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 red and white, available in our Amazon store. One bottle is enough to make dozens of notepads. (See our estimation guide below to see how much coverage you can get from one bottle.)

small jars of padding compound

But it gets even better! Our white padding compound can be tinted with ordinary acrylic craft paint to create custom colors. Just mix a small amount of paint into the compound to get the color you want. Just don’t add too much paint, or you’ll compromise the strength of the compound. And remember that it will dry darker.

With this trick to make your own colored padding compound, you can make a rainbow of notepads. With the wide variety of acrylic craft paints available, you’ll be limited only by your imagination.

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.

You may also be wondering how many notepads you can make with one of our 2oz bottles. To help you out, we’ve done some testing, and found that one 2oz bottle of padding compound will cover about 120 square inches of surface with one nice thick coat. Trust us, that will last a long time!

To help you with the math, we’ve made the following chart. You just need to measure the width and thickness of your stack of pages and look them up in the table below to get an estimate on how many you can make. For example, if you’re making notepads out of a quarter sheet of paper, measuring 4″ wide notepads that are 1/2″ thick, you could make about 60 notepads.

(You heard me say estimate, right? Actual coverage will vary depending on individual application style!)

      HOW MANY
    0.25″ 0.5″ 0.75″ 1″ 1.25″ 1.5″ 1.75″ 2″
2″ 240 120 80 60 48 40 34 30
2.5″ 192 96 64 48 38 32 27 24
3″ 160 80 53 40 32 27 23 20
3.5″ 137 69 46 34 27 23 20 17
4″ 120 60 40 30 24 20 17 15
4.5″ 107 53 36 27 21 18 15 13
5″ 96 48 32 24 19 16 14 12
5.5″ 87 44 29 22 17 15 12 11
6″ 80 40 27 20 16 13 11 10
6.5″ 74 37 25 18 15 12 11 9
7″ 69 34 23 17 14 11 10 9
7.5″ 64 32 21 16 13 11 9 8
8″ 60 30 20 15 12 10 9 8
8.5″ 56 28 19 14 11 9 8 7
Make your own custom notepads
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162 comments so far:

  • 1
    Barbara 11/11/2008 at 9:25 am

    I was so pleased to find your website with info on how to make glued notepads…my initial desire was to turn used paper into pads for household scrap pads…however, I was intrigued by the possibility of making personalized pads…can you offer assistance on how I might do so perhaps using a pretty font on the computer…dividing an 8 1/2 x 11 paper into 4ths…I assume you could use a stamp but the computer would be faster…

  • 2
    Chica 11/11/2008 at 9:39 am

    What a great idea, Barbara! I think the easiest way to do what you want is to create a Microsoft Word document that divides the page into four sections, then put your personalization in each one and print it out.

    I did some poking around in Word on my computer, and if you look under “Tools” and then “Envelopes and Labels”, there are many pre-set templates that can work for you. For example, label number “3263 – Postcard” will divide your page into four sections that are 4.25″ wide and 5.5″ tall.

    However, that label design creates sideways pages instead of tall pages, so I messed with the default template until I got a working design. Once I got it to work the way I wanted, I saved it so I could share it with you :)

    I’m happy to offer my Custom Notepad Template to all our readers. Just download it, tweak the image/text to suit your personalizations needs, print it out, then cut each page into four equal parts. Stack them up and you’re ready to make your notepad.

    Oh, one other thing I discovered while testing this idea today… When you use regular copy paper for a notepad, I recommend cutting a piece of cardboard (the same size as the pages) to back your notepad, since the paper is so thin. Otherwise, the notepad is quite floppy :)

    I hope this template helps with your project. Please let us know how it goes, and remember you can share pictures in our Flickr pool if you like.

  • 3
    Tu Madre 02/13/2009 at 10:28 am

    Heheee. Good idea. I likeee it. :)

  • 4
    iraida 02/20/2009 at 1:36 pm

    Our Adult Living class would like to know how to make notepads from recyled paper. Could you send a list of materials that we need to recyle. Have you charged any money for these notepads? We would like to raise money for field trips.

    Thank You

  • 5
    heather t 02/21/2009 at 5:11 pm

    not many art supply stores or office supply stores carry padding compound anymore. it’s most commonly found online which can be an inconvenience if you want to complete a project and don’t want to wait for it to ship. Mod Podge works just as well, i’ve found!!


  • 6
    Jo 02/21/2009 at 6:02 pm

    iraida, have members of your group collect any type of paper that is blank on one side. You can even use a piece of cardboard for the back to make it more like a writing pad. Add a sheet of colorful paper to the front if you would like to bundle the pads together to sell. We have never sold the note pads but we have had a lot of luck selling our mulling spices in decorative jars and our dog biscuits in little bags. Best of luck!

  • 7
    Jo 02/21/2009 at 6:08 pm

    heather t, like most craft rooms, ours has a supply of Mod Podge as well. We will check it out and see how it compares. Thanks for the tip and for visiting!

  • 8
    Anne 02/25/2009 at 7:48 pm

    When I retired from teaching, I took many of my old worksheets and made them into notepads. We had the advantage of a press though and a unit which cut large stacks of papers. I cannot recall how long the glue needed to stay before the pressure was removed. Also, on the average, what is the most number of papers you can stack for the binder clip. I was really spoiled with the paper press, as the stack could be quite high.
    Thank you.

