Make some super easy, bright little homemade doodle pads to keep the kiddos busy.
I made this colorful and thrifty little paper book for my son with materials I gathered from around the house. There are lots of things you could do to customize this. Here’s what I used to make a simple notebook that measures 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″:
8-10 pieces of colored paper (solids, 8 1/2″ x 11 or larger)
1 piece of paper for your cover (try a pattern)
An empty flattened cereal box
Mod-Podge (or Elmer’s Glue) + Brush
1.) Measure and mark your paper at the center.
2.) Cut your paper in half. (This is where a paper cutter comes in handy so you can do your stack all at once, but it is not necessary.) If you started with ten 8 1/2″ x 11 sheets, you should now have twenty 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ pieces of paper. If your paper is larger (construction paper), there is no need to keep trimming. Simply cut out your covers to be the same size.
3.) Measure the same dimensions as your newly cut paper halves and mark this on your cereal box.
4.) Cut two cover pieces from the cereal box. While you’re at it, cut out a small strip that measures about 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ (or whatever the shorter length of your notebook will be. Set this strip aside for step 10.
5.) You should now have 16 – 20 sheets of paper and two cardboard ‘covers’.
6.) Trace around your cardboard pieces on a contrasting sheet of paper. This will be the front and back of your notebook.
7.) Use very thin coats of Mod-Podge or glue to adhere the ‘cover’ paper to the printed side of your cardboard. Working from the middle, gently smooth the paper down towards the edges to avoid wrinkles.
8.) Now you should have an outside cover for your notebook that features the paper of your choice, and the inside of the cover can simply be the plain cardboard. Let the covers dry.
9.) Now you’re going to ‘bind’ the book with — you guessed it — staples. Mix up your paper colors randomly and carefully sort them so the edges are straight and even. Position your covers over the front and back.
10.) Take the small strip of cardboard that you cut out earlier and fold it in half exactly (lengthwise) and line it up with one end of your notebook. It just needs to overlap the covers about 1 1/4″ on each side.
11.) Hold everything together carefully on one end and put in about 4 staples. Turn the whole thing over and staple again. If your staples are straining to close, hammer down the loose ends of the staples a bit. (If it’s really too tight, you’ll have to pull out a few sheets of paper and try again).
Last of all: cut two short strips of duct tape to fit and simply cover the staple/cardboard strip. Fold one over the other.
Try making them with different covers and colors.
Lots of brightly colored pages inside make drawing and doodling fun.