July 17, 2012
When I am not busy smashing things with my hammer, I also make cards and notes. Not those pretty, intricate ones with all the flowers and ribbons. No, I make cards with boozy squirrels who insult people. What use is this to you, I hear you asking. Well, outside of always being able to acquire a birthday card that delivers a wincing blow to someone’s ego, I can also share with you a few of the tricks of the trade.
Today, I’ll show you how to make your own notepads. The supply list for this is pretty simple:
- Some cardboard stock, cut to whatever size you want the notes to be – it’s the backing so 1 piece per notepad.
- Some plain but bright white printing paper – print whatever design you like on it – cut to the size you want the note to be.
- Some adhesive – most white glues will do, I have found. Pros use something called padding, but white glue will do you fine.
- Either 2 flat pieces of wood, or – like me – one flat plastic table and one flat piece of wood.
- Two clamps.
- A paintbrush.
TOP TIP: use one more sheet of paper than you need, or add a blank piece to the top of each notepad as you construct it – you will probably need to tear one or two throw-aways sheets off when it’s done being glued.
I make a 40 sheet note pad. Light enough to ship easily, not so thick as to be an issue with the adhesive not being able to hold it all together.
First, I print off the sheets in the design I desire. I make mine 4.25″ x 5.5″ so I can cut 4 from a sheet of standard paper. My assistant, JimJam, monitors production with a beady eye.
Then you cut the sheets to size. Jim Jam is more than a little fearful of the guillotine cutter, knowing full well what a few glasses of Malbec can do to my judgement, both in terms of how and what to cut.
At this point, he usually disappears.
Next you stack your sheets up with a piece of cardboard stock on the bottom – I’m making 2 notepads here so I stack them one atop the other. Then I put a gentle elastic band around them to keep it all together while I clamp it.
Once you are happy with the alignment (the elastic band really helps with that) and they are clamped, get the glue and the paint brush. I like to do about 4 coats, drying in between each, and yes I do use the hairdryer to speed things along.
This is not normally such a messy endeavour, but between trying to photograph this with one hand while I slap on glue with the other, and wondering where JimJam is going to be hiding this time, it got a bit out of hand.
I can’t show you these two, as I like to leave them to cure overnight, but much like Julia Childs, I happen to have a few I prepared earlier. To get yours apart (after they are completely dry), remove the clamps, take off your elastic and gently pull them apart. Now the extra sheet of paper you added comes in handy, as you may need to tear one or two sheets from the top to get a nice clear edge on your adhesive.
And that’s it! Ah. There he is.
It’s the one neurotic whisker that always unnerves me. It trembles in anticipation of what he will do next.