The project my gnome friends have for us today is maybe the surprise hit of the week. I really didn’t know how it would look when the idea first came. (And ideas that sneak in like that often don’t work out as well as you imagine.) But of all the things that we’ve made so far this week, this tear-off memo pad is one of the absolute easiest and is very giftable. Especially for a secret Santa exchange at the office, or school. The supplies are simple, and the skill level is pretty much nil. And the cute factor? Let’s just say- on a scale of one to gnome it’s a solid eleven. So if you’re looking for an easy handmade gift (and who isn’t?) you’ll love this tutorial for how to make a DIY tear-off notepad for Christmas!
ETA- This post was first published for Christmas 2019. But I went through and tweaked it for 🎄2021.
Watch How to Make a DIY Tear-Off Notepad on YouTube
If you’d like to see how this comes together, watch my YouTube video on How to Make a DIY Tear-Off Note Pad. BUT if you’d like to continue on with your Gnome journey then read on!
Tips on Supplies for Making This Note Pad
Paper: I used about 10 sheets (so 30 pages once cut) for my notepad. And I used a slightly heavier weight of paper than your standard copy weight.
Ink: Rather than use up even more ink from my printer I saved the PDF file to my phone and then went over to my local Fed Ex Office (which I still think of as Kinko’s) and used their print and go feature. It worked slick but lacked the convenience of home.
Chipboard: For the chipboard backing, I just recycled the back of an old sketchbook. You could use a notebook or packaging material.
You can also purchase chipboard in different thicknesses at a hobby or craft store near you. The heavier the chipboard is, the more substantial the end product feels. Which adds perceived value.
Adhesives: I like Glitter Mod Podge for this project, but I test different adhesives, like PVA and rubber cement in my YouTube video. People have also recommended other glues in the comments for the video.
How to Make a Tear-Off Memo Pad Christmas To-do List
Supplies and Materials
- Gnome Holiday Memo Pad Printable, from the Creative Resource Library.
- Home Printer with Paper (OR you can take it to a copy store).
- Chipboard cut from an old sketchbook or cereal bowl to match the size of the memo pads.
- Binder clips
- Glitter Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- Scrap Cardstock to wrap around the top of the pads.
Step One: Download the Printable and Print Copies
First, download the Gnome Holiday Note Pad Printable from my Creative Resource Library.
Then, using your home printer or a copy shop, print about 10 pages for your notepad.
Step Two: Cut the pages to size
Cut the pages into 3 equal sections, each 1/3 of the printable sheet, as shown in the photo.
Step Three: Prep the Pad (Make a Book Block)
Stack the pages, making sure that the top edge is completely flat. Your goal is to make sure you have a tight “block” of paper at the top edge of your pad.
The block is important because you want the glue to swipe across the top of it. You do not want the glue to drip down between the pages. That would cause them to stick together more than you want them to.
To accomplish this, you could use a book press, or you can use binder clips and a piece of cardstock.
In the picture below, you can see how I wrapped a piece of cardstock around the top to add even pressure all the way around.
Then, add binder clips at each side, and a couple on top as well. Position them slightly up and off the edge so that they don’t mess up the glue.
Step Four: Glue the Edge
Looking online, there seem to be all kinds of different glues that work for this. Many sites recommend PVA or a type of rubber cement. I was all out of both. So off to Michael’s!
But as I was looking at all the choices in the adhesives aisle I realized I could just use Mod Podge. And then I saw ✨ Extreme Glitter Mod Podge✨.
The Modge Podge worked great, plus it gives the project that little extra something that always makes my heart happy.
Note: I did demo alternative adhesives in my YouTube video for How to DIY a Notepad and give my recommendations there.
To apply, get a little of the Mod Podge on a foam brush. Then just swipe it across the top of the block. Again, this is important so that the glue doesn’t get between the pages and glue them together.
Let dry. This took about 10 minutes.
Then do a second application and let it dry as well. Then test your notepad!
And you’re done!!! You’ve Made Your Own DIY Notepad
It really is the little things sometimes. Peeling the first sticker off a sheet that you designed is really a small thrill. And I felt the same thing as I tore off that first page of this memo pad. The sound is just satisfying and reminds me of movies with waitresses snapping their gum and tearing off their order sheets for the cook.
It gives me the feeling that I’m getting the job done and gives a sense of satisfaction.
It’s crazy the associations we hold that we maybe don’t realize we have. If you try this project, I’d love to know if you have the same feeling of satisfaction when you tear off that first page.
Want to Design Your Own in Procreate?
To design this, I created the lined design in Affinity Designer and added PNG’s of stickers I had drawn in Procreate. It really didn’t take long at all. I do have the lined PDF available as a bonus to my Boho Rainbow Procreate Brushes and Stamp Bundle.
This is currently only available to those who sign up for my email subscriber list, and only if you sign up through the Procreate Sticker Brush freebie. You can find that link in the sidebar.
A Notepad Makes a Great Gift
Not only is it super fun and a little counter-cultural to make and use things that are handmade, hand-drawn, and decidedly not mass-produced (or found at Target or Walmart), but it’s fun to GIVE those things as well.
So I played around with little gift packaging ideas using the Gnome gift tags from my last post and the Gnome Stickers I posted earlier this week. I think they turned out SUPER cute! You can see them together in the image at the bottom of this post.
For MORE Gnome Inspiration…
I do have a TON of gnome crafts- I may be a wee bit obsessed. So if you’d like to see more, check out this round-up post.
Love this? Share it!
If you found the tutorial for this DIY Christmas tear-off notepad helpful please share it either on social media or by pinning the image below to Pinterest. I really appreciate your help with this!
Also, if you have any questions about this project please ask by commenting on this post, through my contacts email, or by leaving a comment on my YouTube Channel. I’d love to help!
Thanks for Reading,