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Making Homemade Notepads

It is nice to have notepads around to jot things down on, but the ones from the store can be expensive. Making your own is easy and will save you money. This is a guide about making homemade notepads.


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April 22, 2011 Flag

In order to use those otherwise wasted sheets of copy paper, I collect them until I have a stack my stapler can hold together; then I stack them with the cleanest side up. Put three staples along one long side, then repeat on the other side. Cut between the staples to make three stacks of scratch paper. Sometimes I leave them the full width of the paper for longer stacks.

By latrtatr from Loup City, NE

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Anonymous Flag
April 23, 20110 found this helpful

Love your idea! Thumbs up! It made me think that you could also fancy them up and be able to have thicker note pads by punching two holes side by side where the top of the pads will be and secure them with a ribbon. :-)

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September 16, 2016 Flag

Around our house, we use Day-Planners and several different calendars simultaneously, which ultimately leaves us with a lot of paper that needs recycling. We've discovered that one way to Reduce/Reuse/Recycle these particular forms of waste paper is to turn them into new scratch-pads for notes, grocery lists, etc. It's easy and only takes a minute! Simply cut long strips from your old planner or calendar, trim to neaten, staple on one end and you're done. Stacks and stacks of free note-pads. Enjoy!

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September 8, 2010 Flag

After you have a garage sale, and before you donate your books to the library or the church, why not take out the fly leaves (blank pages in the front and back of most any kind of book)? This way, you will never have to buy a note pad for your grocery or "To Do" lists again!

Use an Exacto knife to remove the fly leaf, then stack them up. I like to use my trusty three-hole-punch and some scrap ribbon or hemp string to make them into a convenient little book. The pages tear out easily, and you can even decorate your new, frugal, and eco-friendly little note pad.

To decorate the one I made in the photo, I glued the paper circles from my three-hole punch onto some old garage-sale stickers and added petals and leaves using a marker belonging to my kids. Try to use any loose or mis-matched beads or stray buttons, also. Cute, huh?

Note: If the fly leaves are darkly colored, you can always keep and use those for scrapbooking and card making.

By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK

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September 9, 20100 found this helpful

Nice idea to recycle if the book has not value. just be sure not to injure the binding when cutting the fly leaves out.

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1 found this helpful
July 29, 2014

I fold the 8x11 paper into thirds the long way. I then separate the paper into three pieces, cutting on the fold lines. Fold the pieces in half and cut them again.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

1 found this helpful
December 6, 2014 Flag

Is there an easy way to connect paper on a note pad?

By Mary

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful

I just use a binder clip. You can find them anywhere and they hang well on the wall next to the desk, fridge, or door. Hope that helps.

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January 15, 20150 found this helpful

I keep a bunch of scraps for notes in a wooden dinner napkin holder my Grandma gave me. For a pad that holds together, I've used a clothespin on top. If it's not a very thick bunch, you can sew it on the sewing machine.

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July 27, 20150 found this helpful

I cut used paper from the printer in four pieces, stack them with the clean side up and staple one corner.

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0 found this helpful
January 25, 2013 Flag

Does anyone have a recommendation which glue to use for a padding compound? (the glue used to stick a paper pad together)

By Gail from Peterborough, ON

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January 28, 20130 found this helpful

Try rubber cement I think they still sell it at office supply stores. If all else fails, I would get a heavy duty stapler and book binding tape. Staple the sheets of the pad together then seal the edges with book binding tape.

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January 28, 20130 found this helpful

I make paper pads from scrap paper quite often. I have used rubber cement, hot glue and white glue. They all work more or less. I like the white glue best. Use binder clips side by side to hold your paper tightly together, then spread on the glue with your finger. Make sure it covers the entire top of the pad. When it's dry, remove the binder clips.

If you choose to staple the top, perforate the pad about a half inch from the top buy running a few sheets at a time through your sewing machine using an unthreaded needle (an old one). Sheet will tear off easily.


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9 found this helpful
August 23, 2009 Flag

I've read about making note pads from recycled paper, what is the name of the "red, sticky goo" used to make the note pads hold together? Thanks.

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August 25, 20090 found this helpful

I've made these in the past. I used Sparco padding compound from an office supply store. After stacking my paper and clipping it together, I would run a small line of the compound (from a travel squirt bottle) down the edge I wanted to bind. Then spread it with a foam paint brush. After a couple of coats and drying, you're good to go.

