Creative Recycling: Handmade Notepad Step-by-Step Guide
According to statistics from reduce.org, the average U.S. office employee discards 10,000 sheets of paper a year, so the creative department at lyonscg decided to take action to change that statistic, at least at our company.
The lyonscg creative department is especially guilty of going through a lot of paper–they print out creative compositions throughout the entire design process to maintain a grasp on how a website design evolves and how it could change for the better. Though this is a necessary step in visual design, it does create a pile of paper waste by the time design files are handed over to the development team.
Instead of discarding paper, the creative team recently came up with a unique alternative to “creatively recycle” these comps into handmade notepads. Our notepads were made by not-so-perfectly folding and tearing pages down to size, which gave them a homespun feel. If you’d prefer a more refined look, though, you could also create these notepads by cutting paper to exact sizes.
We’ve shared the whole step-by-step process with you below. So go forth, and recycle!
A bunch of otherwise useless scrap paper, torn or cut to 5.5″ x 8.5″
2 medium binder clips
Padding compound glue
1 Foam brush
Newspaper (to protect your work surface)
1. Stack it. Gather a stack of 5.5″ x 8.5″ paper, about 1/2 an inch thick when you squeeze the stack together. If you’re so inclined, choose a special “cover page” for the top of your notepad.
2. Jog it. Choose your notepad’s spine (one of the 5.5″ sides) and straighten your stack of paper by lightly tapping it against a flat surface so that your spine is straight and all the edges of paper are flush. You may have to back track and trim the spine side so that it will align flush, because this is the side that must align…the others don’t matter as much unless you are an uber-perfectionist. (And that’s fine.)
3. Clip it. Once you’ve straightened your stack, clip the stack just next to the spine on the 8.5″ sides to hold the pages in place.
4. Glue it. Place the clipped notepad on a newspaper-covered, flat surface. Using the foam brush, paint the padding compound onto the spine of the notepad. Paint from side to side with edges of the paper, not against them.
5. Dry it. Per the instructions on your padding compound container, allow the glue to dry for an appropriate amount of time.
6. Glue it. Apply a second coat of padding compound.
7. Dry it. Allow the second coat to dry.
8. Boom. You’ve just made a notepad out of recycled paper. You’re saving the planet, and you’re pretty awesome for it.