Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Ten minute notebook

To make this notebook you need nothing more than a copy of a newspaper magazine, needle and embroidery thread, and double sided sticky tape. And ten minutes.

Then you need never buy another notebook in the National Trust giftshop, ever again. You can spend that £2.50 on a bar of chocolate and hide under the stairs instead.

Step one: Cut out from the magazine pages the size of internal pages you want. I don't know. How big is the jeans pocket on your bum? Make it to that size. Cut the number of pages you want. Make sure that on the magazine pages you use there is blank space if you're writing. It would be silly to cut out only the trendy black printed pages, wouldn't it?

Step two: Use more of the magazine or find some pretty paper as a cover; fold it over to create a back and a front to your pages. You can use anything. The paper we get from our local chippy works well.

Step three: Stitch across the top. I bet you're sorry you wanted 250 pages in your notebook now aren't you? Thin but strong paper works better; anything posh and glossy and covered in chemical coating is difficult to stitch. Cheap, grey, plenty of blank space all good. I use the Independent magazine.

Step four: That's it. You have a notebook.

If you have kids and they like collecting crap then stick in double sided sticky tape. At this point, only peel away one side to stick to your page, obviously, otherwise you'll stick all the pages together.

On your walk, when the kids bring you sand, feathers, flowers, leaves, lollysticks, string and discarded chocolate bar wrapping to shove in your handbag, say no with real pride and tell them to peel off the upper protective layer to the sticky tape and press their findings on the sticky bit. To stop the pages sticking together when you close the book and sit on it, simply sprinkle over the exposed sticky parts a crumble of sand or soil.

The one photographed is one I took with me on the Sunday walk. I left the stitching long and we wrapped twigs round the hanging length. The kids stuck bits on the double sided tape, and I made notes in the rest. If I was following this through, I'd stick in photographs of the day.

Now, the plans to spend a year in Hong Kong are off, but Dig might accept a tour for a few months. His soul is not for sale. Mine can be had for £2.50.


Katherine said...

Well, mine is for sale for half that - since I discovered that I can get 'Reese's Peanut Butter Cups' in the corner shop. We all have our guilty secrets. And now there's no-one at home but me, I don't have to hide in the garage to consume.

belzi23 said...

I like the double sided sticky tape bit :0) No more crumbly bits of leaf in the bottom of m pockets :) Thanks.

sharon said...

Love the notebook. If you haven't already got it, try the book 'Craftcycle' by Heidi Boyd. Full of surprising and useful things to make from other stuff that would otherwise be discarded one way or another. Go on, you know you want to and I'm sure the gritlets would love it too.

Sorry you aren't moving to the southern hemisphere for a year now. Had really looked forward to the chance of meeting up at some stage ;-(

Big mamma frog said...

oooh! I want to have a go.

Just one thing. ARe there actually any blank(ish) pages inside magazines? Or am I being thick? Surely they're all full of stuff already. Ok...off to have a look.

Grit said...

hiding under the stairs is a rubbish idea anyway katherine. once they discover my hiding places, there's no escape.

no problem belzi23!

sharon. last time with the book recommendation you cost me 55 quid and i had to be physically restrained. i have learned. wait till dig is out the house for 4 hours and then get clicking BUYBUYBUY.

the year is unlikely, for many reasons, some of which are v boring (tax) and some of which are sound (health) but hopefully when dig goes atouring for a term or more, we will be able to go with him. so all is not lost.

big mamma frog! this is why i recommend the independent magazine. it models itself on an up market design which = lots of blank space around posed and arty photos (sometimes of anorexic 14-year olds wearing sad eyes and plastic bags). i cut out the blank bits (they may have a colour print) at something like 4x3in to make my pages. i also like including a bit of the original design on my pages - like the top of a sad eyed bag - because then i can put double sided sticky on her head and fill it with grass. anyway, the mag is on cheap pulpable paper which i find easier to punch holes in and stitch.

and this is all sharon's fault.

Belgravia wife - sort of said...

Hi Grit this is fab - we will have a go but no promises - I'm a little compromised on the craft front...Are those your children's real names - my sons would thing that is just too cool. Will give this a go tomorrow, just spent a King's Ransom in the British Museum Gift Shop x