How To Make A DIY Decorative Notebook

Here is some great back to school ideas for both organization and to be thrifty! Check out these Simple DIY notebooks you can add to your school supplies!

Save money on back to school items with this clever DIY decorative notebook repurposing project! Notebooks are needed during the school year for all sorts of reasons. Your child may need one to journal, to take notes in, to sketch ideas in, and so much more. Did you know that fancy, decorative notebooks and journals can cost as much as five dollars or more new? Why spend big bucks on a decorative notebook when you can instead make your own DIY notebook and maybe even upcycle some of the craft supplies in your house already? You don’t need to be super creative or artsy to create a notebook worthy of back to school season. Take a look and how you can whip one up this weekend and have it ready in time for back to school!

Simple Back To School Project: How To Make A DIY Decorative Notebook

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A plain colored notebook can be bought on sale for as low as a quarter, or perhaps you already have a few blank ones around the house. If so, grab a few and see how easy it is to make your own DIY decorative notebooks. You and your child can easily create a notebook that is fun, fresh, and will look like you spent big bucks on it. You don’t need a great deal of supplies, just a few items you can probably find around your home. Don’t forget to include your name on your notebook!

Related: Get Kids Excited About the School Year With A Back to School Party!

Supplies needed:

Optional Decorative Items

If you lack any of these supplies, head to your local dollar store where you can find everything here for less. You can also find these items at your local arts and crafts stores or even big box retail stores.

Related: How To Prep The Best Supplies For Back to School With Trapper Keeper Binders


  1. Cut a piece of paper to fit your cover.
  2. Using your stencils or simply by free handing, trace designs onto your scrapbooking paper. You can cut out shapes, initials, the school mascot, whatever you choose. Use a variety of colors.
  3. Add some glue to the back and press firmly into place. You can also do the back cover if you wish.
  4. Once the cover fabric has dried, you can now start gluing on your designs and letters. Layer them to add interest and cool design. Allow to dry.
  5. Use your markers and glitter glue to add extra details, lettering, etc. Be creative and don’t be afraid to go overboard!
  6. Allow your notebook to dry for a few hours before using or placing in a backpack.
  7. You can even make a name plate out of your scrapbook paper for the inside of the notebook if you wish. It makes it feel more special and personal that way.

These notebooks are so easy to make you can easily whip one up for each subject. Find old notebooks around the home and give them a new and colorful life when you give this simple DIY a try. You can create a whole set of notebooks for just pennies, and they will be original and unique to your child.

This same concept can also be tried on smaller notepads and notebooks, journals, and any spiral bound book. Take a look around and see what you have to work with and get started! A custom designed repurposed notebook is much easier than you think and a back to school project your child will love.

Looking for more great ways to save money on back to school items? Check out our tips on where to find stylish second-hand school clothes!

What would you put on your back to school notebook? Tell me how you get crafty in the comments!

Copyright: Vector Image by StockUnlimited

22 thoughts on “How To Make A DIY Decorative Notebook”

  1. What a great idea! I remember being able to get 10 plain notebooks for $1 when I was a kid, but wanting the more expensive ones because they were so fun and unique. I love the idea of using scrapbook paper and glitter glue to make your own unique notebooks. That will definitely save a lot of money. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

  2. This looks like a really fun project to work on with my Kiddies. They love decorated books and supplies but you’re so right – the cost difference between a plain book and the fancy ones can be a bit shocking to our budget. This is a great way to let them stand out in their own way and still keep our pockets happy.

  3. I have an new obsession with cute little journals. All of the back-to-school items have me feeling very nostalgic. This is a great project to get the children back in the spirit of school. It’s perfect for a first day of school notebook for jotting down the essentials.

  4. Ah, I love this post. Thanks for another helpful one. I usually buy new notebooks for the kids. But I use the old ones just for my writing. With this, I can be more inspired.

  5. Great way to make decorating a notebook more personal, the idea can also be used to make journals, which are also thoughtful bridesmaids gifts for weddings too! As you can tell I don’t have kids, but there are definitely fun way to re-purpose the idea for adults too! :-)

  6. I love the idea of decorative notebook covers and certainly beats the look of wrapping them in brown paper like we use to do a long time ago! I think that is a great way for people and kids to be creative and imagine changing them monthly or fitting them with a theme!

  7. I love the idea of making a notebook. Its a great way for kids to be creative and I like that they can decorate a different one for each subject that they may have in school.

  8. I remember the time in grade 7 when we all covered our note books and text books in brown craft paper, then I drew all over it. I thought I was the coolest most artistic kid. Totally forgot all about it until you blogged about doing that to books on today’s blog post! What a fun reminder – personalize and DIY to your own books again! Maybe I’ll do this with my daily planner :)

  9. I remember we used to reuse our old notebooks for the new school year. Whenever there are still blank pages, they should be maximized to save costs. Being creative in making decorations and designs on the cover page is fun. We can have it as a small back to school project.

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