April 13, 2012 11:19 am

A few days ago I posted an Instagram image on my Twitter feed showing off my new notebooks. My new, upcycled notebooks. Throughout my third year at university I’ve saved all my scrap paper with the idea to make a notebook from them. Of course now I realise that it would be pointless to make the notebook after the academic year, as I’m less likely to make use of it. So I’ve made them just in time for the last term.


I saved paper with draft sketches, scribbles, draft articles, printing errors and pieces of card too.

Here’s a tutorial on how to make quick notebooks.


What you will need:

Paper (I used 6 sheets for each notebook)

Sewing machine




1) Fold the paper in half along the width. If some of your sheets of paper are larger than A4, fold the edges so that it makes an A4 sheet. This can help to give your notebooks a different dimension.

2) Lay six A4 sheets on top of each other, making sure that the halfway folds line up.

3) Sew along this halfway line using a plain straight stitch.

It’s that quick and easy!

You could sew a ribbon bookmark to your notebook by placing one end of the ribbon at the top of your notebook ,between the first and second page (the first page being the cover of your notebook).

This is such an easy way to reuse paper and I wish I’d thought of doing this when I started uni. Making a 6-paged notebook, which works out to be 12 A5 pages, means that I can in theory use one notebook every week. You might decide to make a thicker book in which case you’ll have to perfect bind several 6-paged notebooks together.

Here’s a great YouTube tutorial on how to perfect bind a book


Happy reusing!

Yours truly,



  • This is a fantastic example of reuse. Thanks for the great tip. So many of us have paper in our homes, offices and schools that could be turned into these sorts of books. We encourage schools to set up GOOS (good on one side) bins to collect reusable paper.

    - John Watson, Waste Diversion Education Coordinator, Halton Region
    BLOG; TWITTER @HaltonRecycles

    • Thanks for your comment, John. I think schools should definitely think about doing something like this. We students do waste a lot of paper, but it can’t really be avoided, some students learn by writing things down over and over. Sometimes an iPad just doesn’t quiet measure up to the physical act of writing.
      Yours truly,

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