Recycled Notepads

by Lindsay Small

A box arrived in the post for me recently with an extravagant amount of brown wrapping paper folded around the edges to protect the contents. I sorted it out and put some aside for Christmas wrapping paper this year, but was inspired to produce these gorgeous recycled notepads as well! They are a great way of using up all kinds of scrap paper - whether it is over-runs or half pages from your printer, paper shopping bags, scraps of pretty wrapping paper or wallpaper samples. Set aside a box for collecting up these bits and pieces and then have a notepad making session. Children love making them and they make great gifts too!

You will need a pile of scrap paper, some good scissors (if you have a paper cutter or guillotine you can go into serious production!), scrap cardboard, and PVA glue.

Decide on the size of your notebook and cut a piece of cardboard as the backing. Use this to cut out a number of pages for your notebook. You can mix and match papers and textures or stick to one kind. Stack them up with the cardboard underneath, bang them gently onto a hard surface so that they lie true, and then put them flat on a table or counter with the top edge protruding slightly over the edge. Weight the stack down with a heavy book but leave the top edge uncovered.

Paint along the top of the stack with the PVA glue, making sure that all the pages come into contact with some glue (a finger comes in handy for this!). Leave to dry.

The notepads are now ready to use, but you may prefer to embellish them a little - especially if you intend to give them as gifts. Children enjoy putting another thin layer of glue on and dipping into glitter. Use a small piece of ribbon or braid along the top edge, stick on buttons and bows, or just use an attractive piece of gift wrap as the top page and finish by adding a further, folded strip of the same paper to neaten. The possibilities are endless and you will have fun experimenting.

Lindsay Small lives in London and is the mother of two energetic and crafty children. Her website,, is full of fun and educational activities for kids under 10. There are crafts, printables, worksheets and fact sheets, coloring pages, scrap-booking paper and puzzles, jigsaws and wallpaper to download, and lots of tried and tested links. You can subscribe to her weekly newsletter, dedicated to providing ideas to help you keep your kids busy, by sending an email to

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