Hope this helps.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Years ago at the bank we just used ordinary glue sticks. Just ran them a couple of times over the edges, letting it dry between each layer.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Rubber cement works, too and is easy to find

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August 23, 2009 Flag

I volunteer every week at my son's school and I noticed that they recycle their throw away paper. I needed some scratch paper so I dug through the scrap paper recycle bin to use some. I then grabbed a whole bunch of scrap paper that was printed on just one side and cut them all to scrap paper pad size with the paper cutter.

I then used a red rubber adhesive. I found out it was a small cheap bottle of water soluble red goo that was applied with a paint brush to coat one side of the pad. I got it at the office supply store. Once the adhesive was dried the paper pad was ready to use with easily tear off paper depending on how neatly someone does it.

Now my son's school uses my newly create paper pads in the school's office everyday.

By Soyzick from Hawaii


Making Homemade Tear-Off Notepads

I work in property management. When we took over the complex I am in now, we found files of unused, older forms from the company two or three years back. I shredded the ones with information filled in, then went through the rest. I simply use a black clip to keep mine in order, but the gum is cool if you can get them the same size.

Carbons can be used, too. I save and cut up the whites, then kept the yellows, mint greens, and pinks to make signs for the office window. I keep the slick junk mail printed on one side only, and use them in the car with a felt pen. It's great for leaving notes on cars as the plastic is a bit more durable and easier to see. (05/22/2009)

By Poor But Proud

Making Homemade Tear-Off Notepads

I just quarter each sheet and stack them in a small decorative box. They're handy when I need them, and I don't have to waste time stacking them evenly, gluing them, and waiting for them to dry. I've been doing this for 3 decades now; I've never needed to buy scrap pads. (05/28/2009)

By susanmajp

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May 20, 2009 Flag

Recycle scrap paper by cutting it into same size pieces (use a paper cutter), then stack the paper evenly. Tap the top edge that you will glue, to make sure it is as even as possible. Clip with binder clips to hold secure, then using Elmer's Rubber Cement, coat the top edge of your note pad.

I use the spring type binder clips to hold it near the glued part. Once dry, repeat several times until it is quite secure. You can also add a piece of heavy cardboard to the back of the note pad.

The first time it is trial and error until you get the knack.

By Syd


Making Homemade Tear-Off Notepads

I have been doing this for years and it pays to have uniform size notepads that can be carried easily in one's shirt pocket. For ease of use I bend the loose paper in the middle after tamping down the bottom edge. By holding your thumb on the shifted paper on the bottom edge a 45 degree angle top and bottom can be obtained. This allows flipping the pages easily and also folding them back. I use "tacky glue" (Aleen's) which remains flexible. Riffling the glue application tool through the top edge helps to distribute the glue. Binder clips on both ends of the glued portion hold the 45 into place until it has dried.

3x4 inches is an optimum size for a shirt pocket pad and you can scribble without guilt considering the cost. I have found that a baby wipe box is a good file box if you intend to save these pads. (07/23/2007)

By Frank

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April 22, 2011 Flag

You will need:

  • Paper
  • white glue
  • paintbrush
  • cardboard
  • heavy weight objects
  • a straight edged knife


  • Take 8 1/2x11 inch pieces of paper and cut them into fourths. I use paper that has been used once, but blank on the backside, to recycle it.

  • Create stacks of the paper. Only one side needs to be even.

  • Pack the stack of paper firmly against a hard surface and lay it down on a hard surface.

  • Put a piece of cardboard that is bigger than the stack on the top and bottom of the stack.

  • Take whatever you have that is heavy and put it on top of the stack. I have used a case of water, which is heavy enough.

  • The side that you packed is the side you will use to put the glue on. Take your brush (a sponge brush works well) and pour the white glue on it a little at a time and brush it on the flat edge of the paper. Make sure to get the edges, too. Let it dry and then put another coat on. Do this twice.

  • After it is completely dry, take the knife and run it through between the sheets for the thickness of the pads you want. The knife will separate them cleanly.
By Lora from Milwaukie, OR


Homemade Notepads

Sounds like you worked for a printing company. I remember once, the press came loose from where it screwed down on the paper and paper flew all over the place! I also worked for a printing company and one of my favorite jobs when I had to work out in bindery was padding. It was always kinda calming! I hated collating though. (08/18/2008)

By Noella

Homemade Notepads

I have been making my own tablets for years, only I use a paper cutter to make stacks of paper for the tablets out of what ever I have at hand to recycle, just as you said. I don't use cardboard. I make the pad to be glued about 1/3 of an inch thick. The clip the outside of the top of the pads on the 2 sides; leaving the top clear. Clipping with those clips, that come in many sizes, that have those movable flip wire finger pad things. They are usually black, but you can flip the wire things, up or down, up for opening the clip, and down for storing. These clips keep the paper very packed.

