How can I make a notebook out of recycled materials?

Hurrah! We’ve had a “Reverse This” question from Kathryn for our new, hopefully regular feature – Recycle This working backwards :)

Kathryn says:

I’ve been into recycled crafts lately, and want to make a notebook out of recycled materials. How can I do this with easy stuff found at home?

Ooh, I’m sure there are loads of ideas for this one, probably somewhat more creative than my usual bulldog-clip-around-scrap-paper efforts.

Any suggestions what Kathryn can use for covers? Or ways to hold it all together?

  • Got something you want to make out of recycled stuff but need a bit more inspiration? Send me an email about it and I’ll feature it on here:

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9 Responses to “How can I make a notebook out of recycled materials?”

  1. harmy says:

    i always thought flattend out tin cans would make a cool cover for a notebook – shiny and bumpy!

  2. debbie says:

    Or here is a tutorial about how to use those flattened tin cans for this purpose, too:

  3. Tamara says:

    in the forums of, i read that someone saved all her notes and papers from class and at the end of the year she bound them all and pasted things in, etc…

  4. anna says: this has a good basic recipe. I made one of two giant brown paper bags, and used only the bag, and bit of glue to make it (about a5 size, and the paper handle keeps it together).

  5. Susan says:

    I used to work in an internet computer book store/warehouse, and nearly every shipment of books that came into the warehouse from the computer book publisher was topped off with 2 uncovered, perfectly beautiful book covers- the nice square inside boards. Of course, my co-workers were throwing them in the trash, but I saved a hundred of them with the idea that I will make my own book covers or something else with them.
    If there is a similar discount book warehouse, they may be willing to save some for you if you ask them.

  6. chez says:

    Use old greeting cards for covers.
    I use an old Christmas card every year to make a notebook of reminders for Christmas pressies, preparation, shopping, guest lists etc:

  7. Anonymous says:

    this is cool! i made a bag that is out of a hard covered book!!!! its sooo easy!!! you just take all of the pages of a book and sew some fabric on the sides, and make/buy a handle and hot glue it on!!! it was fun

  8. twinks says:

    Re the handbags from hardcover books – I have an art teacher friend who gave this as a project to her high school classes- what they came up with was AMAZING. There’s no end to creativity once you put your mind to it.
    HINT – You can do similar work with leftover construction tubes! You’d be stunned by what my high school kids created out of them! I want to create a book about it!

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