Thursday, March 6, 2014

Crafty Thursdays: Book Notebooks

It's crafty Thursday and today's craft is not on the easy end of the scale. These fabulous notebooks made out of damaged books don't take too long to make, once you get the hang of it.

But I won't say they are easy to make because it takes a special piece of equipment and some practice. 

The special piece of equipment is a Zutter Bind It All and it runs about $70 before shipping. This is one of the more expensive crafting things I own. A friend and I went in on it together. If you decide to go in for the Bind It All, the how to videos on YouTube, like the one below are a must see.

Here are the materials you'll need:

1) A Zutter Bind it All
2) A book cover to make the notebook with
3) Pages for the inside
4) A paper cutter
5) Glue
6) Zutter Bind it All notebook closures
7) An Exacto knife
8) Wire cutters
9) Pliers

Step One:
Watch the videos about how to use the Zutter Bind It All. Then practice on cardboard that you don't care about. Once you have that mastered, you can move onto to step two.

Step Two:
Separate the book pages from the cover. Save some of the pages to put in different places inside your book.

Step Three:
Cut the Book end away from the covers. At first we were cutting the book end and leaving room to fold over the end and glue it down. This meant we couldn't use the book end for anything else, which we like to do, and it made the cover harder to put through the Bind It All. So just cutting straight with an Exacto knife is best. 

Step Four:
Take one of the pages from the inside of the book and use that as your "pattern" for your notebook pages. Use the paper cutter to cut the pages uniformly. I also cut up some pieces of wallpaper samples to make the notebook more interesting. 

Step Five:
You are now ready to cut your cover with the Zutter Bind It All. We tried this every which a way. Trust me this is the easiest. The Bind It All instructions will try to convince you to punch holes uniformly all the way down the book cover. Don't try this. You will only be frustrated. You only need some holes at the top, and some holes at the bottom, like the photo above.  So line up the bottom of your cover with the notch on the Zutter Bind It All. Hold firmly and pull the handle down punching holes in the cover. Turn the book cover around and feed it in the same direction you did for the other side of the cover. Repeat hole punching. Do the same for the back cover of your notebook.

Step Six:
Repeat the above steps with the paper for the insides of the notebook. Little batches work best. If your Bind It All stops cutting effectively, you need to empty the little side compartment full of the paper that previously filled the holes you just punched. I like to include wall paper samples and some of the book pages in my paper to add interest. 

Step Seven:
Now feed the Zutter notebook closures into the holes of the back cover and snip with the wire cutters as desired.

Step Eight:
Start threading the paper on the prongs on the notebook closures lining up with the back cover. Do not put more paper than fits comfortably on the closures, otherwise your notebook will be hard to open.

Step Nine:
Add the cover on top. Stick the whole thing in the Bind It All and push it shut as in the photos above. We shared two views so you could get a better idea. 

Step Ten:
Use a pair of pliers to turn any of the wire ends towards the notebook so they don't scratch anyone or catch on clothing. 

It wasn't easy, but now you have a really cool notebook...
I've seen these made with record albums and game boards. We might try to game boards next. What do you think?

Looking for a much easier craft? These Scrabble tile earrings are super easy make.

You can see other crafty projects here.


  1. OMG now I want one of these machines to start doing this now! Why didn't we do this on my last visit?

  2. Swwweeeeettttt !! So fun and I'm sure you get looks of amazement when you pull out these notebooks at a conference or meeting!!

  3. I actually have a Zutter Bind It All and have never used it. Maybe it's time.