Make Your Own Handmade Notebook | With Your Design On the Cover | Maja Faber | Skillshare

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Make Your Own Handmade Notebook | With Your Design On the Cover

teacher avatar Maja Faber, Surface Pattern Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Print the cover

    • 4. Draw the cover

    • 5. Bind the book

    • 6. Belly band

    • 7. Final thoughts

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About This Class

Learn how to quickly create your own handmade notebooks in this fun and simple class with Maja Faber (Previously Rönnbäck). You will learn how to prepare and print your design for the cover, staple bind the book and make a pretty little belly band - to hold two notebooks together as a nice little package. If you feel like it you could also hand draw the cover - which Maja will show you an example of in class.

This class is for you who either create your own artwork and want to make a handmade notebook with your own design on the cover. But it’s also for you who just want to work with a fun and easy crafts project and make some notebooks to use yourself or give as a gift. You actually don’t need to have ready-made artwork to take this class, you could use patterned paper or you could even use Majas artwork that you can download here in class. If you want to learn how to make a pattern in Adobe Illustrator to use as a notebook cover, check out Majas class Pattern design: From Sketch To Repeat Pattern.

These notebooks makes perfect home made gifts, but you could also make them as products to sell - if you have a high quality printer at home to print the cover. 

Be sure to share your project here in class and if you share your project on Instagram feel free to tag Maja with @maja_faber

Meet Your Teacher

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Maja Faber

Surface Pattern Designer

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I’m Maja Faber (previously Maja Rönnbäck), a surface pattern designer & illustrator from Sweden. I create artwork that I license to collaborators worldwide and I teach fellow creatives all I know about surface design and life as a creative entrepreneur. 