  • 9
    Chica 02/26/2009 at 7:26 am

    Hi Anne. What a great idea with the worksheets, and I’m jealous about the press!

    I’ve seen large binder clips that have a 1″ capacity, which would hold quite a bit of paper. If you need more paper in a pad than that, you could easily raid the garage for some large, expandable clamps. I would put a piece of wood on the top and bottom of the stack of paper and then secure with a clamp on each side.

  • 10
    Min 03/09/2009 at 7:09 pm

    This is such a great idea! It’s on my list.

  • 11
    Chica 03/11/2009 at 8:51 am

    At Heather’s suggestion, I tried making some notepads (some with paper and some with card stock) using Mod Podge instead of padding compound.

    For both tests, I found that the Mod Podge did hold the pages together, but the padding compound is more suitable for this task for the following reasons. First, the Mod Podge had a thin, rough surface on the end of the pad when dried, but the padding compound was thick and smooth. Second, the Mod Podge seemed to soak into the ends of the pages a bit, and when I took pages off the pad, the edge wasn’t perfectly straight anymore. Lastly, the pages of the Mod Podge pads would snap off whenever I lifted them, (even if I didn’t want to remove them) but the padding compound pages would fold all the way back without coming off unless I tugged on them, which made for a much more useful notepad.

    In summary, the Mod Podge will work for holding pages together in a pinch, but the padding compound will give you much better and more usable results. :)

  • 12
    Christina 03/30/2009 at 9:46 pm

    Hey! Thanks so much for posting. I just started a small business where I am selling stationery, and this is a wonderful new product I can add. I had searched to find a padding vise that wasn’t too expensive, and then I found on your site to just use the binder clips. I ordered some of the padding compound, and I’ve made a few pads so far. I’m a teacher as well, and I think my class would love to make some of these. I can have them hand draw or stamp the pages. My 4th graders will love it! Thanks so much for sharing–they look just great!

  • 13
    Chica 03/31/2009 at 6:57 am

    Hi Christina! I’m glad to hear you’re having fun with notepads. We would love to see what your 4th graders come up with, so please stop back by and show us if you can!

  • 14
    Suzanne in TX 04/03/2009 at 4:35 pm

    Chica and Jo-I received my Padding compound today and can’t wait to give it a try. Anyone ever use fabric as a “topper” for a pad? I was thinking about custom template to make a personalized notepad for a couple of friend’s birthdays next week and thought I would embroider their initial on some scrap fabric, serge the edges and maybe use as a cover for the notepad. Would that work, or will it be impossible to remove the pages underneath (does that make any sense?)?
    I LOVE the idea about business cards! Got to give that a try, too. Watch my blog to see what I come up with using the compound.

  • 15
    Jo 04/03/2009 at 4:49 pm

    The embroidered fabric cover is a fantastic idea. We haven’t tried that yet though so not sure how it would work. We’ve added your blog to our reader so we can see how things turn out.

  • 16
    Sharon 04/11/2009 at 1:36 am

    Thank you for making this available. I read about it on one of my craft groups on Yahoo and was so happy to hear about it! I’ve got tons of pads sitting around that I made with rubber cement and they’re all falling apart. It was cool to see that you used the binder clips too. A very inexpensive way to clamp the pads! I made my sheets with a variety of graphics at the top so there’d be maybe 4 or 5 different sheets, but also made some with the person’s name at the top along with a graphic that was the same on each page. I look forward to receiving this product and re-doing all those pads!

  • 17
    Chica 04/12/2009 at 9:24 am

    Thanks Sharon, and good luck with your notepad re-dos!

  • 18
    rbcphotogirl 04/28/2009 at 1:43 pm

    i love this site… just found it by accident… but have already read some projects that i am certain will get plenty of mileage…

  • 19
    Chica 04/28/2009 at 1:57 pm

    Welcome, rbcphotogirl! We hope you continue to be inspired by our site! If you use an RSS reader, you might want to subscribe to our feed so you don’t miss any new projects :)

  • 20
    Lynne 04/30/2009 at 4:38 pm

    I buy up old games and use the money for scratch paper. GREAT way to make note pads! Thanks

  • 21
    olebat 05/01/2009 at 8:24 am

    The larger the pad, the larger clamp – I have a pad maker from Ellison, (it’s HUGE) but successfully used a flower press for years. Got started when carbon paper was still common, and made multi copy forms. Now, carbonless paper is available, and I rarely make forms. Think about using this for your own mini-books. Instead of a greeting card, a mini cook book.

  • 22
    Heather 05/26/2009 at 10:50 am

    Hi Chica and Jo,
    I’m so excited to make my custom notepads – I’m going to use your template to make favors for a bridal shower. I’m going to order my padding compound today but I’m just wondering, how long do you need to let it dry before you can remove the binder clips and protective paper?

  • 23
    Chica 05/26/2009 at 11:00 am

    Hi Heather. What a great idea to make favors for a shower! The compound will dry in about 10-15 minutes. As soon as it’s dry to the touch, you can remove the clips.

  • 24
    Chica 06/01/2009 at 11:59 am

    One of our readers used this tutorial to make adorable notepads featuring her cat, Whiskers. Check out Constance’s photos in our Flickr group.

