Homemade Notebooks and Other Gifts

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Air Force 1 wasn't the only homemade Christmas gift this year. Trevor and I made customized notebooks for his teachers and quite a few friends and family members. They're easy and very inexpensive to make. This is a stack of the notebooks he made for his four teachers. 


Homemade Notebooks



1. In PicMonkey, open Design and choose Blank Canvas. Click Print Size and choose 8.5" x 11". Click on Alignment and set 2 rows and 2 columns.

2. Add Text and type the recipient's name. Choose the color, font, and size you want. Duplicate the text block. Center each of the four names near the top of the four sections of the design. 

3. Click on Overlays and select an image. Either duplicate this image three times, or add three different images. For Trevor's PE teacher, he chose a soccer ball, an archery target, a basketball, and a tennis racket and ball. (There are thousands of overlay possibilities in PicMonkey and they add new ones all the time!) Arrange each image next to the name. Export the file. 

4. Print multiple copies of your design. We did ten copies, which made a 40-page notebook. Use the paper cutter to cut the paper into fourths. I highly recommend a heavy-duty paper cutter because you can do all ten sheets at once. Not only does that save time, but it means your pages are going to be more even that if you cut them all individually. 

5. Cut a 4.25" x 5.5" piece of chipboard. Place it behind the notebook pages. When everything is lined up perfectly, use the binder clips along the sides to hold the papers in place. 

6. Use the foam brush to paint a THIN layer of glue along the top edge of the notebook. Put two binder clips along the top, as close as you can get to the glue without touching it. Let the glue dry completely. 

7. Remove the top binder clips (leave the side ones in place) and add another THIN layer of glue. Replace the binder clips. Let the glue dry completely. Repeat this process two more times. When the final layer is dry, remove the binder clips and your notebook is done!

Trevor wrote a message on each teacher's notebook. Then he put them into cellophane bags, tied them closed with a ribbon, and tied on a candy cane. (The yellow ones are Lemonheads and the rainbow ones are Warheads.)

In addition to the notebooks, we gave both grandpas and an uncle homemade fleece blankets. This reversible blanket is for Steve's dad, who is a fan of both the Giants and the 49ers. 

I framed Steve's eclipse photos for him. I also framed a sheet of the eclipse stamps. When they're behind glass, you can't use your finger to activate them, but I suppose it's easy enough to pull the stamps out if he ever wants to. 

Another homemade gift deserves its own post, so I'll share that tomorrow!


  1. I absolutely love the homemade customized notebooks that Trevor made for his teachers! What a thoughtful and wonderful gift for them! And the fleece blankets are another amazing and thoughtful gift that his grandpas will treasure and use for years to come. I also love the very cool, framed eclipse photos! Happy New Year, my friend!

  2. What a great gift idea! As a former teacher, I appreciate useful gifts! :)


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