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Nifty Notepads
crafts, Print Artist, Sierra software, gifts, children crafts, birthday parties
Birthday Money Pad

You may be wondering why anyone would want to make their own notepads since they're so inexpensive to buy.  One of many reasons is because it's such a fun way to give a gift of money.

My grandson Harrison (pictured here), who's favorite place to shop is the Dollar General Store, thought his personalized pad of $1 bills was "way cool!!"  He was the envy of all the kids at his birthday party, my other grandkids put in their requests for money pads for Christmas, and I found some new customers among the parents in attendance simply by giving my grandson a gift.  Marketing your computer craft creations couldn't be easier than that!

Here you'll learn the simple steps to create notepads using similar methods:  rubber bands & rulers; and InaPinch™. I'll also show you some easy notepad styles--magnetic, vinyl cover in 2 sizes, and laminated cover--that'll have you making notepads for everyone on your Christmas list!

Money PadA good quality commercial padding compound (sometimes called padding glue) is recommended, but rubber cement can be substituted.  Some crafters have used white glue for padding, but I've found that it's not very flexible once it dries, and notepad sheets can break off easily.   Fabric paint, which dries flexible, can also be used.

Most commercial padding compounds are pink in the jar and red when dry (great for Christmas notepads).  Some padding compounds are white and dry clear; and if you pour the amount of compound you plan to use into a small container, you can color it with powdered pigment, food coloring, or add glitter to add extra embellishment to your pads.

Save blank paper margins cut from other computer craft projects and pad them to use for small magnetic notepads.  These make very inexpensive promotional give-aways for your home business.  You can also create promotional notepads to sell to other businesses, like realtors, hair dressers, dentists, masons, carpenters, etc.

The Rubber Bands & Rulers Method

When I first discovered computer crafting, this was the way most of the PALs were making notepads--paper/cardboard stacks between two wooden rules held together with heavy-duty rubber bands.  It works well, but can be somewhat cumbersome if you're trying to make large pads or a tall stack of pads (an extra pair of hands is recommended).

  • Cut your paper and cardboard backers to the desired size.  Create a stack of several pads, separating each pad with a cardboard backer.  The cardboard backer on each pad will hold the pad in your notepad cover or give magnet-backed pads the stiffness needed.  TIP: Recycle food boxes (such as rice, cereal, crackers, etc.) for notepad backers since the backer won't be visible once your design is finished and are thrown away when the pad's used up.
  • Loosely holding your stack with the edge to be padded facing down, tap the stack on the desktop several times.  This will ensure that the edge of the papers (and cardboard backers) to receive the padding glue is flush.  
  • When the edges of the stack are relatively even, hold the pad firmly in your non-dominant hand.  Sandwich the stack between 2 flat pieces of wood (such as strong wooden rulers).  The ends of the wood pieces should extend about 2-inches on each side of the stack of paper and should be as close as possible to the edge of the stack you'll be applying the padding compound to.
  • With your non-dominant hand firmly holding your stack between the two pieces of wood, tightly wrap 2 strong rubber bands around the 2 pieces of wood that extend on each side of the stack.  You are now ready to apply the padding glue.
  • Using a stiff-bristled brush, apply the padding glue to the edge of your pad with a "scrubbing" motion so that every sheet receives the padding glue. To speed the drying time, use a blow dryer or embossing gun, but keep your heat source moving so as not to bubble the padding glue.  After the padding glue dries (usually within 30 minutes), apply a second coat if desired.
  • When completely dry, remove the rubber bands and the wood, and peel your stack of pads into individual pads.

The Padding Clamp Method Some crafters didn't make notepads because the rulers & rubber bands method was a bit cumbersome, and it can be difficult with arthritic hands.  So several years ago my friend Danny and I developed a padding gadget we named InaPinch™.  We're no longer selling them, but you might want to make your own similar hand-held padder (if you have a good table saw and drill press).  There are also now similar padding clamp devices being sold online.


notepad clamp Step 1

Cut your paper and cardboard backers to the desired size.  Create a stack of several pads, separating each pad with a cardboard backer.  The cardboard backer on each pad will hold the pad in your notepad cover or give magnet-backed pads the stiffness needed. 

notepad clamp Step 2

Loosen the wingnuts all the way to the rubber feet and spread the 2 acrylic pinch bars apart.  Lay the InaPinch™ on its side.

notepad clamp Step 3

Loosely holding your stack with the edge to be padded facing down, tap the stack on the desktop several times.  This will ensure that the edge to receive the padding glue is flush.  Place the stack between the open pinch bars, and even up the sides of your stack with your extended index fingers.

notepad clamp Step 4

With one hand, firmly pull the two pinch bars together, hold tightly, and pick up the InaPinch™.

notepad clamp Step 5

Holding your InaPinch™ firmly in one hand, tighten the wingnuts on each leg to hold the stack securely in the InaPinch™.   You're now ready to apply the padding glue.

notepad clamp Step 6

Using a stiff-bristled brush, apply the padding glue to the edge of your pad with a "scrubbing" motion so that every sheet receives the padding glue.  There's no need to worry about padding glue getting on the edges of your InaPinch™; this is normal and cleans up easily!

notepad clamp Step 7

The rubber feet on the bolts allow your InaPinch™ to stand while the padding glue dries.  To speed the drying time, use a blow dryer or embossing gun.  Weather permitting, you may want to open a window and stand the InaPinch™ on the windowsill for quick drying.  After the padding glue dries (usually within 30 minutes), apply a second coat if desired.

notepad clamp Step 8

When completely dry, loosen the wingnuts and push your stack of finished pads through.

notepad clamp Step 9

Peel away any excess dried padding glue that extends beyond your finished stack of pads.  Peel any excess padding glue off your InaPinch™.  Smudges or dried padding glue are easily washed away with warm water and liquid soap using a soft cloth.

 






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