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Can it be done? A Co-ed craft night? The idea came to me when I was talking to my husband about making some new travel notebook inserts. He commented that he could use something like that to log fishing locations or information that he might want to keep in his car or even for work. The size is perfect to carry around without being big and bulky. I love having craft nights so why not let some guys join in if they want? Plus, we need to celebrate the last bit of spring with a party right?!

How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts

I think the trick is making something easy and possibly useful. I LOVE using notebooks this size for many things. Plus I have a large stash of masculine scrapbook papers I needed to put to use, so this project was perfect.How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts

First I picked up some extra supplies at Walmart. They carry the Scotch® Brand Utility Knife and I knew I’d need a few of these so that everyone wasn’t waiting on one. I also picked up some Scotch® Brand Permanent Mounting Tape and Command™ Mini Hooks to send everyone home with (I’ll show you why at the end). You can find all these products in the crafting aisle while you’re grabbing the rest of the materials!

How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts

How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts

I love Scotch® Brand products and have used them for years! They have tons of great products to use on whatever you’re working on. You’ll also need:

  • foam sheets
  • scrapbook paper
  • printer paper or graph paper (as a filler)
  • long reach stapler
  • elastic cording
  • an awl or something to poke holes into the foam
  • Scotch® Brand Utility Knife
  • self healing mat
  • metal ruler

First I’ll walk you through how to make your own travel notebook inserts and covers and then I’ll show you how I pulled it all together in a party! To make the inserts, measure and trim patterned heavy paper (like scrapbook paper) to 8.75″x8.25″How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsFold it on the longer side so your notebook insert should be 8.25″ tall.How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsNext, you’ll want to trim your filler paper to about the same size. I like to leave it a little larger actually since you’re folding quite a bit at once. Most of our books were about 10-12 full sheets of paper. How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsI love trimming with the Scotch® Brand Utility Knife because it can cleanly cut through many pieces of paper. By using the ruler you can go back over the same spot if you didn’t get it all the way through the first time.

Fold the paper inside the notebook cover. It’s going to be big if you left it a little oversized and that’s totally fine. I like to line up the bottom and leave the top and side sticking out.Scotch® Brand Utility KnifeOpen back up and carefully staple the book together using your long reach stapler. How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsNow we’ll fix those edges. The Scotch® Brand Utility Knife is perfect for this because I’m not getting that huge stack of paper through any little paper cutters that I have here. Using a self healing mat and a metal ruler, just trim the sides down.How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsA perfect straight edge and the notebook insert is done!How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsHere’s where we were with all the inserts completed.How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsThe covers are so much easier to make than I thought! Just trim down a sheet of craft foam to 10″ x 8.75-9″.  This cut through like butter! It’s important to make sure your blade is sharp or you won’t get a nice smooth cut (another reason I love using this tool).How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsFold in half and crease (it will be 8.75″ tall x 5″ wide).How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsIf you have a mini hole punch use that, otherwise use the awl to punch two holes, one on each side of the crease.How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsWe did not punch these at any exact measurements, just make sure not to get too close to the edge where it will rip. Do the same to the top.

Next you’ll cut a piece of elastic cording about 20.5″ long. String the cording through the holes like this (this is the inside of the cover) and tie. You actually want your foam to curl up a bit (that’s how you’ll know you tied it tight enough) so don’t worry about keeping it flat.How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsNext, using your awl, poke a hole on the right inside (back) cover as close to the middle as you can get.How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsTie a piece of elastic cording that is about 12.5″ long into a loop and then thread the loop portion through the hole using the awl as a guide. I made a few knots in mine so I was sure it wouldn’t pull through.How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsThat’s it! The notebook is done. You insert one of the handmade inserts by using the elastic to hold them in place, close and use the loop to keep the notebook closed.How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsYou can round the edges or leave them straight.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsOnce you’re comfortable with the process you can use thick leather or other materials for your cover. How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsHow to make your own travel notebooks and insertsAren’t these great?! We talked about ways to use them like regular travel notebook scrapbooking, to jot work notes in, for fishing lists, a calendar or to make a histology type notebook. Basically like a scrapbook but you just make lists of current favorites (top 10 songs, foods, vacations etc.)How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts How to make your own travel notebooks and inserts On to the party portion – to host your own you’ll definitely want to have food and drinks.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsWhen we have parties I set up a little station with food and then usually put extras in the kitchen (chips, popcorn etc.) We also keep the alcohol in the kitchen and our friends know where it is to prepare their favorites. Jared’s guacamole is always a must!Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsI set out chips and guac, fruit, some quinoa salads and meat/cheese.aftm-3m-craft-party-24 Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsI always make sure to have plenty of water as well.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsI didn’t put up a ton of decorations since I knew we’d be making a mess but I did have to hang a fun wooden sign! I just wrote the title on with a permanent marker.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsCraft party tips: place a table protector or self healing mats under everyone’s station at the table and then cover with paper.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsSet out just what you need to work on at the moment. Having the table too full will just make more of a mess. Buckets are great for storing tools and suppliesCo-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsor for holding scraps of paper and trash.Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsCo-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and insertsTry to have at least a couple of each tool so no one is waiting (although it is nice to have the down time to chat and eat)!

The Command™ Mini Hooks are perfect for holding a notebook right where you need it and will remember to use it! Plus, they are damage free so great for those living in rentals!How to make your own travel notebooks and insertsCommand™ Mini Hooks

I think simple, useful crafts are perfect for a co-ed craft night! Check out this site for more crafting inspiration (I love the state cut outs) and this Pinterest board has some great ideas too.

Co-ed craft party to make travel notebooks and inserts

Author

Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

1 Comment

  1. What a fun party! This craft is brilliant for men and women. It’s something my husband could totally do, too. I love the idea of a travel journal because we are going a couple of places with the kids this summer and it would be awesome to document it words and not just pictures. Love it! #client

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