DIY Matchbook Notepads

I'm sure that most of you have lots of paper scraps laying around your craft room.  Some are worth keeping because they will end up in another scrapbook page, or on another handmade greeting card...but let's be honest...

Most of them never get used!

Maybe it's because the paper is too specific (Graduation Class of 2010, Silver wedding anniversary, etc.), or the scrap is too odd of a shape...or more likely because out of the million other scraps you have what are the odds you'll come back to that one? :)

So I came up with a project that anyone can do to reuse all those paper scraps...

Matchbook Notepads!

These notepads are perfect to keep in your purse, and in the glove box, and in your desk drawer, and by the phone.  Or as a set they can make a special hostess or white elephant gift-exchange gift.  So many uses that you won't have any problem cleaning out your scrap bin to make a few dozen!

Supplies you'll need:
- Decorative paper scraps (heavy or normal weight)
- Less pretty paper scraps (at least one blank side)
- Paper cutter or X-acto knife & ruler
- Sewing machine

Here are the paper scraps that I used from my daughter's 1st birthday party decorations...aren't the lovely?

The top 6 sheets were from an 8" by 8" paper pad, and were similar size scraps, so I decided to use them for this set of notepads.  You will want to cut your scrap pieces into a rectangle that is as close to a 1:2 proportioned ratio as possible.  For example, I ended up with an 8" by 3 3/4" strip of paper for each notepad.

Now that you have your outer strips you need to fold them twice to get this shape:

I always fold the short end first around 3/4" in from one end, then fold the other end of the paper to come about 1/4" inside that fold.  Once you've done the first one, use it as a template for the other pieces so they all create the same size middle section.

Now that you have your outer strip folded, measure and cut between 6 and 10 individual pieces of the less pretty paper to make the stack of paper in the notepad.  Again, make one to fit and use it as a template for cutting the rest.  The number of pages you can add per notepad will depend on your sewing machine, so you'll have to guesstimate the first time.

Here are my inner pieces:


(a special thank you to the free notepad from the off-site conference for having such perfect orange lines and for sacrificing yourself for the good of crafting! :) )

Now you will place 6 to 10 of the inner pieces in the small fold of the outer strip of paper and sew them into place.

**What did she say?!?!  You want me to sew...through paper...?!?!  Yes!  Don't be afraid, sewing paper is awesome!  Use your normal sewing machine, with a heavy duty needle and heavy duty thread.  I always loosen up and widen the stitches to make sure the tension isn't too high.  You should also back stitch at both ends of the seam, just like when you're sewing fabric.**

You will want to make sure that you sew at or inside the 1/4" mark so your paper flap will line up right and not pucker when the notepad is closed.

And the best part about sewing these together is that now each sheet of paper is perfectly perforated and will tear out much more easily than if you stapled or glued them.  Genius!

And that's all there is too it!  You now have a great idea for using up your paper scraps and making some great Matchbook Notepads!

I hope you can find the time to make some of these!

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30 Response to DIY Matchbook Notepads

July 15, 2010 at 4:45 AM

Very pretty and cheery!

July 15, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Oooo, these are so dang cute! I love the idea of making some larger ones for grocery lists!

Thanks for linking up at Craftastical!

July 15, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Those are adorable!! What a great idea!!

July 15, 2010 at 7:27 PM

These look so simple, but really cute! Thank you for sharing...I have a TON of paper scraps to use and can't wait to try this!

July 16, 2010 at 6:36 AM

very nice post! so cute =)
i'm your newest follower.

July 16, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I love this idea. What a great thing. A set of these would make the perfect little stocking stuffer.

I would love for you to come and link this idea (and any other great idea) up at my Christmas in July linky party going on right now.

Hope to see your cute stuff there.

Just Another Day in Paradise

July 16, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Hey! I'm visiting from Friendly Friday Follow. What a super cute idea! I am new to sewing, I didn't know you could sew paper!

Following you

July 16, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Ah ha! I love your matchbook-notepads! I've put it on my list to try. Thank youuu!

July 16, 2010 at 2:01 PM

So cute! This would make a great little party gift for the next shower I throw!

July 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM

I'm your newest follower from Follow Me Friday, come and follow me too!

July 17, 2010 at 8:12 PM

What a great idea! I have so many scraps to use up - this is perfect.

July 18, 2010 at 7:58 AM

I love your tutorials, You have such great ideas to use up favorite fabric scraps.

July 18, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Oh my word, how cute are these? Must have. :)

July 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM

great tutorial that our readers would love.
link it up so they can find you:

July 19, 2010 at 2:35 PM

good way of not trowing those scraps to waste!!!! =)

July 19, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Very cute! I like the idea. I'd love it if you'd join my tuesday link party (tomorrow)!

July 19, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Genius! I love it!! :) Thanks for linking up. :)

July 20, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Super cute! I made these for party favors one year...great way to re-purpose sraps! Love your papers! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

July 20, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Hi Kathryn, Just wanted to let you know I featured your notepads today. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks again for joining the Sunday Showcase Party - I greatly appreciate it! ~ Stephanie Lynn

July 20, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I make these using the back of all the school papers my kids bring home - but I like the sewing better than my staple method :)

July 20, 2010 at 9:26 PM

This is such a cute idea! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

July 21, 2010 at 11:13 PM

Such a great idea. These could make a fabulous wedding favor too - so many brides still ask about matches - which hardly anyone does, but were looking for little note pads like this.

July 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Those are adorable!!!!

July 23, 2010 at 8:45 AM

What a great idea! They are adorable!
Thanks for linking up!

July 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Great ideas. I must make some of these. Thanks for sharing. karie @ karieschiccreations

July 26, 2010 at 4:11 AM

I found this project featured on Under the Table and Dreaming. I am a scratch paper fanatic. I have to add this to my To Do list. Cute project! Now following you.

July 27, 2010 at 5:10 AM
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July 27, 2010 at 5:11 AM

Very clever and cute!

August 20, 2010 at 5:12 PM

This is such a cute idea! I totally want to make these!

I found your blog @ Welcome Wednesday :)

August 21, 2010 at 5:15 PM

broken link -

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