    We love it when you guys share photos. Keep ’em coming!

  • 25
    Lisa 06/08/2009 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks Chica for your posting on here. You have just helped me save A LOT of money for marketing material for my business. I plan to make our own notepads with our business info on them. Thanks a million!!! Can’t wait to get started.

  • 26
    Chica 06/08/2009 at 4:18 pm

    Lisa, I’m so glad we could help! New businesses need to save all the money they can :) You’ve probably seen the padding compound available for sale in our store, but we’ve just recently added padding kits too, so you might want to check them out.

  • 27
    Rekha 07/10/2009 at 11:46 am

    HI there, I have been looking for padding compund everywhere and people stare at me blankly. I am in South Africa and can’t seem to find this. I am a graphic designer and have my own kids stationery business. Please help.

  • 28
    Chica 07/10/2009 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Rekha! We sell padding compound to U.S. customers in our store. For international orders, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to help you with an order.

  • 29
    Fiona 07/16/2009 at 9:19 am

    Gosh this is such a clever idea and so simple. Have just ordered my padding compound!

  • 30
    Marlene 07/18/2009 at 1:09 am

    I just ordered the padding compound today — I can’t wait to try it out!

  • 31
    Jenn 07/20/2009 at 12:21 pm

    A couple of weeks ago, I was bored at work (hehe) and thought to myself – I wonder if it is possible to make my own notepads. So, I Googled it and came across this page. Then I was trying to find a place in Canada that sold Padding Compound. You would not believe how excited I was to find out that Wallacks sold it! Not only is Wallacks in Ottawa where I live, it is 15 minutes from work! I picked up a bottle on the way home and have been going crazy making pads ever since!! Thanks for posting this tutorial!

  • 32
    Kuroitenshi 08/07/2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hey there, I’m working on my own notepads, thanks very much for this site. I put a paper cutter, but I still cant’ seem to get my pages straight enough, it doesn’t help that the paper cutter I bought can only do up to 10 sheets at a time, it just takes a long time to cut through everything only for it not to be as straight as I would like, okay maybe not even straight, but the edges matching on at least one side. Do you have any suggestions that won’t break my pocket book? I’m a struggling artist, thank you.

  • 33
    Chica 08/08/2009 at 9:32 am

    Hi Kuroitenshi. Getting all your pages exactly the same size can be very tricky, I know, and I wish I had a perfect solution to offer you. Very careful measuring is the best course to take.

    One tip you can try is to put a piece of masking tape on the base of your cutter, lined up with the edge of the first page you want to cut. Then for each page you cut after that, the tape can be your guide. Just line it up to the edge of the tape, and that might you help keep the pages all the same size. Good luck!

  • 34
    Chica 08/10/2009 at 9:59 am

    Hey everybody, check this out. One of our readers, Dene, used our padding compound to re-attach the pages of a paperback book that were falling apart. She shared photos with us, which I’ve added to our Flickr group. Very clever!

  • 35
    Gillian 08/13/2009 at 5:06 pm

    Sounds fantastic. I want to make loads of notepads. Can I get this padding compound in England?

  • 36
    Chica 08/14/2009 at 7:35 am

    Hi Gillian! I’m not sure if padding compound is available in England or not, but we sell it in our store, and we do ship internationally. I’ll send you an e-mail with details. Any other international readers who are interested can contact for more info.

  • 37
    Sharon 09/05/2009 at 9:29 am

    Sounds fun using patterned paper scraps, and I will try it for my husbands business cards as well – what a great idea! When I was little and visited my Gramps, he would take us to the bank and get brand new crisp dollar bills, and then with a cardboard backing and thin typing paper cut to size make a pad of dollar bills with white pages in between. He used wood glue I believe, which was not as nice, but the rest of our visit we enjoyed the looks of astonishment on cashiers’ faces as we made our purchases with these bills ripped off of the pad.

  • 38
    Chica 09/05/2009 at 11:58 am

    Your Gramps was a smart and fun guy, Sharon. How fun for you kids! I had a friend once who did something similar for a newly-married couple, so that they could have fun spending cash on their honeymoon. There’s just something fun about a notepad of cash, huh? :)

  • 39
    Bonnie S. Holley 09/19/2009 at 10:23 pm

    This glue is an oldie but a goodie. A former boss of mine had us save all of our scrap paper…we cut it to size and glued it together for note-pads. Not as pretty as yours but efficient. An original green idea.

  • 40
    Tami 09/28/2009 at 8:45 pm

    For those who are having a hard time cutting the paper into equal and straight parts, you might want to consider a Dreamkuts machine from the makers of the Bind-It-All.

    This machine is awesome and easily creates perfectly matched papers in many sizes. It easily cuts through cardstock as well.

  • 41
    ha ha 09/30/2009 at 11:21 pm

    wow this is a really good idea! I am going to make it ASAP!!!

  • 42
    Tina 10/01/2009 at 12:51 pm

    The copy room at my office uses an actual table saw to cut the papers all the same size. If you are blessed with a wood saw in your workshop, this would work. Make sure you clamp the pages well before you start.

  • 43
    Becca 10/07/2009 at 11:06 am

    Thank you for this craft project! I have made one for my sister. Also, I printed coloring sheets, mazes, and other puzzles 4 to a sheet of paper for a activity book for my niece. Will continue to use your idea. I love your page and visit it several times a day.

