Make Your Own Stationery with Canva: Design to a Finished Notepad | Karen V. | Skillshare

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Make Your Own Stationery with Canva: Design to a Finished Notepad

teacher avatar Karen V., Inspired by Handmade

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Tools & Materials


    • 4.

      Getting started with Canva


    • 5.

      Designing the Notepad


    • 6.

      Printing & Assembling


    • 7.



    • 8.



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About This Class

Get creative with papercraft to make your own notepad from design to finished product. Use your newfound skills to make beautiful, personal handmade gifts for friends and family, or even start your own handmade stationery business.

I love stationery! Notepads, journals, notebooks, planners, stickynotes, pretty envelopes, stickers and the list goes on. I love them all. My love of pretty stationery has evolved into designing and making my own notepads which I use daily and which also make fantastic gifts for birthdays, Christmas etc. 

In this class I want to share my love of making stationery with you. You don't need any previous experience in design or papercraft techniques, just a willingness to have a go. Together we will design and make a notepad using Canva and some items you probably already have in the house. I'll also show you how I add some pretty packaging to my notepads to give as gifts or add to my online store.

This class is perfect for complete beginners or more experienced papercraft enthusiasts wanting to try a new technique.

You will learn:

  • how to set up a custom template in Canva
  • how to add graphics and text to your template to create a notepad design
  • how to export your design for printing
  • how to print and cut your design
  • how to assemble your notepad
  • how to add an optional cover to your notepad

You will need:

  • a computer
  • a free Canva account
  • cutting mat and craft knife or paper cutter
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • PVA glue or book binding medium
  • small paintbrush
  • decorative thick paper for front cover (optional)
  • binder clips

By the end of this class you will have the skills to design your own notepads in Canva and to assemble  your notepads for personal use, or add some pretty packaging to give as gifts or even sell. So let's get creative and save ourselves some money at the same time! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Karen V.

