8 September 2008

Here is a project I thoroughly enjoyed. With a combination of several different items that are easy to come by, you can come up with a wonderfully attractive little notebook to flip through.


Tabbed Index Cards – used ten 4″x6″ sized cards
Scrapbook Paper – for extra beauty
Two Metal Rings – to bind notebook together
Tape – double-stick tape or adhesive squares
Pen – for writing section name on tabs
Memo Book – one of the dirt cheap ones (same size as index cards – 4″x6″)
Brads (optional) – for tacking down small frame
Metal Frame (optional) – found in scrapbooking department, preferably a small size


1. Cut out scrapbook paper to fit the front of index card. Take cut-out (to fit metal frame, if desired) printed notebook label and stick to the front with adhesive.
2. Press to make sure it stays.
3. Place metal frame on top of label, and poke holes with a needle or other sharp object (please be very careful).
4. Stick brads through holes to secure frame.
5. Fold back the ends of the brads to make sure they stay put.
6. I added three extra brads to the bottom of the cover of my notebook.

7. For each divider index card, you can leave some blank without any decoration,
8. or you can go ahead and stick scrapbook paper down on each one, and even front and back if you wish.
9. Each of the pages and index cards will need to have holes punched in them so that they can be bound with metal rings. Since all three of us ladies (Mom, Bre and I) were making one, it made it easier to make a template and use it on each of the pages that needed punched. The template was a piece of card stock paper cut out the size of the index cards. Then holes were punched 1.5″ from the edge on both top and bottom (making two holes). In this way, all we had to do was lay the template on the paper, and with a pen or pencil draw a dot in the center of the hole that had been punched out of the template.
10. Take paper with mark from template, and center the dot in the hole punch. Punch hole.
11. Continue to do this with each page, and when you are finished they should all line up just right, with the holes in the exact same place on each page.
12. Unhook metal rings and poke through holes.

13. Label each section on the tab that sticks out from cards.
14. Rip the paper out of the memo book, and cut of the ripply, bumpy edge. Use the hole punch template to punch holes through lined paper in the right spots.
15. Unhook the metal ring and add the lined paper. This will give thickness and room to write in the notebook.

This is of the back and front covers of my little notebook. The tab on the back cover says, The End.

On the covers, I scrapbooked on both the front and the back side of the index card. In each section there are seven sheets of memo paper.

Momma’s is farthest away – Robin’s Egg Blue. Breezy’s is titled – My Book. And as you’ve probably noticed, mine is – simply vintagegirl.

Both Momma’s and Breezy’s tabs are alphabetically labeled, as in A, B, C, D, etc.
The tabs of my notebook are entitled: Notes, Inspirations, Cards, Contacts, Codes, Colours, Blogs, Photographs, Passwords, and The End. I am planning on adding a few more before “The End”, which will say: Scripture, Quotes, Recipes, Important Dates, and Post Ideas.

Hope you enjoy making your own little notebook!

  1. 46 Responses to “notebook . . . easy to make . . . easy to use”

  2. LisaE on Sep 28, 2008 said:

    Beautiful notebook creation! Totally going to have to give it a whirl myself. :) Thanks for posting the link to Ali’s blog.

  3. Jessica L. on Sep 30, 2008 said:

    I love your new site Emily! It is so nice and cheerful! I commented to let you know, that
    a) I absolutley love this project; it is so cool – I am an organizing geek and a notebook freak and make lists of lists of lists, so this is perfect for me! Not to mention I hadn’t made anything paper-y lately.
    b) I posted about it on my other organizing blog. Just click ‘my name’

    I used Creative Memories paper; they have paper that is just the perfect size for it! I had to make my own tabs because Mum couldn’t find any in town that were blank. It was so much fun!

    Never alone.

    Love Jess

  4. Curvy on Oct 5, 2008 said:

    Wonderful tiny notebook! I have been trying in vain to figure out a way to have a nice small notebook for various things such as my household planner and you have saved the day! Thank you so much I will be back to read more of your lovely blog.