  • 44
    Chica 10/07/2009 at 1:34 pm

    Wow, you guys are all full of great ideas and tips! Thanks for sharing with everyone :)

  • 45
    Marky 10/19/2009 at 11:44 pm

    I used to make tons of pads when I worked in a print shop. The cardboard used on the bottom is called chipboard.

    The best pads I ever made were for a salesman who would come in and have a stack of one dollar bills padded up. He’d keep them in a checkbook, and he said the reaction when he would rip out a few bills was always fun.

  • 46
    Sandy 10/25/2009 at 2:20 pm

    I just thought of another idea for the backing for the notepads. I think that cereal boxes would also make a good backing for notepads, especially if you’re interested in recycling. I now it’s not as sturdy as chipboard, but most of us have it in our homes and the price is right!

    I also love the idea of a pad of dollar bills, which would make a great gift for teenagers.

  • 47
    Chica 10/26/2009 at 7:37 am

    Marky, those dollar-bill-pads definitely sound like a winner. Who wouldn’t love that?

    Sandy, that’s a fantastic idea!

  • 48
    Catie 11/03/2009 at 9:39 pm

    This stuff is awsome!!
    When my niece graduated from college and she and her friends did the New York trip thing – I purchased “new” or fresh $1.00 bills from my local bank and padded them. They were for the tipping that takes place everywhere. My sis gave me some for my honeymoon trip too! You can even “pad” foreign currency as long as all of the money is the same size.

  • 49
    Ashley 11/09/2009 at 1:37 pm

    I’m super excited!! We have a Young Ladies Cookie Swap every year at our church and some of us participate in a “Bonus Round” which includes small crafts. THIS IS PERFECT! I can’t wait to share with the girls! The theme this year is ‘stars’ so maybe I will stamp a few stars on blank pages. Thanks for sharing this!!

  • 50
    Chica 11/09/2009 at 2:04 pm

    What a wonderful idea, Ashley. You might like reading our previous post on cookie swap tips, and we’ve got an invitation coming soon, so check back :)

    We’d love to see how your notepads come out!

  • 51
    mo 12/23/2009 at 7:44 am

    hello- i work in a very large facility that has tons of scrap paper that are made into pads and i always thought they had a padding machine. I was clueless!! Well, I like to use large pads as mouse pads so that I can write notes and not have that extra thing on my desk. I asked the guy who makes the scratch pads if he could glue my “mouse pad” together and he pulled out this huge jug of Elmers Glue All. He said ue used to have padding glue but he ran out and he cant find it thru our supplier so he just uses the glue all. This works amazing! The paper tears off without tearing up and the glue is very sturdy and its cheap!

  • 52
    Chica 12/23/2009 at 11:07 am

    Hi Mo. We are so happy to hear that your facility has such strong recycling habits and that you are making great use of scrap paper. I also love the mousepad idea. I’m glad you found a backup solution with the glue, but we’ve tested many adhesives and find that nothing compares to actual padding compound, which really performs the best. :)

  • 53
    Rob 01/31/2010 at 9:47 am

    We own a small home business and we collect mounds of endless scrap paper from printing. For years now I have torn 8 x 11 paper into quarters to make notepads. Although, one side of the paper has been printed on, we still use the blank side for notes etc…
    Thanks for the great idea! This I will use.

  • 54
    Chica 01/31/2010 at 10:03 am

    Rob, it’s wonderful to hear that you are recycling within your home business. Keep it up!

  • 55
    Paula 03/25/2010 at 12:38 pm

    Our local university does this with paper that has been printed only on one side. The students can get these notepads free which helps both the student and the environment!

  • 56
    Chica 03/25/2010 at 12:42 pm

    What a wonderful idea, Paula. Thanks for telling us about it!

  • 57
    Kazi Nishat 06/12/2010 at 9:40 am

    I thinked that it’s a Computer notepad. But now i saw that, It’s real notepad……….

  • 58
    Joe 08/09/2010 at 7:42 am

    For an even more special monetary gift, you can make a pad out of $2 bills. You might have to collect from different banks to get enough.

    A $2 pad of money makes for a great gift!

  • 59
    Chica 08/09/2010 at 8:10 am

    Great idea, Joe! $2 bills are so rare that they are a lot of fun to spend and a pad of them would make a great gift.

  • 60
    Donna H. 09/01/2010 at 7:24 pm

    I can never seem to get my paintings hung. I would like to win the kit to make some notepads for special friends. Thanks for the chance.

  • 61
    Carrie 09/18/2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks to Sheri
    For connecting me with this awesome site!

  • 62
    cheryl 10/21/2010 at 6:44 pm

    just made my first notepad with your padding compound! it works! it is going to be a teacher gift for Halloween! I am so excited! thank you guys so much!!!

  • 63
    Jo 10/21/2010 at 9:49 pm

    What a great idea for a teacher gift. So glad you like the padding compound.

  • 64
    Barbara 11/08/2010 at 10:45 pm

    I just ordered my padding compound and I can’t wait to get started making my notepads. I plan on giving them as Christmas gifts with each person’s name on it and a clip art of something that they like. For instance, my sister likes “Hellow Kitty”. So I will be using that for the clip art. I am so excited that I came across this page. Thanks for the template.

