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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?!
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.
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!
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″Fold it on the longer side so your notebook insert should be 8.25″ tall.Next, 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. I 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.Open back up and carefully staple the book together using your long reach stapler. Now 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. A perfect straight edge and the notebook insert is done!Here’s where we were with all the inserts completed. The 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).Fold in half and crease (it will be 8.75″ tall x 5″ wide).If you have a mini hole punch use that, otherwise use the awl to punch two holes, one on each side of the crease.We 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.Next, using your awl, poke a hole on the right inside (back) cover as close to the middle as you can get.Tie 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. That’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.You can round the edges or leave them straight.Once you’re comfortable with the process you can use thick leather or other materials for your cover. Aren’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.) On to the party portion – to host your own you’ll definitely want to have food and drinks.When 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!I set out chips and guac, fruit, some quinoa salads and meat/cheese. I always make sure to have plenty of water as well.I 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.Craft party tips: place a table protector or self healing mats under everyone’s station at the table and then cover with paper.Set 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 suppliesor for holding scraps of paper and trash.Try 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)!