Inspired by Handmade


Hello, I'm Karen. I'm a designer, maker and lover of all things crafty. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this class on designing and making your own notepad using Canva. My name is Karen. I'm a designer and maker and I've been involved in all things craft, eat for as long as I can remember. My guilty secret is that I love stationary. In fact, I heard stationary. There are notepads or notebooks on diaries and planners all over this house. I don't think anyone actually knows how many I have. Over the years. I've gone into making my own notepads. It's very, very simple today. I give them as gifts. I sell them on Etsy. I thought it would make a great class to share that with other people so that they could also give personalized gifts, perhaps even open their own stationery shop. In this class, I'm going to show you how to use the online tool Canva to personalize a notepad with fonts and graphics that make it personal to you. At the end of the class, you'll have your own notepad and I'd really love it if you would upload your project to the class project gallery. I'll be giving feedback on all of the projects that are uploaded. And I'd encourage you to look at other students projects as well and to give them feedback. In the next lesson, I'm going to talk you through the project and a little bit more detail. Let's get going. 2. Class Project: In this lesson, we're going to look at the class project and a bit more detail. The class project, you're going to make a simple shopping list note pad. You will be using the online tool Canva to design your shopping list, adding graphics and fonts to personalize the design however you wish. Once you are happy with your design, you will be exporting it to your computer. And from there it can be printed. You'll be printing night I ever number of pages you wish to have in your notepad. Typically there are around 40. Once the pH is roll printed, I'll be showing you how to cut and assemble your notepad and also how to add an optional front cover. As a little bonus at the end, I will show you a couple of different ways that I package my notepads to either gift or sale. In the next lesson, we're going to look at the materials required. So let's get going. 3. Tools & Materials: There are a few tools and materials that you're going to need to complete the notepad in this class. The first one isn't a kind on the online tool Canva. When you go to, you will see down at the bottom here, they have a number of options. Canva free, Canva Pro, which is the paid subscription I mentioned. And also comes with proteins. If you work with a number of people and you all want to be working on the same projects. But for now, all we need is Canva free. So if you click on Canva free, you can then choose how you want to sign up. I'll just followed the procedure three, to create your account. Once you've not done, you'd be all ready to start designing. The next thing that you're going to need is a printer. I use an Epson AT 27, 50, but any printer will be fine. You know your own printer and you'll know the printer settings. So I'm not going to give you any advice about print settings because to be honest, I'm not an expert in printers. I know they can be temperamental and you're probably know your own better than anyone else. But you will need a printer of some kind. The next thing we're going to be using is paper. I use normal copy paper, nothing special. You can also use recycled paper, colored paper, whatever you prefer. For putting our notepad together, we're going to use PVA glue or bookbinding medium. Big finding medium is a bit more flexible, but PVA glue is absolutely fine for this project. You will also need a paintbrush for the backing for a note bond. We're going to use gray board or cardboard. I tend to use gray board because it's a little bit thicker than normal cardboard that you would find around the house. But the back of a cereal pocket or some packaging board, anything like that will be good. It's just something to give it a little bit of a firmness to the background. You'll need some binder clips to hold the pHs of your notepad firmly together while the glue dries. You'll also need scissors or a paper trimmer to cut the printed sheets into the right number of pages for our Notepad. If you'd like to put an optional front cover on your notepad. It also needs some powdered paper. You'll probably want something a little bit thicker than wrapping paper. But scrapbook paper, craft paper, anything like that would be great. I'll also be providing you with a PDF version of the design I used for my Notepad. If you'd like to use this, you can download it from the projects and resources tab in the class description. In the next class, you're going to be using the account you created on Canva to design your notepad. 4. Getting started with Canva: In this lesson, we're just going to have a quick look up getting started with Canva so that you know where all of the elements are before we actually start designing our notepad. When you login to Canvas, you will see along the top that there are different options for templates that are provided. There are templates for Whiteboards, for presentations, social media posts, videos, print products, websites, on more. If you go into any one of these, e.g. if we go into social media, you can then choose what kind of social media posts you're looking for. An Instagram post or Facebook post. Instagram story. In Scrum rail TikTok videos, there are lots of different options. You can see a bit more detail of these further down the screen. You can also see some of the templates that are available. If you click on any one of these, you'll be able to go in and personalize. It changed some of the elements. E.g. if I were to go into, let's say I go into this one for an online class. It's made up of a font. Another font, couple more down at the bottom, and then image. So I'll be able to go in here, change the font by just choosing a different font from the fault list. Like this. And you could change the image if you'd had another image you