  5. Chrisi on Oct 24, 2008 said:

    Amazing! I love this and will have to make one. I have really been blessed reading your blog.

  6. kristyn on Nov 11, 2008 said:

    hello emily,
    found you at small notebook.
    what a wonderful project!! I will be making one of these! thanks for the detailed instructions.

  7. Nicki on Nov 11, 2008 said:

    I love this notebook. It is really beautiful and doesn’t look too trick to make. Thanks a lot for the how-to!

  8. Kate on Nov 11, 2008 said:

    I absolutely love this notebook! It’s so creative. I’ve already made four, one for me and three for my friends for Christmas. My sister ordered one too. I made them at a scrapbooking event and a lot of people complemented me on them. Did you make it up or, if you didn’t, where did you get the idea?

  9. Shannon on Nov 11, 2008 said:

    WOW!!! I love this! Great job.

  10. Jennifer Clark on Nov 12, 2008 said:

    i love this!! what a fantastic idea! i can think of so many wonderful uses for a little notebook like this – keeping track of prayer requests/answers, scripture memorization, birthdays, gift ideas, project ideas and planning, blog ideas…totally going to whip up some of these!! thanks for sharing!! :)

  11. Yvette on Nov 12, 2008 said:

    I am so glad I found your blog!!! My husband is a teacher and brought home 10 packs of those index cards. I have been wanting to make something out of them but didn’t have a clue what well now I know!!! thanks for the tutorial :)

  12. Valerie on Nov 14, 2008 said:

    Wow, this is a great notebook. I am going to have to make one.

  13. kelli on Nov 14, 2008 said:

    Love it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Angie on Nov 15, 2008 said:

    I love love love it! I am getting the supplies today(:
    Thanks A lot!

  15. c5 at globalrecycledproducts.com on Nov 19, 2008 said:

    Hi. I sew your site because of TipNut. Thanks for posting this as it reminded me to post the long overdue notebook post of mine (which I did now). It’s entitled Make Your Own Refillable Notebook Like Cattleya. It was made spontaneously with focus on function rather than design so it’s not as cute as your notebook. :)

  16. c5 at globalrecycledproducts.com on Nov 19, 2008 said:

    LOL, I laughed reading my own comment. I meant “I saw your site” :D Been away from sewing for sometime so probably I have to get back to it real soon!

  17. Tookshire on Nov 22, 2008 said:

    Loved this idea. I have a small plastic notebook that holds 3×5 cards in my purse. I keep gift lists, grocery lists for special meals, and measurements for the house (so I won’t forget what size my a/c filters are when I’m in the middle of the store), and sizes for family members. This is so much prettier! I’m going to purchase some larger index cards and recreate my little notebook using this idea. I’m hoping that the heavier stock of paper will help the notebook being sloshed around in my purse. I think the notebook paper would just rip up (yea, my purse is one of those bottomless pits).

  18. Sun-Kissed Savages on Nov 23, 2008 said:

    This is fantastic, and so much easier than it looks. I’m glad I found this in time to do some for relatives, friends (and myself!!) before Christmas!

  19. Maryanna on Nov 24, 2008 said:

    These are so cute. It’s a great idea for Christmas presents.

  20. Vanessa on Nov 28, 2008 said:

    This is a great idea. I want to make my family eco-friendly christmas presents and a homemade notebook was first on my list. I have been making my own notebooks from old schoolwork that was printed only on one side for the past year or two, but those were not really on the gift level. I like this because it is simple but classy. I am going to make my own paper to use inside of it, I found directions for that at: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/makingpaper.html
    Thanks for the tips!

  21. Alley on Dec 20, 2008 said:

    that is so cool!
    i did one of those for a prayer journal at my old VBS when i was six, and i still have it.
    but it wasnt as cool as that!
    ill have to try it sometime!

  22. Lin on Jan 25, 2009 said:

    I am a complete beginner in making things and I am glad to find this very detailed and helpful but where and what is the hole puncher you used on Step 10?

  23. Elizabeth on Mar 5, 2009 said:

    Thanks for posting this craft idea, Emily Rose! Looks very practical and fun to make!

