8.17.2010

Repurposed Hardcover Book to Notebook Tutorial

I’ve told you before I’m a bit obsessed with books.  I love all books where I intend to read them or not.  A local library has a huge book sale every year where you can pick up a grocery bag of books for $3!  So at the last sale I picked up a big stack of hard cover books to be repurposed.  Don’t worry, I’m not destroying literary classics, and I use all parts of the book so nothing is wasted.  Today we are just working with the outside hard cover to create this new notebook.

What you need-
  • Hardcover book
  • Paper
  • Decorative paper
  • Small bit of ribbon
  • Paper cutter
  • White glue
  • Hot glue
  • Padding compound (optional)
  • Clamps or bulldog clips
First you need to cut the pages out of your book so your just left with the cover.  Then cut a piece of decorative paper to the same size.

Slather on a nice layer of white glue to the inside of your cover.  Make sure to get the spine really well.

Apply your decorative paper.  Smooth and contour to the spine. Set aside to dry.  Grab your paper for the pads and your paper cutter.  Measure what size pad your book can handle and cut your paper to that size.  Stack it all up and use the padding compound (or white glue, or silicone) to create a notepad.  You can see my notebook tutorial for better details.


Also cut a piece of thin recycled cardboard the size of your notepad and a piece of decorative paper about 3 inches by the width of your notepad (this will be used to wrap the top edge of the pad).
On your cardboard, put some white glue on about the top inch.  Secure your pad with a couple bulldog clips and allow to dry.


Once dry, fold your decorative paper around your pad to create the creases, then apply glue to the paper, wrap the pad, and allow to dry.

While all that is drying, grab the scarp of ribbon and a writing utensil to use as a spacer.  With your hot glue gun, glue the ribbon into the spine making sure to leave enough room for your writing utensil to side in and out.

Don’t worry about the ends of the ribbon, they will be covered by the notepads.  When everything is good and dry, grab your note pads and flip them over to the back.  Slather in white glue then use a bit of hot glue just before you stick the pad onto the inside of the book.  The hot glue will hold everything in place until the white glue can set.

Yes I occasionally feed my kids Easy Mac, don’t judge.  Once both your pads are in close the book and clamp the whole thing shut until dry.  White glue dries pretty fast so you don’t need to wait that long.

Now grab a pretty pen or pencil and doodle away!



I fell in love with the title of this book!

Enjoy! 



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44 comments:

  1. Wow..this is great..love it! What's the front cover look like? Did you change/cover it up? Would love to see it too ;-D

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  2. I love this idea! I have a hardcover book that I don't like that would be perfect for this!

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  3. What a great idea! Libraries often recycle books; free old books are even better!

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  4. I love this idea...I am book marking this page so I can make my own!

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  5. Awesome tutorial! I just picked up some hardcover books to repurpose from our friends of the library sale and at least one is going to be transformed this way.

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  6. I love to turn old books and recycled paper into new notebooks. I usually end up drilling holes and stitching with embroidery floss, but I like this idea too! I happen to have some silicone laying around so I think this week I will have to give this a try.
    Old hardcovers are fun to make into purses too...

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  7. super cute notebook! no judging from here on the easy mac, my kid eats it about 3 times a week, he loves that stuff!

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  8. So you are pretty much an impeccable paper crafter. I like the title of that book too! Very cool project.

    I like that you are posting about Halloween already too. Glad I am not the only one with pumpkins on my mind.

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  9. Oh my gosh this is so cute! Thanks for the great idea, I'll be linking.

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  10. LOVE!!!!!! I WAS OUT OF TOWN FOR TWO WEEKS AND TOTALLY MISSED THIS! SUCH A PERFECT TEACHER'S GIFT!!!!! AND GIFT FOR MYSELF. :)

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  11. This looks doable...I think I could pull it off. I love the fabric you chose!

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  12. I've been making journals out of hardback books for a while, but I love this idea!!! Thanks for posting.

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  13. So cute! And your doodles are cute too! Of course, I am not sure how Amelia Earhart would feel about it! ;D

    Thanks for linking it up on Show and Tell Saturday!

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  14. I love this! I have loads of books that are super cool that would work perfect for this!

    I've featured your project on my blog! http://crossxmyxhooks.blogspot.com/2010/08/turn-old-book-to-notebook.html :)

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  15. This is awesome!!! I have a bunch of old BEAUTIFUL hard-cover Reader's Digest books that I will repurpose for x-mas gifts!! THANK YOU!

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  16. I love this project! I have so many old hardcovers that I just don't know what to do with... but this would but a cute and useful project!

    I could turn one into a mini sketchbook and it'll be able to fit into my purse!

    I also featured you in my Tutorial Blog, Ohthatscrafty: http://ohthatscrafty.blogspot.com/2010/11/upcycle-old-hardcover-into-new-notebook.html

    Thank you for a wonderful tutorial!

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  17. Love a great make-over! This notebook turned out so cute, it's a great idea :)

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  18. my library is giving lots of hardcovered vintage books away, and I picked a few up...

    making a book bag is one thing (i've got the tutorial featured on our website), but i wanted to do more with them...

    i love how your project turned out and will put it in my inspiration file!

    thank you,

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