Personalized Notebook

I don’t know about you, but I love giving gifts with a personal touch. And the easiest way to do that is to buy something pre-made and enhance it with your own embellishments. I made a bunch of these as Christmas presents a few years ago. They’re an easy, fun, and relatively cheap way to give a personalized gift that people will cherish.

Recently, I found I needed a notebook to keep a collection of thoughts, instead of having randomly scribbled post-it notes everywhere. After having made these for my sister, cousins, and mom, I realized I should make one for myself! All you need is a notebook and a good variety of stickers. If you’re like me, you have a bin of stickers arranged by occasion so you can pick and choose as you please.

This isn’t really a step-by-step how-to, but rather an idea you can take and run with. It’s something that could easily make a wonderful gift for Mother’s Day or Easter, since they’re fast approaching, as well as a birthday for your favorite writer, musician, or teenager.

The first step is to get a good notebook. This is subjective, however I have some preferences. Leather/Moleskin is probably not your best bet, as I doubt stickers will adhere well, and you’ll want this to last! I prefer a thick, paper-like cover with a matte finish. That being said, if you just wanted to add a splash of personality to your school books, this would certainly work on your standard 1-3 subject notebook. For a gift, however, look in stores with “office/school supplies.” You’ll want a “journal” as opposed to a regular notebook, because frankly those come with the best patterns. I’ve found some great ones in both CVS and Staples, but this flamingo one was purchased at Target.

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Then get decorating! I usually start off by putting the name on the notebook first. That way, you can build a border around it with the rest of the stickers. (or not! there are no rules!)

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In my experience, I’ve found the coolest collages are created when I use a variety of stickers with different shapes, sizes, textures, colors, sheen (glitter, matted, shiny), and thicknesses. Play around to create depth, as it’s more visually interesting and will make your notebook look way more intricate and involved than it was to make. Beyond that, they sell stickers for almost anything you can think of – flowers, sports, hobbies, travel… There are virtually no limits to what you can use and how you can layer everything.

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The best part is with these stickers, while they’ll stay in place when you’re finished, they’re also easily moved before you’re done. I played around with placement of a few of these before settling on a spot. While ideally you’ll find the perfect home for each piece before committing to placement, the truth is that’s not how the creative process works. Once you have more pieces of the puzzle in, you might realize that some things just might look better elsewhere. There was originally another butterfly where the brontosaurus is. I just wasn’t feeling it in the end!

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This notebook has already been put to use, and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I have no doubt you’ll have the same reaction to your finished product, whether or not you’re the intended recipient.

Happy crafting!

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National Craft Month

So, apparently March is National Craft Month. I feel like had I known this earlier, I would have had an appropriate celebration prepared. Instead, I will probably just take advantage of some of the deals that are going on, like I need more art supplies! Incidentally, the only reason I know about National Craft Month is because of a coupon I received from Jo-Ann Fabrics. So that you, too, can take advantage of all that NCM has to offer, I’ve included some insider deal info for you below.

Jo-Ann Fabrics is having a sale on all their scrap-booking supplies, so you should get in on that. Today only (March 1, through 11:59pm) they’re also offering 70% off Vinyl Wall Decor.They’re also showing new craft videos and How-To ideas on their Pinterest page every day this month!

Michael’s has some fun in-store events happening nationally all month long, so you’ll want to check out the schedule for the store nearest you on their website. They are offering lots of demos for small projects you can make and take home either for free or with the purchase of basic supplies, which seems like a great deal.

Even Overstock.com has some suggestions for how you can celebrate and make the most of National Craft Month! Some helpful hints include trying something new that you’ve always wanted to, and making sure you choose a project that you can finish during March.

How am I going to celebrate? Well, among other things, I intend to cash in on my Groupon for Color Me Mine! Maybe I’ll finally make a new mug to replace my favorite one which broke oh-so-tragically a couple years back. (Pictured below.)

Keep me posted on all your crafting this month. I’d love to hear if you tried out a new project, completed an old one, or cashed in on any great deals!