My Spring fever is now in high gear and as a result I found myself cleaning out the pantry yesterday. When I was done the kitchen floor had a heaping pile of empty cardboard boxes. A quick visit to Facebook and I had found the perfect project for all my empty boxes. These little notebooks with crayon holders from Under The Sycamore were so cute and perfect for The Bean who is obsessed with coloring. They used store bought mini notebooks and covered them with paper, which looked great. But since I had a pile of cardboard I opted to make a few notebooks myself. I begin by cutting the cardboard boxes down to just the front and back rectangle. I then cut some paper down to the same size. I found two binder clips and clipped the paper in between the two pieces of cardboard. I then drew 5 dots along the top as evenly spaced as I could with just eyeing it. Next I got my awl, a tool used for drilling holes into layers of paper, and one of my favorite multi-use tools around. (It is great for getting small toys out of vents, just for future reference and pretty inexpensive.) I drilled the five holes all the way through the cardboard and paper, the awl makes this very easy. Then
using a piece of embroidery floss and a large eyed needle I bound the book together using the Japanese Stab Binding method. Read here for full directions. This technique is tricky the first time but after you do it a few times it is very quick and easy! Once the book was fully bound, I cut off the extra thread and the book was good to go. I then took one piece of elastic band (like the kind you would use for sewing) and hot glued the ends so it would fit around the front cover. I hot glued another piece of elastic onto it leaving little loops to hold the crayons. The hot glue was very easy and has stood up to a lot of use by a not particularly gentle 20 month old. We found some crayons to put through the loops and
voila! A new travel sketchbook for The Bean. She loves drawing in her sketchbook but maybe likes taking the crayons in and out of the holder even more.