prefer to use. Some images will allow you to change the colors. So e.g. in this one, if I decided I wanted to change the mustard color, I can go up, click on that color and change it to something else. There are lots of options there with the ready-made templates that you can alter them to your own needs. But I think it's good to learn how to design our own. So that's why for our class, we will actually be creating our template from scratch. For our notepad class, we will be using one of the available tab hits will be creating our own. So we'll be going to create a design and then we'll be setting up a custom size. But if you'd like to get to know Canva bit more prior to the next lesson. Before we start designing, I suggest that you just choose an A4 document. Then you can have a good look through the available elements. I'll give you an idea of things you might want to include on your notepad. You can have a look at the fonts that are available. They will also give you some suggestions of font pairings that work well together. You might want to use those. You might want to use photos, not probably not in the notepad class, but maybe in other designs that you might wish to do, you might want to use some photos. And that will give you a chance to have a good look through there and see what's available. I just want to let you know that when you do choose an element that you might be looking for, e.g. a. Shopping trolley that you might want to include on your note pads. You will see that some elements have this little gold crime. They say pro. Those are elements that are available for free if you have a paid subscription. So I don't really use those. I tend to stick to the ones that are don't have that, that'll crime. They are all free. If you'd like to have a good play around and having an explore and Kansas seeing what's available and what you might want to include it in your note pads. And then in the next class, we'll get designing. I'll see you there. 5. Designing the Notepad: So now we're ready to create our own design in Canva. We're going to go up to the top right and we're going to choose, Create a design. We're not going to choose one of the ready-made templates. We're actually going to choose custom size so that we can put in our own sizes. So if we just click on Custom Size, I know that I'm going to use an A4 page and I know the measurements of an A4 page. I want to use my pH in a landscape orientation. So I have to put in my measurements, bearing in mind that the longer side is going to be the width and the shortest side is going to be the height. I might have to choose the units of measurement that I wish to use. We're going to use millimeters. So if we choose millimeters, I know that an A4 page is 297 mm across in landscape orientation and 210 mm high. On. Then I'll just choose create a new design. And it will bring up, alright, for pH, ready for us to add our elements to it. With our Notepad, we will be able to get three notepad pitches out of one A4 page. And we'll do that by splitting it up into three equal sized sections. The way I ensure that I get equal-sized sections is to create the first section, to do all my design in that, and then to duplicate it two more times. So I set up a little template within this page for myself, a little box that I designed and I go to elements. And I will choose a box. And I will bring it up to the top right, top left of the page. And I will extend that to get the right size. You can see that there's a little black box with changing numbers. And as I re-size the bulks that I'm going to design in the numbers change, and it's telling me the width and the height of the box. I knew that I want this box to be a third of the A4 page. On a third of 297 is 99. So I am looking for the width of this box to be 99 and the height to be two tan. So I'm gonna go, you can see it changing. I've gone over some too big there, so I'm going to have to come died. It can be a little bit fiddly sometimes just to get that old. So there we go. Width 99, height to tan. That group for anything she inches. So this is the box that I'm going to design my notepad sheet and then I will duplicate my design two more times to fill the page. I don't want to design in a blue box. I want to design and just a white box, but I want the box to be clearly defined. I'm going to go up to change the color of the box. I don't want any color in it, so I'm going to choose the new color option. I do, however, want to see the outline. So I'm going to go in to the border. I'm going to give it a width of one. I just want a thin line. A solid line will be fine, but I want to change the color. I want it to be a very, very light gray, so I can just see it no more. Now that we have our box showing us the area that we want to design in. We can choose what fonts and graphics that we want to add to your design. The first thing I want to add is words at the top that say shopping list. If you were giving it as a gift, you might want to put someone's name on there to make it personalized to them. E.g. current shopping list. Or you might not. I'm not going to put my name on it. I'm just going to leave it as saying shoppingList. And I want to find a font that I like. Now I come to has given us some options of and font pairings that go well together. You can see them doing the left-hand side. Any that have, as I mentioned before, little crime, let's say Pro they are the paid subscription. So if we avoid those unjust, you use the ones that have new crime. They're free. This is one of my favorite. I use it quite a lot, but sometimes I change elements of it. Or you can just choose to add a font from scratch. So if we choose out a heading, it will bring it up over here and we can move it up to where we want it to be. Ticket tie in to the right size. Double-click to select it all. And change your font. Again, any that have the crying or in the paid subscription. But there are many, many free ones there to choose from. And it also will show you some that you've recently used, which is useful if you have some favorites that you use again and