  • 65
    Sue 11/11/2010 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks so much for the information! For our teacher gifts this year, I’ve had my sons write “From the desk of…” and their teacher’s name at the bottoms of a piece of paper then took it to Office Depot and had copies made and then I’ll glue them into notepads!! I think they’ll be a big hit – they’re adorable!

  • 66
    Audrey Hayes 11/17/2010 at 4:34 pm

    I have made notepads with Modge Podge. Will the padding glue do a better job? The result was pleasing to me, but now I have been asked to make pads for my hubby’s boss. I really want them to look good. Thanks for the tip about putting a piece of cardboard on the back. I had not even thought of that!

  • 67
    HPcom 11/19/2010 at 3:23 pm

    COOL! amazing!
    i have 5

  • 68
    Cyndee 11/22/2010 at 8:32 am

    I am excited about this project and am looking forward to receiving the padding compound. I do have a question however. If I want to create the padsusing a word template (and dividing one sheet of paper into 4) What is the best way to cut sevwral sheets at once? Thank you so much!!

  • 69
    Chica 11/22/2010 at 6:57 pm

    Cyndee, I find that a paper trimmer works best for me when trying to cut full sheets down to size. Then you can just take a few printed sheets and cut down the middle, then cut each half again. Hope that helps!

  • 70
    Connie 11/26/2010 at 12:58 am

    Back when I was into making cards, I would buy a ream of cardstock paper and I would take it to Kinkos (now its known as Fedex kinkos) and they would cut the whole ream in half for me or in quarters it worked perfect because they have a huge cutter and it would cut the whole ream (500 sheets) 1 chop and it was a perfect even cut.

  • 71
    Katie 12/08/2010 at 3:32 pm

    I am LOVING the padding compound I purchased on your website! I have made so many unique Christmas gifts. I’ve made notepads as Christmas gifts for the babysitter, for my son’s preschool teachers, for a secret Santa gift. They have turned out so cute! And they REALLY WORK just like a notepad you would buy at the store! Thanks, for the idea of using Fedex Kinkos to cut the paper. They didn’t mind at all. Plus I was able to purchase the cardboard backing there and they cute it as well!! WONDERFUL product for making gifts!!!!

  • 72
    Chica 12/08/2010 at 6:55 pm

    Katie, we’re so glad you are having such fun making notepads. Once you start, it’s kind of hard to stop, isn’t it? :)

  • 73
    brenda 02/17/2011 at 11:13 pm

    I had a lot of fun with this stuff at Christmas. I made pads of $1 bills for gifts. Also made notepads but the money books were a big hit.

  • 74
    Lili 03/27/2011 at 11:11 pm

    The glue arrived and I have made my first ever custom notepad! Unfortunately I couldn’t find clips so my sheets of paper aren’t perfectly aligned. Anyway, it was a lot of fun! Thank you for the inspiration. I plan to make more notepads.

  • 75
    Chica 03/28/2011 at 6:31 am

    So cute, Lili. Thanks for sharing!

  • 76
    Tammy 03/28/2011 at 12:22 pm

    Have you tried to make a coloring tablet or book with the padding compound? I planning my son’s 4th birthday and found the your site looking for crayon birthday ideas. I want to make small coloring books/tablets from pictures of my son celebrating his other birthdays for a party favor or station.

  • 77
    stephanie 03/29/2011 at 1:10 am

    I just ordered the padding compound and am excited to make some of my own notepads. My fiancee and I are starting to build a house and we need notepads as we organize all the details! What a surprise it will be to him when I give him the “perfect home building organizer and notepad”. Thanks for publishing your ideas!

  • 78
    Chica 03/29/2011 at 7:00 am

    Tammy, a coloring pad is a great idea. We haven’t tried that, but I think it would make a fun party favor!

  • 79
    Chica 03/29/2011 at 7:04 am

    Great idea, stephanie. We’ll get your order out right away!

  • 80
    irene 04/10/2011 at 9:21 am

    onde encontro o composto de preenchimento aqui no Rio de Janeiro – Brasil?
    Estou adorando todas as idéias e gostaria de utilizar.

  • 81
    Jo 04/10/2011 at 9:28 am

    irene, vendemos no nosso armazém e pode embarcar para si se quiserem. Lamento, mas não fala português para desculpar a tradução.

  • 82
    Karen 06/03/2011 at 10:15 pm

    You can also buy repositionable glue sticks that you can run along the top of the back of each paper in the stack and turn your pads of paper into Post-it style pads of paper.

  • 83
    Chica 06/04/2011 at 11:25 am

    Karen, I think I found the removable restickable glue sticks you’re talking about. What a neat idea!

  • 84
    Marie-Anne 09/02/2011 at 5:08 pm

    This is so awesome! My head is buzzing now!

  • 85
    Chica 09/03/2011 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks, Marie-Anne. Being able to make your own notepads certainly does open up a world of possibilities!

  • 86
    Rosie 09/09/2011 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve made TEXAS scratchpads for many years now. Just order new dollar bills from your bank. Stack as many as you wish and pad them with the compound. Place them in a checkbook holder and label with the saying ” TEXAS Scratchpad “. Trust me, when you are ready to leave a tip in a restaurant and tear these off the reactions are priceless!

