Making DIY Pads of paper is so much easier than you may think! Sure, you can use a padding press machine if you are making high volumes of pads for your business, but for individuals or small businesses who can't invest in a machine right now, here are 4 simple steps to make adorable hand made pads of paper without a machine. You just need a couple simple supply items, and a little creativity to get the job done -- and they make great gifts!
What you Need to Make Pads of Paper:
① Paper of your choice (you can print 1 design for all pages, or make different pages with different designs. Make sure your design is light enough that you will be able to write on it and see what is written)
② Clamping Mechanism (I say mechanism because there are lots of options out there...you can use a couple binder clips, spring clamps, a table clamp, padding press, or even some heavy books)
③ Padding Glue (This is a specialty glue made specifically to allow for easy tear-off notepads, so alternative glues are not recommended. It is available in 1qt or 1gal quantities)
④ Paint Brush or Padding Brush (You need this to be able to brush the glue onto your stack. Any paint brush will work, just be sure to clean it thoroughly after use so it can be re-used)
⑤ Chip Board Backing (Optional - If you want you pad of paper to have a sturdy backing, you can use a chip board sheet. They come in several sizes, and are easily cut with an X-Acto knife. You can also use a cereal box, or any other cardboard-like material.)
⑥ Padding Knife (Optional - This is a helpful tool if you are making multiple pads at the same time...it lets you make them all in the same stack and then easily slice through the stack to break it up into the mini pads)
How to Make a Pad of Paper:
① Gather your pages together in a stack. Tap it straight on your table. If you are using the optional chipboard packing, place this on the bottom of your stack.
② Clamp your stack of paper together with your clamping mechanism. Do not cover up the spine you will be gluing, so clamp in the sides of your stack instead. You will want the stack to be night and tight all the way across for the best results. If using binder clips, consider also placing a heavy book on top to be sure the center of your stack is compressed as well.
Note: If making more than just 1 pad and you have a chipboard packing, you can stack them all on top of one another. You will use that optional padding knife to separate them at the chipboards once glued and dried.
③ Brush the padding glue onto the edge of your stack. Make sure they are covered well, from edge to edge and top to bottom. Instead of doing 1 thick coat, consider doing a few thinner coats, allowing them to dry in-between applications. Depending on the type of padding glue you have and the coat thickness, dry time can range from about 20-40 minutes.
④ Once glue is dry, you can remove your clamps and admire your adorable new pads of paper
Note: If you clamped multiple books, use the padding knife to cut the glue under each chipboard sheet and separate your pads.
Fun Tip #1 - Make them Magnetic:
Make your notepad magnetic with easy peel-and-stick magnetic strips. All you have to do it cut the magnet strip to size with standard scissors, peel the adhesive lining, and center it at the top of your notepad - viola! They come in several widths and adhesive strengths.
Fun Tip #2 - Make them Shimmer and Shine:
Or add some shimmery metallic foils to your notepad with DIY thermal toner foil. For this you will just need a laminator and a dry-toner printer to print the part of your design that you want foiled. There are metallic colors, glittery options, iridescent foils, holographic patterns, and more to choose from.
About the Author • Mallory Morsa has been the product expert at Binding101 since 2008, and has grown up in the industry. Every day she pushes herself to learn new information, incorporating real-life experiences to create solutions to the most common problems in the industry, and then present those solutions in a way that is easy to understand for everyone, from novices to experts.