Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Make your own custom notepads

by: Chica

Make your own custom notepads
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I’ve always wondered how to make my own custom notepads, and recently I’ll learned the trick. The key is a special type of glue called padding compound and it’s a simple adhesive that you apply to a stack of paper to turn it into a notepad.

We have had endless fun making custom, personalized notepads and doing various fun projects with it, and are still coming up with new ideas for more. It’s so easy to use, too.

First, take a stack of paper — any color, type, or size you want — and tap it on the table so that one side is as flat as it can be. If you want your notepad to have a sturdy back, add a piece of cardboard, cut to the same size, to the bottom of your stack.

make your own notepads with padding compound

To keep the end of the paper firm and tight, add a piece of cardboard to each side and secure with a couple of binder clips.

make your own notepads with padding compound

Use a small brush to apply the padding compound liberally along the edge of the pad. In just a few minutes’ time, it will dry to a smooth, flexible, non-sticky finish. If you have a particularly large notepad and would like extra strength, you can also apply a second coat.

make your own notepads with padding compound

And just like that, you’ve made your own custom notepad! The padding compound makes a wonderful, flexible bond that will hold the pages tight. And when you’re ready to remove a sheet, it will peel off smoothly and cleanly.

make your own notepads with padding compound

Pretty easy, huh? So where do you get padding compound? Well, it’s pretty industrial stuff, and most places only sell it by the quart or gallon. Since it takes such a tiny amount of the compound to make a notepad, that would practically be a lifetime supply, which may be a bit much for the typical crafter. Fortunately for you, we sell more reasonably-sized 2oz bottles of padding compound in our Amazon store! One bottle is enough to make dozens of notepads. (See our estimation guide to see how much coverage you can get from one bottle.)

make your own notepads with padding compound

But wait, there’s more! We now carry colored padding compound, too!

colored notepad padding compound

With our colored padding compound you can make a rainbow of notepads. You won’t find colors like these anywhere else, so check out the colored padding compound in our Amazon store.

make your own notepads with padding compound

You can make so many types of notepads using this compound. From DIY mat stacks for scrapbooking to scratch pads made with recycled paper from the office, you’ll have fun making your own notepads. If you’re looking for a unique gift idea for a high school graduate or newlyweds, get a stack of new $1 bills from the bank and glue them into a pad. They’ll enjoy tearing off the money one bill at a time when they’re away at college or on their honeymoon.

We also love bundling our business cards into a stack. My Honey is always scattering his business cards all over his truck if they’re loose, but making them into a pad keeps them collected and easy to access.

make your own notepads with padding compound

Jo and I enjoy keeping our cards bundled as well, and everyone is always delighted when we pull a card off the stack to hand them.

make your own notepads with padding compound

We’ve got a several other tutorials with custom notepad ideas, such as our printable grocery lists, the gin rummy scoresheets I made for my Grandma, and the custom photo notepads I made with my niece’s photo.

Make your own custom notepads
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162 comments so far:

  • 1
    Chica 11/24/2013 at 6:02 pm

    RP, thanks for sharing your story! I love the idea of using unopened reams of paper as the weights.

  • 2
    Soledad 01/25/2014 at 1:59 pm

    Can you use a hot glue gun to bind the paper for the custom notepad? I don’t exactly have much money & my in-laws have a hot glue gun.

  • 3
    Chica 01/25/2014 at 2:21 pm

    Soledad, we’ve never tried that, so no idea if it will work or not. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!

  • 4
    Elli 05/08/2014 at 10:50 am

    Can I use any glue or does it have to be the one you mentioned?

  • 5
    Chica 05/09/2014 at 8:22 am

    Elli, padding compound is by far the best type of glue to make your own custom notepads. Other glues don’t provide flexible surfaces or nice tear-away pages.

  • 6
    diane yuill 06/10/2014 at 5:21 am

    If you want to do a big stack a heavy brick will work. Good luck with it padding is a great idea.

  • 7
    Lyndsey 10/16/2014 at 10:24 am

    I LOVE your estimation guide, thank you so much for putting that up!

  • 8
    wanda 12/12/2014 at 1:33 pm

    I clicked on your Amazon store to purchase this, but it says currently unavailable. When will you have more?

  • 9
    Chica 12/13/2014 at 3:02 pm

    Wanda, we’ve got more padding compound on the way to Amazon as we speak. It should be in stock within a week!

  • 10
    Bruce 03/20/2015 at 5:16 pm

    i’ve used this idea for years for gifts for friends and especially small ones. I make a stck of 10-20 dollar bills. (Any denomination) and make them a “pad”. Put them in a checkbook cover and give them as gifts. Kids love to have “thief” money and tear off a buck or two just like mommy does a check. Add a check register and have them fill it out to see where their money went.

  • 11
    Susan Magao 09/25/2015 at 7:41 am

    I just love this idea and the many that I read along the way !!! I would like more information on how to buy the padding compound !!! Thanks so much !!!!

  • 12
    Chica 09/26/2015 at 1:01 pm

    Susan, we sell our padding compound on Amazon, in standard white and our new bright colors.

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