Monday, September 3, 2012

Making your own Commonplace Notebooks

Ahh...The Commonplace Notebook...

Photo from Wikipedia

“There you enter not only your own original thoughts (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there.” 
~ Jonathan Swift: 1720

I have never kept a commonplace notebook before; however, I have kept a writer's notebook. The writer's notebook is designed to write things that inspire you with good, solid, creative, intense writing. I have kept a homeschooling notebook-all things homeschooling. I have kept a nature notebook.

It is very helpful to read with a commonplace book or reading-diary, in which to put down any striking thought in your author, or your own impression of the work, or of any part of it; but not summaries of facts. Such a diary, carefully kept through life, should be exceedingly interesting as containing the intellectual history of the writer; besides, we never forget the book that we have made extracts from, and of which we have taken the trouble to write a short review. -Mason, Vol. 5 p. 260

So as Ceesa gets older and will be keeping one, I made one for both of us. I love the look of the leather bound books, but they were out of our price range this year. So I decided to make our own. If you'd like to make your own, here's how:

1. Start with about 50 sheets of paper. Taking about 10 sheets of paper at a time,
sew them down the middle with a sewing machine. 

2. Then sew all of the sections together with needle and thread. 

3. Using cardboard from a spiral notebook, cut to fit the outline of the papers. Then hot glue the first sheet to the cardboard and the last sheet to the other side. This will give your book some structure.

 4. We purchased some faux leather (I couldn't find any real leather that was affordable in the proper sizes).

5. Then we cut around the outline of the cardboard/paper leaving about 1 inch.

6. Do  not glue the cardboard to the fabric, but fold the edges over the page that you glued down and hot glue just the edges of the material onto the cardboard/fabric.

7. I trimmed the excess material at the edges as I went.

8. Fold.

9. Tie a leather string around your notebook.

I am really excited about our finished product.

My first entry:

"Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." ~Pablo Picasso

Wishing you homeschool blessings,


Phyllis said...

It is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love your commonplace books!

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