LATEST NEWS! I've started a Patreon page, which includes behind-the-scenes content such as weekly work & life updates and monthly podcast episodes. I also offer a monthly hands-on tutorial in which you can vote for the topic each month, a monthly inspirational color mood board, drawing process videos, and an exclusive Q&A and coaching chat - where you can ask me (almost) anything. Read more here >>> and join me on Patreon today to unlock all previous posts and c... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Maja Ronnback, Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Join me in this fun and quick class where I will show you how to make these really cute notebooks with your artwork printed on the cover. You can give the notebooks as a nice gift to a friend, or if you have a good quality printer at home to print the covers, you could even sell the notebooks on local markets or maybe in your online shop, if you have one of those. In this class, we will go through how to print the cover, or if you feel like it, you could also hand draw the cover of the notebook, which I will show you an example now in class. We will staple-bind the book and make a pretty little belly band to hold two notebooks together as a nice little package. This class is for you who either create your own artwork and wants to make a notebook with your own design on the cover, or for you who just want to make a fun and easy crafts projects to use yourself or give us a gift. You actually don't need to have ready-made artwork to take this class, you could just use pattern paper like scrap-booking paper or something like that, or you can even use My Artwork, then you can download a class. 2. Supplies: Let's start with the supplies. You don't need any fancy supplies to make this notebook. You probably can go a long way with using just what you have at home. To start, it's good to have something to protect your desk from cuts. I'm using this special cutting mat, but you could use just the regular cutting board that you have in your kitchen as well. You need some clips to hold a bunch of papers together. I'm using these little fancy ones. You could use whatever you find at home, like regular paperclips or even cloth pegs like these. You also need some paper cutter. I'm using this pretty heavy paper cutter. It works really good, but I think you can use a thinner one as well. We would just cut one piece of paper at a time, so any paper cutter that is sharp should work. Next is nice little tool that I think is called bone folder. If you have one at home, then use it. If you don't, then you could use anything else with a hard and rounded edge like this scissor for example. Next up is paper. For the cover paper, I'm using a thicker than regular printing paper, but nothing fancy, actually just a thick paper that I found in my local bookstore. This one is 200 grams and it's called color copy. It's actually a paper for our laser printers. I have an inkjet printer, but for my purposes it works fine. For the inside of the book, I just use regular writing or printing paper. I think these ones are 8 grams. You need some ruler, preferably with a sharp edge. I used this metal one, but you could use any ruler that you have at home. Next step is a stapler. I'm using this pretty special stapler. It's longer, which makes it easy to staple in the middle of an A4 size paper. This was actually not that expensive and I've used it a lot. But if you don't have this type of stapler at home, it should work fine with a regular one. If you're using a regular one, you also need something like this. It's just a [inaudible] from my kitchen is in cork, so you can staple on it and then it's easy to remove it from the stable. You need some glue. I'm just using this really simple glue stick. Last but not least, if you want to draw your cover, you need some drawing materials. I use these markers in this class. 3. Print the cover: In this lesson, I'll show you how I prepare my patterns and how to make the belly band in Adobe Illustrator. I will also show you my printer settings, but as every printer is different your settings may vary from mine. If you're using pattern paper or want to print my artwork to use as cover, you can download it in class and print it. The patterns that I share in this class are my copyrights and are to be used only for personal purposes. You may not reproduce, resale, or use it in any type of commercial projects. If you're not interested in printing the cover, you could just move on to the next lesson, otherwise join me and I'll show you my process here. I start with making a new document in Illustrator, I use A4 size, that is what suits my printer. I usually just clean up the Swatches panel and remove all of these swatches except black and white when I start a new document. I have my patterns in the clipboard, so I just paste them commandly. I then draw a rectangle that is the same size as my artboard and fill it with one of my patterns. I think a smaller scaled pattern will look cute on this notebook, so I go to Object, Transform, Scale, and scale down the pattern a bit. When I'm happy, I click "OK". I make a copy of my rectangle, holding down Alt on my keyboard, click and drag to make a new rectangle. Then I scale down that pattern as well, so that they match well together. I then go to Object, Transform, and Move to move the pattern around a bit within the rectangle, so that it will look nice and balanced on the notebook cover. Now, it's time to make the belly band. I want the belly band to match my notebooks colorwise, so I select both of my patterns and click on Color Group in the Swatches panel to fetch the colors from my patterns. Then I make a rectangle that stretches from side-to-side on my A4 size artboard, and make it about 40 millimeters high. I then choose the type tool and write notebook, and we use a free Google font that's called Amatic. I'll link to this font in the description of the class if you want to use the same one. For the notebook text, I am using the bold one. Amatic texts white and center it horizontal on the artboard with the Align tool. I then place my logo that I also pasted in the document before. Changed the size of the notebook text to about 60 points, and then I make a new little text and write by using the same font. For this text I use 14 points. Then I make a copy of my rectangle, again holding down Alt key and clicking "Drag". This will be at the back of the belly band holding it together as the length of the belly band isn't enough to stretch around two notebooks and be glued together. I'm making this little piece smaller than the actual belly band. There you have it, we are done and ready to print. In the print settings, I choose Page Setup, choose my printer, and then A4 borderless. My printer leaves a little white margin even if I print borderless, but that's fine because we can cut that off later on. If your printer can't print borderless at all, no worries, it's fine with a white line as well. I print the covers on 200 grams paper and the belly band on regular 80 grams printing paper. 4. Draw the cover: This is just a short example of how you could draw your cover, if you feel like doing that instead of printing a cover. For the next parts of this class, making the notebook, I will work with my printed covers. I'm making A5 sized notebooks in this class but for this hand-drawn cover, I will make an A6 sized, when it's folded. So I'll just start with folding my paper in half and then I cut it in the middle with a cutter. I'm going to make a quick dotted cover here, so I'll just use my markers and add little dots in these three cute colors. There you have it, a hand-drawn notebook cover, just fold it in half, and you're good to go on making a little notebook of this. 5. Bind the book: If you have your covers printed, let's go on and find the book. Start with folding your covers in half and use either your bonefolder if you have one of those or something else with the heart and rounded edge to press down to fold. Now fold the papers that you will use inside the notebook in half. I use 12 papers in each book here. Just fold them in half and make sure that the folds are straight. Put the papers together inside one another. Then the cover outside of the papers. Give it a nice little tap to make it straight. Unfold the pile of papers and place the clips on each side of the fold. Turn it over and make sure that your cover and the papers are lined in the folds. Flatten it out and then use your stapler to place three staples with about the same distance to each other. One in the middle and one on each side. Turned a book over, fold it together and use the bonefolder to press down the fold a bit. If you look at your notebook now, you will see that even if you have a borderless print, you will not have a sharp edge of papers on the side where you open your notebook. Use your ruler and hold it down nice and tight. Watch your hands. Cut the excess paper with your paper cut there. If you want the nice edge here, you should be softened the hand and just cut one or two papers at the time. I have a wide margin on my notebook on the top and bottom as well. I will also cut that off. There you have it, your own handmade notebook. If you don't have this fancy stapler that I have, I will show you how you could staple with irregular one. Just place your pot coaster underneath and stapled through the notebook. Carefully tourney older. Remove the coaster and use the bonefolder or whatever you're using to fold down the staples. We're done. Now let's move on to the next lesson and make the last piece of this cute little project, the bellyband. 6. Belly band: Let's make the last part of this notebook, the belly band. We will use this to wrap around the two notebooks to make a little cute package. Start with cutting out the belly band and the little piece that we use to glue the belly band together. I'm just using my ruler and my cutter to cut out the belly band from the paper here. Next, get your glue stick. Place the two notebooks together and fold the belly band around them. Turn them over. So you're at the back of the books. I'm just going to make this little piece a little bit shorter because I think it will look better. I just take my scissors and cut it off. Then glue on both sides of the latter piece of paper that will hold the belly band together. Stretch the belly band nice and tight, and place it on the vertical center of the books. Then glue the little piece of paper on top of the belly band, and we're finished. Now, you made your own handmade notebooks that are wrapped together with this cute little belly band. I usually make these notebooks as gifts. These ones I'm actually going to give away this evening to a friend who has her birthday today. 7. Final thoughts: I hope you enjoyed making these notebooks as much as I do, and that you had a fun time taking this class. If you have any questions at all, please ask them on the community page. Make sure to share your class project. I would love to see what you create. If you share your project on Instagram, feel free to tag me at my own back design. If you enjoyed this class, you can hit the follow button here on skill share to make sure you don't miss out on my next one. I would also love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave a review for me here on the review page. Thank you so much for joining me today on this fun and simple little crafts projects.