Jo and I have recently discovered a special type of glue that you can use to make your own notepads. It’s 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! Here are the basic instructions:
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. Secure the sheets together with a couple of binder clips. (You can also add a sheet of plain white paper on the top and bottom of the stack if you want to protect the notepad from glue drips, as we’ve done here.)
Now take a small brush and apply the padding compound liberally along the edge of the pad. In just a few minutes’ time, it will dry to a smooth and non-sticky finish. If you have a particularly large notepad and would like extra strength, you can also apply a second or third coat.
And just like that, you’ve made your own custom notepad!
If you’re as intrigued by this stuff as I was when I first found out about it, you’ll want to know where to get it! It seems that most places sell it by the quart or gallon, but 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.)
The possibilities for these notepads are endless! Here are a few ideas I’ve tried so far:
- Make a mat stack for you or for a scrapbooking friend. Simply cut a collection of scrapbook papers a little larger than an average photo print (for example, 4.5″ x 6.5″) and turn them into a pad. You can then tear off a mat one at a time, whenever you want to mat a photo in your scrapbook.
- Turn scraps of paper into a cute scratch pad. What’s more fun than cute, printed paper when it comes to the scratch pad on your desk? Just take your otherwise useless scraps and pull them together into a notepad you’ll really enjoy using.
- Bundle business cards into a stack. My husband is constantly scattering his business cards all over his truck and bag because they are loose and hard for him to keep together. I took a stack of them and made a notepad out of them and now he has an organized stack that’s easy to carry. His clients are always impressed and delighted when he pulls a card off the pad.
There are many more ideas possible here, from score sheets to grocery lists to personalized stationery. Jo has several fun notepad projects in the works, so keep an eye out for what she comes up with next!