rally helps to have some to look at.

Thanks sweet lady!

barbara jean

Katrinka said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! This is so beautiful!

Country Victorian said...


These are great for gift giving! My learning curve is visual and I wish I could see it done more in detail. The end result is so beautiful. I made sure I put a link to your blog next to your topic at our site.

I can hardly wait to see what you have for St. Patricks Day. I will try to recreate it for our next Titus Two class!

carol said...

I love it!! I'm going to make some!
thank you for your wonderful ideas!
blessings - carol

Rightthinker said...

Just so wonderful! I love the different ideas you gave for making them!

Blessings today!

Lisa said...

These are lovely! And it's so inspiring to me because I've been stuck trying to scrapbook pictures that are sitting in bags in my closet due to the HIGH COST of scrapbooking binders and materials. You are helping me a lot to think more creatively and work with what I already have. Thank you!

Lydia said...

Glue sticks for paper that come in packages of three or four, and roll up, will do fine for thin paper.

I usually clip out what I like from catalogs and throw them away, so I can't remember where the clippings all came from but I think the tea pot is from Victorian Trading Co. You can find a picture of it on their site.

Lydia said...

A friend of mine make a stack of these for her husband's co-workers, who really appreciated them.