Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Recycle X 5: Note Pads

A couple of months back I preordered some art books for my kid, and last week they finally arrived. I try to recycle all the boxes and packing materials I receive via my own shipping, but this package came with a strange mound of five folded cardboard filler pieces:

Generally I toss pieces like this in my paper recycling box to use for mailing photos I don't want bent or as frame backing, but these pieces are all brand-new, and the way they're folded and preforated intrigued me. I decided to make them my next recycle/upcycle project, and challenge myself to find five different ways to make them into something else.

The first idea I had involved the most banged-up, creased piece:

I carefully separated it down the middle along the preforartions:

I then got some old manuscript pages from my paper recycling box and cut them in half:

Using one side of my three-hole punch, I punched two centered holes in the top of the carboard pieces and the short end of my trimmed papers:

To put them together, I thought about using binder rings, ribbons or even some twist ties. Then I remembered I had some of the larger size of Tim Holtz's Idea-ology brads leftover from another project, and grabbed those:

Together the brads, paper and cardboard pieces make two nice refillable note pads (of which I can never have enough):

Making your own notepads saves money, recycles used paper and even junk mail; all you need is something with a blank side. You can also customize this easy project with your own touches by covering the cardboard with pretty fabric or paper and/or using different-colored paper and bindings for the note part.

Stayed tuned in the weeks ahead for more ideas on how to recycle cardboard into writer stuff as I use up the other pieces.


  1. I just started doing this! LOVE IT!

  2. It's a great way to go green with your used papers, and fun to try to think up new ways to reuse them. I'm working on next week's post today, so stay tuned for more ideas. :)