Upcycle Printer Paper Like a Boss👌

As you may know by now I’m a zero waste advocate. And nowadays a good way to reduce waste is to go paperless. You can almost get anything in digital format these days. Books 📚, newspapers🗞️, magazines, photos, tickets 🎟️: movie, transport, parking, concert, boarding pass ✈️… You get the picture 😉

But the one thing I haven’t managed to convert to digitally yet is my notebook.
There’s something about writing things down with a real pen 🖊️and paper📜.
Not to mention that super satisfying feeling when you cross things off a to-do list.
I’m not sure why but I remember things better when I write stuff down.
And I tend to refer back to notes in my notebook, rather than laptop… 🤔

So this morning when I sat down in my rocking chair with my coffee☕ in hand, ready to write out my days to-do list. I noticed my notebook reaching the end of its life ALREADY 😱😱😱

Loathed to buy a new one before the year’s out I decided to test my bookbinding skills and add a few extra pages to my notebook. That way I could keep my doodles, inspirations and other odds and sods close by if I needed to look back at this years notes. And it was a project to use up all the paper I’ve been collecting.

With this bright idea there was just one small challenge… All my craft tools have been in packed into moving boxes 🙈. After a bit of rummaging I managed to find a few thing that would do the job.

Here’s my quick bookbinding tutorial with no fancy tools:

Step 1: I gathered all my tools

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:    GREEN CHOPPING BOARD (AKA CUTTING BOARD), RULER, PENCIL, CRAFT KNIFE, 3 X BULLDOG CLIPS, USED PRINTER PAPER, DARNING NEEDLE, SILK THREAD FOR DECORATIVE STITCHING

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:

GREEN CHOPPING BOARD (AKA CUTTING BOARD), RULER, PENCIL, CRAFT KNIFE, 3 X BULLDOG CLIPS, USED PRINTER PAPER, DARNING NEEDLE, SILK THREAD FOR DECORATIVE STITCHING

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:    HAMMER, NAIL, SHARP SCISSORS

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

HAMMER, NAIL, SHARP SCISSORS

Step 2: Preparing the pages

I cut and folded the paper to the appropriate size.

Stacked the pages on top of each other, lining up the folded sides, to make up the spine.

CUT AND FOLDED PAPER

CUT AND FOLDED PAPER

Step 3: Making a spine

 I measured 1 cm from the folded edge, and 0.5 cm increments along the length of the spine.

Clamp all the pages together to keep them in place with bulldog clips

MEASUREMENTS FOR BINDING

MEASUREMENTS FOR BINDING

PAGES HELD TOGETHER WITH BULLDOG CLIPS

PAGES HELD TOGETHER WITH BULLDOG CLIPS

Then positioned the nail at each 0.5 cm mark and hammered down until it went through all the pages.
Side note probably not too wise to do this at 23:00 on a school night, neighbours might not be too impressed! 

Once all the holes were made I was ready to get sewing!
I threaded the needle and tied the ends together to make it stronger. I used about 1 m of thread for my A5 booklet, figured it was better to have more thread than to run out and be sad 😭

MAKING HOLES

MAKING HOLES

NEEDLE AND THREAD

NEEDLE AND THREAD

I used a Japanese bookbinding technique here’s a great tutorial 👇

The tutorial is only for 4 holes, so I just repeated the threading until I got to the last stitch on the other side. This technique reminded me of the blanket stitch often used in hand sewing.

SEWING THE PAGES TOGETHER

SEWING THE PAGES TOGETHER

PAGES ALL BOUND

PAGES ALL BOUND

Step 4: Adding the additional pages to my existing journal

Last but not least I glued the booklet to my existing notebook. Any craft glue should do the trick. I used Uhu All Purpose glue. And I’m Happy Az! 

Bookbinding.jpg

If you still love using real pen and paper to jot down your thoughts, ideas, doodles and inspirations why not try your hand at bookbinding. It’s a great way to use up those old scraps of paper 🎉