DIY Inspirational Notebooks

What inspires you? Do you have a favorite website or magazine that you look at for ideas? I am inspired by lots of different things. When I went to design school we were taught to keep all our ideas in a notebook. I LOVE notebooks. The problem is that they don’t always inspire me to write in them. I need to be inspired each day.

I use my notebook every morning. I plan menus, blog posts, make lists of chores, bills to pay and the like.

Sometimes I draw and sketch or copy meaningful verses or words that inspire me. That’s just how I roll. When I fill up one notebook, I buy another one and begin again. I am rather picky about the notebooks that I choose. I prefer spiral bindings with hard covers. I also like pages without lines on them, and I like them small enough to tuck into my handbag, but not too small that I don’t have enough room to write and draw effectively on the pages. Believe it or not, it’s hard for me to find a perfect notebook.

The full notebooks, I sometimes keep for reference, sometimes I throw them away. Sometimes, I am no longer inspired by the ugly cover of the book and just can’t write in it anymore. As was the case with this one above. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years, empty. This may seem odd to you, I actually have a number of empty notebooks.

This is another one that I have had for a long time. There is nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t inspire me. I decided that instead of buying more notebooks, I will give the ones that I have a face lift so I can use them again.

I also picked up this one from the Dollar Store to show you all how you can use a simple composition notebook for this project.

I started with the spiral bound notebooks. I removed the hard covers from the spiral. This open comb design was very easy get the covers of the notebooks off without having to uncoil the entire thing. Then I cut some decorative craft paper to fit on the inside covers of the notebook. I cut it to fit, and set it aside until I was ready to assemble.

Using white craft paint, I painted over the holes for the spiral and completely painted the back cover and it’s edges. Then I did the same thing on the front cover.
While it was drying, I measured the notebooks and selected photos to add to the covers.

I use Picassa for all my photo editing. It’s free and it works great. If you don’t already have it you can download it from the internet here. After launching Picassa and choosing the photos for each notebook, I added a few extras. In this photo I added the black boarder around the frame to blend in with the notebook I bought from the Dollar Store. You can add boarders in Picassa by clicking on the blue paint brush icon, selecting a color and adjusting the width. 
Then I added the words “Design Inspirations” at the bottom. There are two ways to do this. You can either click on the wrench icon, for basic editing, then select “add text”. Or you can do it from the print screen like in the example below.

Select and edit your photo. Choose the print icon at the bottom of the editing page. The page above comes up. You can select a variety of layouts, mine were 5 x 7’s. Then select boarder and text options to add your text. Save and print on photo paper. I must say I also experimented with the boarder options in this screen but didn’t like them as much as the ones listed from the basic editing page.

The last photo I edited using the pencil sketch option under the blue paint brush tab in Picassa. Originally the colors in the photo looked like this:

I love the colors, but they seemed to over power the verse that I choose. After editing the photo with the pencil sketch option, I was much happier with the result.

Believe it or not, it’s not all that easy to find words and pictures that work together.

Then I was ready to assemble the notebooks.

I added some decorative paper to the front and back covers of the small notebook…..

Then glued the photo on with a 3M craft stick. I love the way it turned out!

I assembled the covers again on the larger notebook…

and now I can’t wait to sit down and use it!

Remember the Dollar Store notebook? It was the easiest of all to put together. I just glued the photo over the front cover, and trimmed it to fit.

I am looking forward to making more Inspirational Notebooks. They would make great Mother’s Day gifts!
What inspires you today?
Designer Mom

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3 thoughts on “DIY Inspirational Notebooks

  1. Love this post! How cool that you always have a notebook and that you actually — USE them! 🙂

    By the way, would you think about removing word verification from your commenting? It's REALLY difficult for me to read the letters and numbers these days. Lots of times it's just not worth it to me to go through the hassle. Just a thought!

  2. The Dollar Store composition notebook is the first of my future idea books. the first idea I entered was the Faith, Hope and Love hanging at the very top of this blog. Can you tell me please what the writing under the word "Love" says? Thanx for some great ideas!

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