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  1. Crafts & DIY
  2. Bookbinding

Sew a Stylish Matchbook-Style Notepad

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Read Time: 4 mins

Matchbook-style notepads are cute, compact, handy, and one of the easiest books to bind. They’re also a great way to re-purpose loads of loose paper you might have left over from other projects. These little notebooks also make excellent handmade gifts. Why not make a stash of them for your family and friends? Let’s get started.



1. Prepare the Card Stock

Step 1

Cut a 23.5x10.3cm short grain piece of the patterned card stock (what is short grain?). Set the extra scraps aside for later.


Step 2

Cut two 4cm squares of brown card stock. These will act as reinforcements for your button and tie.


Step 3

Find the center of one of the brown squares and make two holes measuring 1cm apart.


Step 4

Round the corners of the brown squares with your corner punch.

make two holes in the center measuring 1cm apartmake two holes in the center measuring 1cm apartmake two holes in the center measuring 1cm apart

2. Score the Cover

With the bone fold and ruler, score four perpendicular lines on your cover at 9cm, 10cm, 20.5cm, and 21.5cm. Scoring your card stock first will make it easier to fold.


3. Make Your Hole Punching Guide

Step 1

Grab the smaller scrap of the patterned card stock from Step 1 and make one hole measuring 1cm up and 3cm in from the left. Make a second hole 1cm up and 3cm from the right.


4. Punch Holes in the Paper and Cover

Step 1

Before punching your paper, check that the grain of each sheet is moving in the same direction. For this book you will want the grain of your sheets to move from left to right, not up and down.

Step 2

Grab a small stack of three to four pages of drawing paper. Center the guide on one end of the stack and mark the holes with your awl.


Repeat this step with the rest of your drawing paper. Try to punch the holes in the same place every time.


Step 3

With the cover face down, place the guide over the 2cm flap and punch through the two holes.


Step 4

Turn the guide around and move it down to the second score mark. Punch through the guide holes once more.


5. Fold the Cover

Step 1

Now that you have all the holes punched, you can fold your cover into the matchbook shape. Fold your cover at all four score marks.


Step 2

Rub your bone fold over each fold.


6. Sew the Tie

Step 1

Get the brown square that you punched and center it between the two holes on the back of the cover. This will help anchor your tie. Sew a stitch around the brown square and the cover.


Step 2

Gently tie a knot with the long side of the thread facing down. Be careful not to rip through the holes.


Step 3

Cut the excess thread and use your bone fold to flatten the knot. Leave a 40cm length of thread to use as a tie when the book is finished.


7. Sew the Pages

Step 1

Starting from the back of the cover, sew a stitch through the top right hole.


Step 2

Sew through every sheet of paper. It helps to sew through small stacks of five to six pages at a time.


Step 3

Finish the stitch by sewing through the holes in the flap, back through all of the pages, and through the back of the cover. This stitch mimics the staple that fastens a matchbook together. Keep your tie centered in the middle of this stitch so that it lays straight up over the paper.


Step 4

Gently tie a knot in the back.


8. Sew the Button

Step 1

Center the button on the remaining square of brown card stock.


Step 2

Punch guide holes through the button and out through the square. Center the square on the book cover and repeat this step so you know where to sew.


Step 3

Sew the button through the brown square and onto the cover.


Step 4

Wrap the tie around the button to close it.

now youre donenow youre donenow youre done

Jot, Scribble or Gift!

Great job! Wasn’t that simple?

In this tutorial you learned how to make a matchbook-style notepad using a number of basic bookbinding skills. You learned how to punch holes through the paper and stitch the pages together, fastened with a button.


This is a great little project to have up your sleeve when you want to make a stylish handmade gift for your family and friends. You can try making a set of notebooks with co-ordinating covers.

Have you made a book like this before? Do you prefer to use different materials? Know a good tip or have a question? Let us know in the comments section below!

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