  • 87
    Chica 09/09/2011 at 1:21 pm

    What a cute idea, Rosie. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 88
    xristos 10/27/2011 at 5:02 am

    do i have to use the specific glue? or i can use any glue?

  • 89
    Chica 10/27/2011 at 8:06 am

    Xristos, you’ll need to use a special kind of glue called “padding compound” for this project. You can purchase it here in our Amazon store.

  • 90
    xristos 10/27/2011 at 12:39 pm

    can i find it on a local store??? how i’ll ask it? i am from Greece!!!

  • 91
    Chica 10/27/2011 at 12:46 pm

    You might be able to find it in a specialty art store or office supply store. Ask for “padding compound”. If you don’t have any luck, send us a note at and we can give you an international shipping quote.

  • 92
    Terri 11/27/2011 at 9:14 pm

    I am excited to hear about the compound but have not been able to find it at hardware or craft stores in our area so will be ordering from your site! Several years ago I did custom order note pads, invites, stationery, etc. and it was so much fun! At the time I had a print shop pad them for me but love the idea of doing it myself. Do you recommend a certain type cardboard for your backing? I use a Printshop program and used the postcard feature and it works great for making 4 of the perfect size for cutting for notepads. I have recently retired and am planning on doing this again for friends and family. Thanks!!!

  • 93
    Chica 11/28/2011 at 9:01 am

    So glad we could fill the need for you, Terri. You can use just about any type of cardboard, but something with a porous edge (versus laminated or plastic) will work best. We’ve had some readers recycle cardboard from cereal boxes, which we think is a great idea for a recycled-paper notepad.

  • 94
    Becki 12/06/2011 at 6:06 pm

    We have often had $1.00 bills padded to give as special gifts. It’s totally legal – and they have fun pulling off the dollars for tips or payment. 25 in a pad works well.

  • 95
    sandi gileo 12/11/2011 at 10:06 pm

    thanks millions!
    that is an awesome idea…one that my friend and i heard about many years ago….
    looking forward to trying out the compound! :-)

  • 96
    Cathy 12/12/2011 at 10:35 am

    I have been making these for years with recycled paper from the office. Folks love using the scratch pads & keep them by their phone for the many calls we deal with. I don’t do anything fancy since I’m not selling them. I use the 1″ binder clips & padding glue I buy from local office supply store. I have used Elmers white glue in a pinch. I buy the padding glue by the quart because I make so many. I really like the idea of “prettying” them up with scrapbook paper & trying to sell a few. I have toyed with the idea of backing them with cardboard & wouldn’t that be a great way to use up cereal boxes & other packaging?

  • 97
    Chica 12/12/2011 at 11:13 am

    Kudos for your recycling efforts, Cathy! I’m sure your colleagues love them. Using cereal boxes for the backing is a great idea, too.

  • 98
    Amy 12/15/2011 at 1:42 pm

    These would make cute favors for a baby shower too!

  • 99
    becky boyer 02/13/2012 at 12:29 am

    I just ordered your padding compound. After ordering I sat here and read through all 98 comments underneath the tutorial. I don’t think I can go wrong with a product that has such RAVE reviews dating back over THREE YEARS!!! I am totally PSYCHED to receive this product and start crafting with it!
    Thanks Chica and Jo!

  • 100
    Chica 02/13/2012 at 8:10 am

    So glad you are excited about this product, Becky. We’d love to hear about any fun projects you make with it.

  • 101
    Yvonne 02/14/2012 at 7:06 pm

    What a great idea! I found your idea on Pinterest, I will definitely be trying this!

  • 102
    Diane 02/15/2012 at 10:30 pm

    I found this on Pinterest, too, and remembered that we used to make these at school – also had the advantage of a press. We used dies from Ellison or Accucut to make appropriate shapes for the pads. For instance, we made telephone message pads using the telephone die. Used the padding compound – and didn’t make the pads too thick.

  • 103
    Kaylee's Education Studio 03/20/2012 at 6:34 pm

    This looks like such a fun craft!

  • 104
    Jennifer 03/23/2012 at 3:35 am

    I’m so excited to try this. I’ve always wondered how people do this when they make personalized notepads. I assumed they took it or sent it somewhere to have this done. I also just googled it and found that you can make your own padding compound. Just type that in to eHow and you’ll see the recipe. I don’t have a lot of money but I’m dying to try this. I’m going to try this recipe first and see how it works. Thanks for the idea!

  • 105
    Frances 03/31/2012 at 9:20 am

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but I did read about half of them so I don’t know if this has been suggested or not. Call a print shop and ask if they will sell the padding compound to you. When I worked for a medical lab in the early ’90s, we made our own note pads to cut down on costs. That stuff was red not white and was applied with a paintbrush too, so a print shop may have different colors of the compound.

  • 106
    Kate 04/28/2012 at 8:17 pm

    Jennifer.. I would love to know the link to “making padding compound” and how successful it was. !! Thanks for the ideas everyone

  • 107
    Jessica 05/25/2012 at 9:27 pm

    :-( Went to Amazon to order padding compound and they say it’s out of stock and don’t know when or IF it will be available.

