Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to School with Mini Composition Notebooks

Oh, those glorious words........BACK TO SCHOOL! I'm giddy just thinking about it! Not that I don't love my kids.........but I am SO READY for them to be back in a routine and using their brains again other than looking for ways to annoy each other and ME.

While shopping for school supplies, my eye fell upon these bundled mini composition notebooks from Target (.99 for 2 notebooks). How could I resist? We had done these in a class maybe a year ago, and the jumbo paperclip bookmarks even earlier than that.

First, gather your supplies:
mini composition notebook
2 pieces designer paper, 5 1/2" by 6" each
coordinating cardstock, 2" X 4 1/2"
ribbon, 18" to 24" depending on how big you want to make the bow
jumbo paperclip
supplies to make the paperclip coordinate with the DP-- Big Shot, punches, etc
rhinestone brads, regular brads, as desired
optional: Build a Brad kit

Recognize the paper and ribbon? Yep, Afternoon Tea DP and Groovy Guava ribbon and cardstock. Told you I hoard supplies!

Fold the DP in 1/2 so that the paper measures 5 1/2 by 3 when closed. Slide one side (make sure the side of the paper you don't want to use is facing up) into the front cover of the comp book-- it will go almost the binding. Run adhesive of choice along the edge of the binding and close the paper over the front of the notebook. Use a bone folder to bond the adhesive, cover, and paper together.

Flip the notebook so that you see the inside of the notebook. Press the edges of the paper along the edges of the notebook to create score lines. You may cut these away before adhering the paper to the exposed cover, or just fold them in and use some extra adhesive (smoothed with a bone folder to bond it).
Blurry picture, sorry! Now close the notebook and line the edge of the DP by the binding with Sticky Strip. Do the other side. Do not peel that liner yet! First use the crimper (if desired) on the 2" X 4 1/2" cardstock, and gently make the short edges meet so the cardstock can curl around the binding. No, you still can't peel the liner.
Slide your ribbon into place-- the middle of the ribbon should hug the binding. Open the ribbon back up. NOW you can peel the liner on one side!! Press the ribbon into the sticky stip, and gently curl the crimped cardstock around the binding. Flip and repeat on the other side.
Tie your ribbon into a pretty bow to hold the notebook closed. Yes, it took me a few tries!!
Petra was prepping for a project while I made these, and she suggested this Embosslet would go well with the design on the paper. I agree! I just wish I had eyed that paper a little more carefully-- can you see my mistake? I cut two of these, one for the front and one for the back.
After I added leaves to the flower (that 5 Petal Punch is worth the price just to be able to use it for leaves!), I added a Build A Brad element to the front. Then I placed dimensionals on the INSIDE of the front flower to keep the paper clip in between the two flowers. I stacked them so I wouldn't have to press the flowers too thin, and added some others on the side for stability). A little bit of ribbon knotted on the bookmark completes it.
Finally, slide the bookmark into the ribbon and voila! a neat little BACK TO SCHOOL (I'm singing this-- if only you could hear) gift for a friend, a teacher, the office ladies......
Here's a close up of the one masculine notebook and bookmark. I thought the macho DP deserved a star (OK-- the other side of the DP had a cowboy theme).
As the star has extended points, I felt there was a greater chance of it getting messed up with everyday use, so first I adhered DP to thin cardboard (you get a 12" x 12" piece of this with every packet of designer paper) and punched out two circles for a base. Then I stuck the stars to the circles. The front circle got a Build A Brad.
This little star (flower?) is from Little Pieces, which is now retired. I stamped it, then used the 1/2" circle punch to punch it out.
Use a little bit of adhesive or glue and adhere the punched shape to the brad. Then pop the clear rubber button (how do you describe those things?) over the top for a little bit of shine!

Here's the finished product!
One afternoon chatting with a friend (luckily all the kids got along today!) and yippee! 8 of these ready to go! Let me know what you think, please-- I love comments! If you already made one of these with me, did you give it away or did you keep it? 'Fess up! Does this make you want to head to Target to check out those school supplies? Let me know by leaving a comment before September 4. On that date, I'll put everyone's name in a hat and have one of the kids draw a name. The winner may choose one of these notebooks as a prize! Yes, even you long-distance readers are eligible for this one-- I'll mail it to you. Good luck!

til next time,

when school (SCHOOL, GLORIOUS SCHOOL!!) will be in session---



  1. Julia - I remember making these and no I did not give mine away. I am a hoarder of class items. These are beautiful and I would love to have one if I win.

  2. I still have mine too! I kept it to copy some day. It is red and white and I keep meaning to make a stack of them in Riverbend colors for small teacher gifts but never make the time to do it. I'm happy that you put the directions on your blog. Thanks! Tracy

  3. Julia - Absolutely adorable! I am so glad you updated your blog. Your work always inspires me to get back to stamping. I miss my old stamping crew.

  4. I am new to your blog. Its awesome and so are those notebooks!! I would love to make some. They are the perfect teacher gift or for anyone for that matter. Thanks for posting directions.