Upcycled notebooks

upcycled notebooksNo more homework! No more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks! Yes, everyone in our house loves the end of the school year.

Despite our dependence on routine, we do enjoy a more relaxed schedule – no need to obsess about getting to bed on time, no arguments about homework, and no deadlines. But what I love most is the pile of potential I pull out of our boys’ backpacks in those last few days, as they clean out their desks and lockers – the artwork I can add to their scrapbooks, the school supplies that are still in great shape and can be stashed for use again next year, and the scads of items ripe for upcycling!

Since the end of school this year I’ve been focusing on all the partially used notebooks our boys brought home. They’re probably not full enough to send to school next year (although I may try), but they definitely have too much paper to toss them. My original intent was just to put something decorative over the name and class subject, so they’d be generic enough for any of us to use or even donate. But then I got carried away and redecorated an entire cover, and I was hooked!

I used a glue stick to attach scraps from other projects, pages from old magazines, remainders from torn maps, and Washi tape to fill the gaps and cover the seams. Later I’ll add a thin layer of Mod Podge to ensure everything stays put. I’m trying to give the full-ish notebooks themes I think our boys would like, in case we decide to use these as school supplies in the future. But I can see all sorts of uses for pretty notebooks – gifts, giveaways, resources at the workshops I lead, maybe even my Maker’s Market!

20140606_175521That’s the gift of the making-something-of-it-mindset: it makes even this pile of papers more interesting and sorting them a task I look forward to – like knowing there’s a pretty picture on my plate; a reward for finishing my meal.

Except, when this task is complete, I’ll have made my own picture, for more people than me to enjoy.