  24. Jen on Mar 9, 2009 said:

    What a neat idea. I picked up the supplies tonight. I had forgotten where I found this until I remembered the name on the front of your notebook, and googling this how-to after that was a snap! Great site!

  25. kathy on May 22, 2009 said:

    I was hoping to make this really cute notebook and have gone to several stores, Target, Walmart, and several office supply stores and can’t find the blank tabbed index cards. Where did you find them? Thanks so much for your help.


    Please send your reply to my gmail address. Thanks.

  26. Charl on Sep 15, 2009 said:

    This is so cute! Thanks for sharing and inspiring others =) Charl

  27. Crystal on Oct 7, 2009 said:

    I am definetely making one especially for my sermon notes from church, and important scriptures.
    thank you for the idea

  28. Crystal on Oct 7, 2009 said:

    I just blogged and twittered about your notebook idea. Hope you don’t mind!

  29. Crystal on Oct 7, 2009 said:

    By the way… Singlemothers.blog.com and Ilovetobemom@twitter.com and Ilovetobemom@twittermom.com

  30. Tina S. on Oct 8, 2009 said:

    This is awesome! I plan to make one for myself and can totally see adapting it to be a mini album for another Christmas gift idea. Love it, love it, love it!

  31. Hope on Dec 30, 2010 said:

    This is great. I made one as a Christmas gift for a friend. I posted it on my blog… but i linked back to this post :)

    I found it easier (for me personally) to punch the holes with the template against the paper/index card, lining up the puncher with the previous holes. It seemed to stay a little more accurate for me that way :)

  32. Elizabeth Moline on Jan 8, 2011 said:

    Thank’s so much for this craft idea. I made five members of my family bigger versions of these for Christmas and they turned out really well.

  33. Sophie on Jan 27, 2011 said:

    That is really cool!!!! I hope to make that as well!!!!! (I may also make the calendar you posted!!)

    ~Sophie :)

  34. Pauline on Feb 20, 2011 said:

    This is so creative! I should make one sometime. Did you come up with it yourself?

  35. Emily Rose on Feb 20, 2011 said:

    Pauline, thank you! The notebook was inspired by a similar journal that was focused on scrap-booking. Blessings, Emily Rose

  36. Kathleen Stephens on Mar 12, 2011 said:

    My daughter and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of crafting – thanks to your notebook idea. We gave them as gifts and kept one for ourselves.

    Thank you for providing such an inspirational site.

  37. Tamara Rangel on Mar 18, 2011 said:

    All of your ideas are so crafty.

  38. angela on Apr 29, 2011 said:

    i’ve stumbled across this tutorial a few times now and i still love love love it each time like i’ve never seen it before. i’m slightly obsessed with journals and notebooks and this is a beautiful version. now i just have to make time in my busy schedule to make it! or a few =)

    thank you much!

  39. lindy on Jul 3, 2011 said:

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I’m anxious to try this project with my MOPS group. Our leadership team always makes prayer journals at the beginning of the year. Thanks for the great tutorial. I love your blog design!

  40. Jennifer on Sep 2, 2011 said:

    I just love this im going to be making some for ideas on wedding thanks the minis are so cute when i get ideas i always have it in my purse :)

  41. Connie Sallee on Jan 30, 2012 said:

    What a cute ideal! My grand-daughter loves to do crafts with her Grandma. Looks like we will be trying one of these notebooks this week-end, kid style. She will love it. Thanks so much for sharing your creative ideals. Enjoying your creativity!

  42. Chris on Oct 16, 2012 said:

    Blank tabbed cards can be ordered through Amazon in a box of 100. I just put together 10 of these cute books for Christmas gifts!! Thanks for the cute idea. I am going to use a comb binder instead to put them together.

  43. Aleena Ismail on Oct 26, 2014 said:

    Awwwh!!! That is so cute! Like me, you have a great taste…VINTAGE!!! I discovered your blog by chance when I was looking around for some great notebook ideas and I have definitely found one! I love your blog…well done! X

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