  • 108
    Chica 05/26/2012 at 9:33 am

    Jessica, there is more on the way, and it should be in stock in a few days. Please check back!

  • 109
    Jessica 06/07/2012 at 4:34 pm

    Just ordered my padding compound…can’t wait to get started!

  • 110
    Tyna 06/12/2012 at 3:43 pm

    I am excited about making these notepads too. Just ordered my compound from Amazon, can start on Friday, Yippee! I plan to do butterfly notepads to match my note cards & bookmarks. Thanks again (:

  • 111
    Mama Spark 06/20/2012 at 8:25 am

    Hi Chica,
    While looking around I actually found a website that has instructions for making your own padding compound.


  • 112
    Bonnie 06/20/2012 at 10:16 am

    I worked in the printing field for over 20 years. I used padding compound a lot! It is elastic, it is not stiff/hard. Two coats are better than one. I have used a “padding press” that squeezes the paper together. A piece of wood with a heavy weight on top of it works as well. I have made thousands of note pads, I even padded a stack of “one dollar bills” for a proud Grandparent at Christmas time. The grand kids loved it when they were given a dollar peeled from the “stack”!

  • 113
    Chica 06/22/2012 at 1:12 pm

    Mama Spark (Pam) and Jennifer,

    I tried the homemade padding compound recipe last night, and thought I’d share my results with you. On the plus side, it was easy to make, and it does make a working notepad. On the minus side, though, the mixture thickened to a glob and was completely unspreadable — I had to put the jar in hot water to let it melt before I could use it. It would be frustrating to have to do this every time you want to use it. Also, it took several hours to dry, while our padding compound takes just a few minutes. Finally, I was not happy with the look of the homemade compound, because it was clear and thin. I prefer the thicker, white look of our product.

    I hope my comments help!

  • 114
    Rebecca N. McKinnon 07/02/2012 at 1:05 am

    Wanted to thank you for this. Found it on Pinterest, and it’s such an awesome DIY idea. If you’re interested, I write about my DIY projects sometimes at my site:

  • 115
    Jackie 07/14/2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love this. I have been looking everywhere for somthing like this. Thank You…I am off to Amazon.

  • 116
    tr 08/06/2012 at 9:01 am

    Is padding compound the same thing as rubber cement? Will that work just as well? Can’t wait to make some personalized notepads for my desk at work.

  • 117
    Chica 08/06/2012 at 9:09 am

    Hi tr! Padding compound is a white, glue-like substance specially formulated for binding notepads, and is not the same as rubber cement. While some of our readers have had varied amounts of success with rubber cement or other alternatives, we have found that padding compound works the best and looks the most professional, since that’s what it was designed for and is what the professionals actually use! :)

  • 118
    tr 08/06/2012 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks Chica.

  • 119
    Karen C. 08/21/2012 at 12:45 am

    For quite awhile I have been saving envelopes we receive in the mail which have security patterns printed on their reverse sides. You’d be amazed by the variety of patterns and colors that they come in. Some of them actually are quite pretty. I think they would make really cute little notepads. Thanks for sharing the info about the compound.

  • 120
    Chica 08/21/2012 at 8:13 am

    Karen, that’s a wonderful idea. I bet you could do something really amazing with all those cool blue patterns!

  • 121
    Beth Huggins 08/23/2012 at 8:10 am

    Is it possible to get this product shipped to Australia, or is it already available here in Australia?

  • 122
    Chica 08/27/2012 at 8:19 am

    Sorry Beth, but we sell our padding compound through Amazon now, and I don’t believe they ship to Australia. Hopefully you are able to find another source!

  • 123
    Rosie 08/27/2012 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been making these for years. Make great teacher gifts! I use popsicle sticks along the top edge and secure with binder clips on top. In the office where I work, we used to waste so much paper. Now we have a bunch of various sized scrap pads for everyone! Great way to recycle! I’ve also had my jar of padding compound for years. A little goes a long way. Well worth the investment.

  • 124
    Chica 08/27/2012 at 1:08 pm

    Popsicle sticks are a great idea for clamping the paper together, Rosie!

  • 125
    Adelle 11/09/2012 at 4:23 pm

    I am having trouble with the note part turning out clear or white – mine comes out with little tiny x s all over them. I have gone into the page and lightened the transparency to 90 but it still looks strange. When I have it on my screen it looks clear and fine, but the printing comes out weird.

  • 126
    Chica 11/11/2012 at 12:28 pm

    Adelle, I’m afraid I don’t have any more advice to give on this… sounds like you’ve got a problem with your printer, maybe. Hopefully you have a tech-savvy friend who can come over and give you some hands-on help?

  • 127
    Heather P 12/24/2012 at 11:22 am

    I order the compound last week for a project I found on pinterest. I used left over scrap book paper and card stock to make the note pads. I found that the sie of my pads was only hindered by the size of my clips (small). With just paper I was about to get 86 sheets together, card stock and paper mix was around 60ish, and just card stock I got 42 together. I applied a couple of liberal coats to the edges, and it all dried in about an hour and half.

  • 128
    Chica 12/25/2012 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for sharing your results, Heather. If you want to make thicker pads and can’t find bigger clips, you can also try putting the pad on the edge of a table, sticking out just a little, and putting a heavy book across the top.

