I remember receiving a list of school supplies at the beginning of every school year and taking a trip to the Office Max to stock up on notebooks, binders, pens and pencils, crayons, erasers…. the list goes on. Of course, I always wanted the colorful and patterned—the most expensive—of everything. I’m sure that my mother wasn’t nearly as excited as I was.
Follow these directions to make a composition book out of leftover school supplies and items from around the house. This is a good activity for the last days of summer, and produces an inexpensive and attractive product that no one else in class will have.
- old notebooks with unused pages
- a cardboard box
- a pen or pencil
- hot glue gun
- Modge Podge (found at craft stores, Elmer’s glue can be used to lesser effect)
- an old paint brush
- catalogs, magazines, scraps of yarn, buttons, greeting cards, stickers, etc.
1) Trace around one of your old notebooks twice, on either side of a crease in the collapsed cardboard box.
2) Cut around the rectangle you have just drawn, slightly outside of the lines. Fold on the crease. This will be the composition book’s cover.
3) Use the paintbrush to apply Modge Podge or glue to the cardboard, and decorate with scrapbooking paper, magazine clippings, old greeting cards, stickers and other scraps.
4) Use hot glue to attach heavier scraps, like yarn, rhinestones, buttons, playing cards, etc.
5) Tear unused pages out of the old notebooks on the perforated lines, or cut them out if there are no perforations. Recycle the rest.
6) Lay out your cover with the inside face up, and squeeze lots of hot glue along the crease. (Careful of your fingers!)
7) Arrange the pages into a neat stack and press the edge (with the holes) against the hot glue. Close the cover over the paper to hold it in, and wait for the glue to dry.
8) Your notebook is complete! Flex the spine to loosen it up. It may take a while to break in.
Use the Modge Podge and scraps to decorate other school supplies, like wooden pencils, binders, pencil cases and folders. Use a recycled composition book as a diary. Cut the pages and cover into halves or quarters to make smaller notepads for around the house.