diy · handmade · paper craft · stationary

DIY: customisable notebooks and binders


It’s not back to school time here in New Zealand but it is in other parts of the world. For me the highlight of starting back at school was without a doubt going stationary shopping. I can’t be the only one out there right? There’s always been something about cute stationary thats made me want to spend my money on it. It’s almost a compulsion! I even used to collect erasers and stickers.


While I was growing up in New Zealand, it was in a bit of a cute stationary “drought” (it kind of still is compared to asian countries) so I ended up making my own. At the beginning of each school year I would  have the most fun decorating all of my note books and binders for each of my subjects. I even had friends asking me to decorate their books for them. I just couldn’t handle not having cute stationary to help brighten up the dreary school days. If I was going to have to sit through an hour of math then I might as well be attempting to learn with a cute notebook!


I mostly used to use magazine clippings but I do remember drawing my own pictures and even cutting the images out of tissue boxes once. Thats the beauty of customising your own stationary. The sky is the limit. You can use anything from pre-printed duraseal and colourful printed paper to your favourite photos, drawings or magazine clippings. Whatever inspires you and makes you happy. My personal favourite magazines to use are Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Fashion Quarterly but thats because I like to use pictures of perfume, shoes and handbags etc. I’m just that kind of gal. You could use sports, gardening, lifestyle magazines etc. Whatever pictures tickle your fancy.


And to whoever invented clear duraseal? THANK YOU! Not only does it seal in your creations but it makes them water resistant. I know I know. It can be a mission to put on smoothly but the more you do it the better you get. I recommend starting out on smaller notebooks first until you get the hang of it, then move on to larger objects like binders. But at the end of the day, you just need to not be such a perfectionist and embrace any air bubbles or crinkles. Tell yourself that they add to the uniqueness of your creation. If you wanted something perfect you would have gone to the shop and bought something that was made on a production line by a machine.


To learn how I customised these notebooks you can watch my DIY instructional video here on youtube. Happy book covering!


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