  • 129
    Terri Lane 01/04/2013 at 3:29 am

    That’s amazing! It looks very easy to make! I will try if i can make like this too. :) Thanks for sharing.

  • 130
    Pat 01/07/2013 at 9:53 am

    According to this product is no longer available :( :(

  • 131
    Chica 01/07/2013 at 11:05 am

    Pat, our inventory on Amazon just ran out yesterday, but we’ve got a bunch more on the way. Please check back in a couple days!

  • 132
    Joy Elyse 01/15/2013 at 10:50 pm

    I was able to find padding compound at my local art store. I’m really glad I bought it. Thanks for the tutorial! I made a few notepads of my own and have lots of padding compound to make more. Check it out:

  • 133
    Chica 01/16/2013 at 7:24 am

    Great results, Joy. Thanks for sharing!

  • 134
    Angi 01/25/2013 at 5:52 pm

    I happened on this site by accident but am glad I did! I plan to use this to make a quote a day calendar for a very good friend of mine. Thanks so much!

  • 135
    Chica 01/25/2013 at 6:57 pm

    We’re happy you found us, Angi, and hope you stick around to enjoy more fun and easy projects!

  • 136
    PAT 03/10/2013 at 2:00 pm

    This is what a print shop I worked at did for large jobs.
    Stack the paper, protect the table surface with cardboard and compress with a brick or 2 on top. Apply 2 coats of padding compound drying in between. We used an adjustable “paper knife” to divide into approx. pad sizes (50-250 sheets). Count out the number of sheets you want in your pad put a kitchen knife flat on top and bottom, add spacers as needed and tie together. Stab the paper stack and cut the glue.

  • 137
    Marion 03/17/2013 at 1:20 am

    I’ve been using my jar of padding compound for years. I bought it at a local printer’s. They only had really large containers, so we agreed on a price and I brought my own jar. Little did I know that it would largely be a lifetime supply. I’ve coloured small amounts of the compound using paste food colours (the kind used by bakers). You only use tiny amounts and it doesn’t seem to affect the padding compound. I’ve also used two colours and applied them in stripes. It bumps up the personalization level another notch.

  • 138
    Chica 03/17/2013 at 10:06 am

    Marion, we agree that a little bit of this stuff goes a long way! I love the idea of coloring it with paste food coloring — we’ll have to try that out!

  • 139
    Cheryl R 04/14/2013 at 12:20 am

    I am not sure if the product I have is authentic padding compound or not, but what I have has thickened to the point I cannot use it. Can it be re-constituted in some way or should I just get more?

  • 140
    Chica 04/14/2013 at 1:52 pm

    Sorry, Cheryl, but we have no way of knowing how best to treat your product without knowing what it is :/ If there’s a label on it listing the manufacturer, perhaps you can contact them for assistance.

  • 141
    Audrey 04/17/2013 at 3:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this post. I have tried using padding glue and it’s really very effective. You just have to be sure that you applied it clean so that you don’t make a mess on the papr. I dries so fast and you can right away use it.

  • 142
    Claire 04/17/2013 at 6:56 pm

    When I looked on amazon it said out of stock when will it be back

  • 143
    Chica 04/18/2013 at 8:55 am

    Claire, we’ve got a bunch of padding compound on its way to Amazon tomorrow. Please check back next week!

  • 144
    Katie 06/02/2013 at 3:37 pm

    Great idea–but where to find the padding compound locally?

  • 145
    Chica 06/05/2013 at 6:54 am

    Katie, you might be able to find padding compound in an art supply store if you have one in your town. Otherwise, our store on Amazon might be your best bet.

  • 146
    Claudia van holt 07/05/2013 at 2:11 pm

    When I make my pads, the ends come out warped and not straight. I’ve been using two pieces of wood and vices, do the binder clips keep it straighter?

  • 147
    Chica 07/06/2013 at 4:05 pm

    Claudia, the wood and vices should work fine. My suggestions would be to 1) try making sure the pieces of wood are as close to the glued edge as possible, 2) don’t apply the glue too thick, and 3) make sure the wood/vices are clamped tightly. Hope that helps!

  • 148
    Lorraine Jacobs 10/31/2013 at 1:17 am

    I have also tried using this padding glue and it really does work out well. I love it because it dries up fast and it is also very easy to apply. I also suggest this to my friends who are making their own notepads.

  • 149
    Judy H 11/01/2013 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for a really fun idea. I have lots of scrapbook paper for which I wanted to find another use. I also enjoy making customized gifts for friends, so this is another thing I can do.

  • 150
    R P 11/23/2013 at 2:14 pm

    I used to work in a print shop way back when and we made these pads all the time out of recycled paper for all the offices we served. Padding compound works quite well. We even made the spiral twist pads with colored paper. We always used heavy reams of paper to hold the pads together while the compound dried. We used a small 2 inch paint brush to brush the compound on and used two coats of compound. The pads were great and we never wasted printing paper.

  • 151
    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.

  • 152
    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.

  • 153
    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!

  • 154
    Elli 05/08/2014 at 10:50 am

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

  • 155
    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.

  • 156
    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.

  • 157
    Lyndsey 10/16/2014 at 10:24 am

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

  • 158
    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?

  • 159
    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!

  • 160
    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.

  • 161
    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 !!!!

  • 162
    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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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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