again, It's the issue from going down the whole list, finding them. I am going to go down to one I like quite a lot. If I can find it in the list. There we go. It's called Jonathan. And I quite like that style. So I'm going to add the word shopping list, just make them a little bit bigger. I quite like that. But I think I would like the words in different forms. So I'm going to take the word list. I want to leave shopping in this font up to the top a little bit. But I would like the word list in a, in a different style. So I'm going to go in and choose to add a subheading. I'm going to do the work and estimate. I would like it to be in capitals. I'm just going to resize it. You can re-size by either dragging the box up and die, or you can use the plus or minus i arrows up beside the fonts. You can also change the color of the font and you can make it bold, italic, underline. You can add some effects if you'd like to add drop shadows or backgrounds to them, you can do that. You can really play around with lots of different options here until you get it looking as you would like. I would just like mine to be nice and simple. I wanted to say shopping list just in black, but I want the list to fit in-between the tail of the P and the tail of the G. So mine is just like this shopping list. I think that works quite nicely. I would like to add a graphic. I would like to add a shopping trolley up here in the right-hand side. So I am going to go in, again into my elements and I am going to search for a shopping trolley. And it's showing me different trolleys that are available. Again, the ones with the crime are approved ones. So avoid those and we'll just stick to the free ones. I quite like, I quite like this one. So I'm going to choose that far too big. So I'm going to I'm bringing up here to go Besides shopping list and I'll just re-size that. I get it where I want. I want it to be just a rotten same height as the the title shopping list. So I'm quite happy with that. I would like them to be more centered in the page. So I'm going to select three items by clicking on one, holding down my shift key. Clicking on the next one, keeping the Shift key down and clicking on the third one. Then I will go over and choose grip because this is what I, I like this design. I like the word shopping, that's not like the trolley where it is. I don't want to be moving something and find out that I've messed up my design and they're not in the right gripping anymore. So if I grip them, that keeps them together and I can move them and they all move as one. I can re-size. I can move them over it. So I'm going to just move them to wear I think is the center. If I wanted to check, I can go over here to where it says Position and choose, center. And it's going to take me to the center of the page. I didn't want that. So I will Control Z to undo that. I want it to center it in this box. I would have to choose the box as well. So I would have to choose the box. On the shopping list, trolley gripping. Dan, I can choose position center. I'm I'm quite lucky there. I already I'm centered. If I if I wasn't, if that was showing up as available to click on Undo select that, it will center them for you. So now I have my title. Shopping lists, have a little graphic. I might want to add some lines, join the page to write the items of shopping Home. I do this by going to elements and choosing a normal, clean line from lines and shapes. This brought up in the center of the page for me. I bring it over to what roughly where I want the top line to be. And I resize it. And I tend to do these by eye, but you can select it, select the box and center to make sure it's in the center. And I'm quite happy as long as I've got it looking centered to me that it's okay. It's far too dark. I don't want it that thick and heavy and I probably don't want to block. I think I'd like it in a dark shade of gray. So I'm going to go up and just change the line. I do want it to be a straight line. I don't. You could also choose dashed or dotted. I do want a solid line, but it's too heavy, so I only want it to be probably one. The line weight to be one. So I will do that and you can see that has made the life thinner. But I also don't want it in black. So I will go to line color. I will just choose a darkish, well, maybe actually quite a whitish gray. And see what I think they're just click off your design and you can have a look. So now I have a line that I'm happy with, and I'd like to have this line repeated way to the bottom of the page so that I have lots of lines to write my shopping list on. Canva offers a neat little trick to make this so much simpler. If we go to the line that we've already put down. You can see that box of options comes up above. You have the option to send it to them. I'm not going to do that because I'm happy with it. Or you have the option to duplicate it. If you select Duplicate, you can see that another line is brought up underneath. Never brings the first one up in the right position. But if you reposition it, what you want it to go. So we want it a reasonable distance away so that there's room to write between the lines. And we want them to be in line at each end, you can see the little purple dotted lines are showing me that they are in line. I'm pretty happy with that positioning. I'm going to let go. You can. And then I'm going to click off. Because I find that this is the easiest way to do this. Then go back to that lime. Got to look at tonight on your second line. A third one comes up already in place. And if I continue to do duplicate the whole way down the page, each new line is brought up in line with the one above, so that I end up with a whole page of lines that are already in possession. Their lines up at both ends centered in the middle. And that makes life a lot easier than having to add h line manually. So when you get to the bottom of the page, I think that's as far as I wanted to go. You've got your shopping list. If you wish, you could add another level imaged on the bottom or some text. But I'm happy with my shopping list as it is. The