After clipping both sides, I use the glue bottle and put a fair amount of glue all over the top. Then I put it in a place, with the top glued side up, and let it dry. No cutting, no doing 2 or more, very fast. I have a gas stove with pilot lights, and usually I put the wire finger pad things to the outside, in between up and down, and hang it with the glued side up, between the wire racks in the oven. It dries very fast this way. (08/18/2008)

By Chris

Homemade Notepads

Hi everyone. I am a printer. If you want to do this at home economically, go to Google look up padding compound. It will come by the gallon so I hope you plan on doing a lot, also Elmer's works the exact same - just make sure you are very liberal with the amount you use. Everyone I know that does it by hand uses a 2 inch brush. Make sure if you intend to do it over and over to wash the brush with hot water and let it dry or it is wasted! Also make sure to use some kind of weight on the top of the paper and keep it about an eighth of an inch from the edge. Note: Do not get the glue on the sides of the paper or it will rip when you take it apart. (09/23/2008)

By Heavy D

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August 14, 2008 Flag

I would like to make some small notepads for my daughters and wonder if anyone knows if there is a product to use to hold the sheets together at the top. If you have a "homemade" suggestion, that would be better. Thanks so much.

Sandy from Oneonta, NY


Homemade Notepads

I used to work at Kinko's and we would "pad' things all the time. We had a device that would put a lot of pressure on a stack of paper, compressing it down slightly. We would do a whole stack at a time, separating every 50 or so with brown chipboard. Then we would paint "padding compound" onto the edge. This compound was white and felt and smelled suspiciously like regular white Elmer's glue. The device had fans that would dry the glue for about 15 minutes. Then we would separate the pads with a dull knife, leaving a chipboard back.

I have never tried it myself but I believe that if you weighted down the stack of paper with bricks or something heavy and then painted it with Elmer's, it would work just as good. I might do a first light coat, let it dry for an hour or so and then add a second coat. Use a butter knife to separate the pads. Make sure the papers on the padding edge is lined up as straight and smooth as possible. Also, don't try to do more than about 100 sheets at time or it will break apart, it's just too tall.

Good luck,

Jess (07/20/2007)

By jess_admin

Homemade Notepads

I stitch the top together with a nice thread. No glues and no chemicals are needed this way and it looks very nice. (07/20/2007)

By Enci

Homemade Notepads

It's kinda pricey but the Bind-it-All works great. Check it out online.

By Bonnie (07/23/2007)

Homemade Notepads

Like the others, I've used rubber cement, though I've found that it can sometimes be messy or not hold together perfectly.

I don't know if this will work for you, but at work, I take 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets that have printing on one side, cut them into quarters, turn them over, and just keep them in a small box (with the lid removed). When I need a piece of scratch paper, I just grab one off the top. (07/23/2007)

By Chief Family Officer

Homemade Notepads

SCHOOL GLUE! When my kids were little and would bring home all sorts of papers, I would take a stack, blank side-up, cut into 4's, and use plain ole' school glue on one end, liberally. Just weight down the pad right up to the glued side with a few heavy books and wait half a day, and you have a note pad! You can always clean up the ends, and make it as pretty as you need. (07/24/2007)

By KLJohn

Homemade Notepads

I use a hot glue gun. It works great! I wouldn't recommend for smaller children. (07/24/2007)

By Jill

Homemade Notepads

I get the spiral notebooks when they are 10 cents a piece ( at Walmart before school starts). I then cut the spiral in the middle and hand cut the pages with scissors. I end up with two notepads at 5 cents a piece. (07/26/2007)

Homemade Notepads

Simply use a hole puncher to punch holes into the paper. Then use either yarn or thread to keep the paper together. It works great!! And you can use different colors of thread or yarn to make it a little different. (07/31/2007)


Homemade Notepads

Rubber band your paper together or clothespin tight...then paint rubber cement on edge........for a watercolor painting pad I paint all four edges and leave one small spot to stick a knife into to separate the page....good luck (08/17/2007)

By Carol

Homemade Notepads

It is actually notepad adhesive, and it is awesome! (09/30/2007)

By Melanie.

Homemade Notepads

Can you tell me if compression is used right at the edge where the paper is to be bound or should the paper be compressed further down allowing the glue or rubber cement to enter a little on the paper?

By gerri

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July 20, 20070 found this helpful
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