If you’re anything like me, then you might be a bit partial to stationery and craft supplies. I have an excessive amount of notebooks and notepads in a variety of spiral-bound, book-bound, plain, patterned, small, large, medium, ruled, dotted + grid books. Excessive, I totally know that. But I like to have options.
I start a notebook and then never finish it. Maybe it’s a fear of never being able to use that notebook again, once it’s pages are filled with notes, sketches and un-readable reminders. Then I also have this weird obsession where I buy notebooks when I fall in love with them. I know I don’t need another one, but I just can’t help myself. I’m a marketers dream. And the worst part about that is that my background is in marketing. I should totally know better.
Of course notebooks do serve their purpose. I have different ones for different things. I take a particular one to meetings. I have another for stuff which houses my to do lists. One for passwords and important info I need to access. I have an art journal of kinds. A spiral bound handbag sized one for important grocery items.
But I wanted to create a notebook that was customised or modified if you will. One that serves dual purposes whilst being fun, creative but organised. The more I played with customising a cheap school grid notebook, the more I wanted to do in it. So I’ve taken a break from pimping out my notebook to share some of these ideas which you can replicate too. I had to document it before it all got ahead of me and then I forgot the stuff that I most wanted to share with you.
Scotch® Expressions Masking Tape
Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
Scotch® Double-sided Tape
Scotch® Utility Knife
Notebook (any kind will do)
Small Envelopes (smaller than your notebook pages)
Creating hidden pockets in your pages
Starting with an envelope, any envelope will do, cut the top flap off (save this part, don’t throw it out) exposing just the pocket of the envelope where you would normally insert a letter. Take a ruler and mark a line across the top of the envelope. You want to cut off enough so that the front and back of the envelope are the same height and so that any previous dips in the front of the envelope (the ‘V’ shaped cut in the front of the envelope which allows you to insert the letter easily) are no longer visible.The back and front of your envelope should now look exactly the same.
Apply double-sided tape to one side of your envelope. Attach the envelope to your page ensuring you have enough space at the top to be able to insert things conformably without them sticking out of your page later.
Starting at the bottom of the page, start applying your washi or masking tape to the page. Cover the entire page making sure your lines of tape are meeting the previous one. Then super carefully and ever so gently, using your utility knife and a ruler to guide you, cut through the tape to expose the opening at the top of the pocket. If you cut too hard, you will cut through the tape as well as the page below, so go easy. At this point, if you like you can encapsulate the raw (cut) edge of your pocket with a contrasting strip of tape and decorate your page however you like. Or you can leave it as is.
Making tabbed pages
Using the removed flap of the envelope, you’re going to turn it into page tabs. I worked with an old style yellow pay envelope, but any envelope flap which has rounded corners (not the ‘V’ shape) will work for this. Alternatively you could create a tab template to trace onto your flap for cutting out.
I cut the flap in half (due to it’s already smallish size) and overlapped the two piece on top of each other so that I could use the rounded corners as a guide to cut into the other piece (to also make it rounded). I trimmed off the tabs to a depth that was suitable for the notebook – you don’t want a lot of overhang on your tabs otherwise they are likely to get caught, snaffled and destroyed at some point.
Then using a piece of masking tape, line up the top of the tab along one long side of tape. Then just trim around the sides and top, leaving the exposed tape at the bottom of the tab – this is the part that you attach your tab to the page with. Repeat with another piece of masking tape on the other side of the tab, once it is attached to your page. Again, just slowly trim around the exposed edges.
Repeat this step for additional tabs, using different patterned + coloured masking tape.
I have added smaller pockets to one of the tabbed pages which are for postage stamps and stickers as well as some sneaky bits of tape disguised as page decoration (see the sprinkle and watercolour patterned strips on the left and right sides of the pages) which can be pulled off and used to close or decorate envelopes when I’m travelling.
The grid paper in the notebook acts as writing or sketching paper for on the go creativity. You can keep all your collected papery treasures such as business cards, postcards, receipts and other fun stuff in the pockets, all neatly stored and arranged in one place. Kind of like a travel journal / organiser / creative compendium all in one.
For more inspiration on how to Get Creative with Scotch® Expressions Tape visit their Facebook page.
This post is proudly sponsored by Scotch®. We were supplied with Scotch® products and asked to come up with creative ways to use it. Please note that we only ever choose to work with products and brands which we feel are relevant to our creative community. If we wouldn’t legitimately use it, we won’t push it to you.