Whatever your favorite short inspirational phrase—Life Is Good, We’re All One, Love Conquers All—it’s easy to carry it with you. The star attraction on this cute little spiral-bound notepad you can craft yourself is word art created on shrink plastic. For my notepad, I used Plexiglas for the covers, but you could substitute matboard or even cover stock instead.
What You Need
Plexiglas (or matboard), 2pcs, 3″ x 4″ (7.5cm x 10cm) • alphabet stencil, scrap paper and pencil • clear shrink plastic • Micron or similar pen and alcohol markers • 1/8″ (3mm) punch • jeweler’s saw (plexi) or craft knife (matboard) • drill and 1/4″ (6mm) and 1/16″ (2mm) bits (plexi) or punches (matboard) • heavy wire and fine wire (14 gauge and 24 gauge or so) • small stack of notebook paper cut to size of covers (20 pcs or so) • heat gun • 1/2″ (13mm) dowel or a large marker
Create your phrase on a piece of scrap paper using an alphabet stencil and pencil. Trace over the letters onto shrink plastic with markers and a fine-point pen.
Draw some sort of a border around your phrase. I like to do this over graph paper to make it easy, but it’s not required. Cut out the phrase leaving about 1/2″ (13mm) of space outside of the border. Use a punch (1/8″ [3mm]) to create a series of holes around the border.
Working on a heat-resistant surface, use a heat gun to shrink the plastic. Place the shrunken piece on what will be the front cover of the notepad and trace around it. If you are using plexi, cut the opening out with a jeweler’s saw (I always use a Robert Dancik Faux Bone blade). If you are using board or cover stock, use a craft knife on a cutting mat. Also drill (or punch) a series of 1/4″ (6mm) holes along the top. Use those holes as a guide to mark corresponding holes on the other cover and drill (or punch) those holes, too.
Peel the protective paper off the plexi covers and sand both sides of each piece. I like to sand the corners a bit to round them. If you are using board or cover stock, you may wish to paint your board or decorate with paper at this stage. Place the plastic phrase into the opening and drill (or punch) a series of holes adjacent to the holes in the plastic. Note: At the corners, add an additional hole to each side of the corner hole to facilitate stitching at the next step.
Use a fine wire to whip stitch the phrase into the opening. Use heavier wire to create a coil around a dowel or marker, using a couple more rotations than you have holes along the top of your covers.
Punch holes through your stack of notebook paper to correspond with the holes along the tops of the covers. Sandwich everything together with the holes aligned. Starting at one end, coil the heavy wire through the holes. Crimp the ends of the wire to prevent them coming out. Your notebook is complete!
If you’re interested in other ways to play with lettering you might really enjoy Creative Lettering Workshop by Lesley Riley
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