Make Your Own Tiny Notebooks

In my 5 Tips on Dealing with Procrastination post I mentioned that I like to make tiny notebooks for myself for keeping daily to-do lists. It is handy to have only a few lines per page so I am not tempted to plan too much for one work day. I also like to make these notebooks myself, because I get to use my leftover materials. Plus they get finished pretty fast and there isn't much use for them once they're full, so I don't feel bad about throwing them away. You can make a bunch of them in one day and be set for your daily to-do's for several months ahead. You can also use them for other purposes, like jotting down ideas or making tiny sketches. These notebooks are great for carrying around in your pocket or purse. If you'd like to make these for yourself, follow the tutorial below, they are really easy to make! You can leave them blank or print lined pages using the free PDF I included for you!


- carton (I used A4 sheets as well as pieces of scrap carton)
- printer paper
- lined pages printable PDF (download here)
- colorful markers, paints or anything you would like to decorate your notebook covers with
- trimmer or scissors and ruler
- stapler
- utility knife and cutting mat (optional)
- bone folder (opional)


1. Cut your carton into 8 cm wide strips. I used A4 size carton sheets and only measured the width at this point, but if you use scraps of carton or other sheet sizes make sure your strips at not less than 16 cm long. Each strip is going to make one notebook cover.

2. Decorate your covers. I used markers, but you can get creative with this part. Try collages, rubber stamping, watercolor, stickers. This step doesn't necessarily have to be done at this point. I like to decorate my covers right away, because I cover the whole carton strips with my designs. But if you want your design to be, for example, in the center of the front cover, it is better to do it after step 9.

3. Fold each of your carton strips in half. You can use bone folder for a sharper fold.

4. Print out your pages (you can download free printable PDF here). Use the "two-sided" setting on your printer. The PDF is designed for A4, but if you use letter size just print it in 100% and you will get the same result. If you want your pages to be blank, just skip the printing. You can also design your own pages! Cut your printed paper in 8 cm wide strips, the same way as you did with the carton in step 1. You will need 10 strips for each notebook.

5. Fold each strip of paper in half.

6. Measure your folded pages to be 8 cm wide and cut off the edges. Now you have 8x8 cm folded pages.

7. Take 10 folded sheets and put them inside each other. Do that for each notebook.

8. Place each set of 10 folded sheets inside a cover.

9. Measure your notebook to be 8 cm wide and cut off the excess edges. You can use your trimmer if it is sharp and sturdy enough to cut that thickness. Alternatively, you can use a utility knife with a ruler. Remember to have your cutting mat underneath to keep your table surface undamaged.

10. Now add two staples to the spine of your notebook. You will need a stronger stapler for this and it shouldn't be too tiny. If your notebook is too wide to fit into your stapler, reduce the width repeating step 9.

11. Done! Now fill your notebooks with your plans and ideas!

Are you using daily to-do lists? Will you try making these notebooks to make your planning and organizing more fun? I'd love to see your results and ideas!


  1. Ahh they look very nice!! I will defenitely try to make one too when I have finished all the other DIY projects I have started in the past weeks :)