As we all get ready for La Rentrée and the “Back to School” period, The Printing Report takes a look at three videos which share novel ways to customize your notebooks ready for the new school year.

As a fun art activity in the lead up to the return to school, take a leaf from these online crafters who have transformed plain notebooks into personalized works of art.

5 DIY Back to School NOTEBOOKS by Arte y Salud en Casa

There are five designs featured in this video, each featuring different art techniques.

The techniques featured include:

  • Tracing and cutting paper shapes and gluing them to the cover, then gluing on additional shapes that you have cut out with decorative stamps or scissors.
  • Using a foam-covered plastic bottle cap to create a stamp, add patterns to a plain cover using poster paint.
  • Adding detail by first painting watercolor designs onto a sheet of white cardboard, then cutting around the designs and gluing them to the cover of the notepad.
  • Painting a rainbow onto a sheet of white card the same size as the notepad, then gluing this to the cover of the notepad. Use marker pens to add your favorite quote to the front cover.
  • Use wasabi tape to create several lines across the cover of your notepad. Then glue small triangles of colorful paper along the edge of the tape to create a bunting-like effect – super cute!

Favorite tip: This video includes a fab tip when covering spiral-bound notepads. First, remove the metal spiral the notepad so that you can completely decorate the front and back covers. Simply re-punch the holes in the cover before you carefully rethread the spiral to complete the notepad.


DIY customized notebook covers by Saga Fairytale

This is a really simple but great-looking technique for adding a personal image to the covers of your school books.

  1. First choose an image – maybe a favorite photo, or from a Google image search – then line it up on two Word documents.
  2. You can personalize it further by adding a label, logo or quote to the word document before printing.
  3. Once you’ve printed both pages, tape the two images together so they look like one picture. Line up the front, then hold in place with tape, before taping the back. Remove the tape at the front and use glue to neaten up the facing edge.
  4. Mark the front, spine, and back of the notepad onto the front of the paper. Then add glue to the notepad. Line up the marks on the front of the paper with the edges of the notepad, then use a card to push out any air bubbles.
  5. When dry, cut off the excess paper, then turn over and tape down the edges onto the inside cover.

Favorite tip: Carefully trim the excess paper where the spine is, then glue and fold this into the inside of the spine for a really neat finish.

Back to school Notebook DIY Cover selbst gestalten by Anna Gi

This video also offers several different techniques that you could use to decorate your school folders and notebooks.

The techniques featured include:

  • Cut out shapes from thick paper or card to create bespoke stencils. Then dab on paint to add colorful shapes to the cover. The example combines two stencils – a palm leaf and a pineapple – and three colors, including a gold marker pen.
  • Cover with one sheet of paper, then fold sections of shiny holographic paper to the outside edges to add an eye-catching color pop.
  • Use tracing paper to add a design to the cover of the notepad, before going over it in marker pen. The finishing touch is small rectangles of paper to cover the corners.
  • Add some watered-down poster paint, then use a drinking straw to blow the paint across the cover of the notepad to create a funky paint effect. This works really well in this video, where the crafter combines several different paint colors for a striking look.

The final example shows how to create a wipe-clean “to do” list.

First, create your design on a sheet of cardboard, before gluing a small sheet of lined paper to the center of the card. Insert your artwork into a plastic/ PVC sleeve or hole-punched plastic pocket for paper and secure in place. You can use washable markers to add to your to-do list without needing to replace the lined paper (by writing on the outside of the plastic sleeve).

Favorite tip: This video shares a great tip for neatening up the inside covers of your notepads. If you don’t want to show your working (the folded in edges of your cover paper and the Sellotape that holds it in place), simply glue down the first and last pages in the notepad to the inside page of the cover. Alternatively, cut out a rectangle of coordinating colored paper slightly smaller than the cover and glue in place to hide the edges – super neat!