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...
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!