DIY Pocket Notebook Giveaway WINNER!

19 12 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered! To be able to post the winner by Wednesday (I meant to say Wednesday in the original post), since I work today, I had to do this up on my little laptop that doesn’t have photoshop, so not only are the comments hand-numbered (with a crappy old trackpad) but they’re in five parts. And the winner is… Pilot G2.38!

Not the worst example of my hand-numbering attempts

Not the worst example of my hand-numbering attempts

Congratulations! Leave a comment on this post so I know you know you’ve won, and send me an email with your contact information so I can mail you this notebook!

To everyone else, don’t worry! I’ll try to do another notebook giveaway eventually to celebrate when I finally stop dragging my feet and start selling some of the notebooks I’ve made on Etsy. Keep your eyes peeled!

DIY Pocket Notebook GIVEAWAY

11 12 2012

You remember that post I did about making your own cahier-style notebooks? Well I’ve been making scads of them, and I’ve made one to give away to all of you! Literally, all of you, as this contest will be open to everyone!


Lazy iPhone photos ahoy!

It has 26 pages of white Rhodia dot grid paper, size equal to 1/2 of a sheet of Rhodia Bloc No. 16.


Please forgive this experiment in laziness, but pulling out the big camera takes more effort. More effort means longer to get the giveaway to you.

The cover is red posterboard, and the notebook features a back pocket:


Grocery list not included

And baby blue hand stitching:


This phone takes good pictures, but perhaps not when I can’t hold my hands still at 4 in the morning and I only upload the medium image size. TOO LATE NOW. THE GIVEAWAY MUST GO ON!

That’s about all there is to the notebook, just a simple, lovingly hand-made imperfect little notebook up for grabs.




  1. To enter, just leave one comment on this post any time between now and Tuesday, December 18th 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. This contest will be open to everyone, everywhere! But since I’m footing the bill, if you live far away you’re not getting any frilly big-money rush delivery.
  2. One winner will be picked at random from the comments section of this post. Make any kind of comment—but only one comment! Comments in excess of one shall be deleted. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. Because my blog doesn’t seem to number the comments on its own yet, and I STILL don’t have time/the willpower to fix it, I will again hand-number all the entries in Photoshop like I did here because I am a masochist and numbering is just ever so fun. The Random Integer Generator at will be used to pick the number of the winner.
  3. I’ll post the contest winner on Tuesday, December 18th. Winner will have one week to email me. There’s a link to my email at the top of the right sidebar.

Good luck everyone!

Mini Review: DIY Notebook—Moleskine Cahier Style

21 03 2012

WEEP, MOLESKINE! YOUR REIGN OF TYRANNY IS AT AN END! ... oh who am I kidding, millions of people will still buy Cahiers anyway.

I love the Moleskine Cahier, but for all the wrong reasons. Let me explain. The Moleskine Cahier plain notebook contains what is by and far literally THE WORST PAPER I have ever encountered in my life. The only thing worse would be newsprint, or napkins. Used receipts would be a step up. And that terrible paper is why I love it. I use these notebooks for pencil sketches, and since the paper is so shoddy I’m not inhibited by the art-blocking psychological worry of wasting good paper. I end up drawing more, being more loose and creative, and I make better drawings as a result. I also like that the notebook is thin, so it has a low profile when I carry it in my already notebook-laden bag (what’s the point of leaving the house, really, if you don’t have at least ten notebooks with you?). Now, I like this notebook, but I’m not insane. I’m not going to pay top dollar for a product that I value CHIEFLY BECAUSE IT IS SO HORRIBLY CONSTRUCTED. I might as well staple five dollar bills together, draw on them, and throw them out the window. But, my friends, these are simple notebooks. After a bit of Googling I settled on this tutorial, and got to work on making a proof-of-concept prototype.

Bound left-handed-ways. Also, if you don't know Blenheim's Ginger Ale, it is the best ginger ale in the world. Period. Exclamation point. Semicolon; no exceptions.

Since I was using thin weeny repair-kit thread, I doubled it up. The tutorial said not to, but I like living dangerously

Then I made another prototype when I was bored at work (there’s often a lot of downtime) and realized I still had my needles and thread with me. I had just finished a delightful box of Triscuits, and it served me well in my boredom-fueled-craftmaking.

Delicious notebook

Cut the corners off Battlestar Galactica style, cause I'm cool like that. Also because I didn't have a corner rounder at the time.

Concept proven. Buying actual supplies was now justified. My local pen store had a 100-page pack of typewriter paper for $1.00 that was almost an exact replica of the thin, cheap Cahier paper. An additional 99 cents (plus tax) at the A.C. Moore scored me a 22in. x 28in. piece of black posterboard, and for 39 cents each I picked up five different colors of thread. Additional expenses include: $1.69 for another needle (pack of needles) (the ones I had were either too small or too big), $3.59 for a corner rounder (thank you 40%-off coupon), and $2.39 for super glue (couldn’t find any around the house). I already had a large needle that I used in place of an awl, and an X-acto knife for cutting the board and trimming the paper edges. Time took maybe a couple of hours? I’m not sure; I love doing stuff like this so I didn’t time it. End result:

It looks just like a real notebook!

Gotta be reppin' some turquoise

WITH POCKET, BOOYAH. Also note that this notebook is left-handed bound.

Materials expense per notebook: 20 pages ($0.20), maybe three feet of thread (comes to about $0.05 worth of thread), 8.5in x 15.25in of posterboard (about $0.21 worth of posterboard), and a wee bit of super glue (we’ll be generous and say that it was maybe $0.20 worth of glue) = $0.66 per notebook
Plus tools investment: Needles, corner rounder, superglue: $7.67
Total cost for making a set of 3 notebooks, including tools: $9.65

And now I’ll never have to buy another Moleskine Cahier again. :D