next thing I want to do is to group all of this design together so that it's easy for me to duplicate it two more times to fill the page. The easiest way to do this is to click off the screen, go slightly outside the boundary, and just drag a rectangle around all of the elements. And then choose grip. Now I know that I am gripping the binding box as well. And this, which I don't necessarily need for my notepad. But actually sometimes I find that it makes it a bit easier for cutting. If you have a paper trimmer that it's hard to get an a precise measurement all like mine. It can be handy to have that very, very faint gray line there so that you know where to cut. And when you cut exactly on the line, you don't see it in the note pad. So it is fine. If you want to at the end, you can remove that line so it's not in your final page. But then you will have to be very careful about cutting. You may have to measure to make sure that you get your pH is equal size. So I want to take this design. I wanted you to bucket the whole design. So I can just go to duplicate. And it's brought up another design which I am going to move over and put exactly on the line of the previous one. And I am then going to duplicate this. Again. I don't know why it doesn't let me duplicate option doesn't come up again. So I just do Control C and Control V to copy and paste and bring up the third one. You can see that we have three note Pont designs. Three notepad page is filling the page. You can see the gray line, either separation between the sheets, if you want to remove them at this stage, the way to do that is to collect. Click on your design on Griffith. Go to the bounding box. You can just delete that. And it's gone. You would have to do it with the next one. The first one as well, to get rid of them all, I'm quite happy to leave mine. So I'm just going to do that. The next thing we want to do is to get our shopping list from Canva onto our computer. The way we do that by going to share, download. And then we choose our file type. For this, I'm chasing a PDF. And I'm choosing the one that says it's best for printing on, then I'm going to choose mood. And it will ask me where I would bring up a PDF and that will bring up a PDF on my computer showing three shopping lists. And I will then save that to my computer at wherever I want to put us. So I'm just going to leave it in my dynamos folder at the moment. But you can obviously save it to wherever you have your documents on your computer. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to go from this file which we've downloaded to printing ite, the required number of pages for your notepads on to cutting and assembling those and gluing them together. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Printing & Assembling: Now that we have all our notepad pages printed, we're going to cut them. You need to line them up very carefully in your tremor or using scissors, be very careful to cut along the gray line. You want to make sure you go along the gray line the whole way. Because then once you have it cut, it won't be visible. Once you've got all your pH is cut, we're going to cut the cardboard for the backing. Again, line it up in your cutter or using your scissors, real align length 9 mm wide to tan high. And that will be the backing. You can see that I've cut three pieces in mind just to have some for later. The common A4 sheets, the grape word that I use. So it's very easy just to cut three, and I always have some extras and a drawer. Once you have your gray board on your pages, we want to line them up very carefully, making sure they're equal at the top, the bottom on both sides. We don't want any pH is sticking out at the top or bottom or side. So that's just take some time to make sure that they're all even the whole way right? When I'm getting ready to glue my notepads, I use little scraps of cardboard and I put them behind and in front at the top. And this helps protect the pHs from the indentations of the binder clips that I use to keep them together firmly while the glue dries. Um, I also have a couple of spare pages at the top so that I can rip off any dots and get Glee on them accidentally. Once you have your pages on your keyboard or your cardboard held together firmly by the binder clips, you're ready to glue. As I've said before, I use bookbinding medium, but PVA glue is absolutely fine for this. Just get some on a paintbrush and do a lovely even coat along the top, making sure that you get it on both the card boards or gray board. And on your pages, you want to make sure they're haven't even coating across all of them and there are no gaps. Then I add an extra two binder clips to the top of my notepad just to make sure that those pHs are held together really, really well while they dry. Just be sure that when you are putting the binder clips on the top, you do not get the top of the binder clip touching the glue at all. That can completely written a note pad at the last stage. So we just want to make sure that they're not too close and they're not touching, then we just leave it to dry. I usually leave mine overnight, but probably three or 4 h is the time it off. Once the glue has dried and you take the binder clips off, you have a lovely note pad that you can use yourself, give us a gift or selling your stationery store, you may want to add optional front cover to your notepad. I tend to use some scrapbooking paper that I would have in the house and my boat. Vast collection of that. So they usually have some available. And you just want to make sure that you measure your front cover paper to be about three to 4 cm longer than the notepad itself. And this allows it to go over the top and glue on to the back. So now you have finished your class project. You have a notepad either with or without the optional front cover, and you are ready to get to making your shopping list. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you just a couple of ideas that you might want to use for packaging your notepads. 7. Packaging: Now that you've finished your notepad, I just want to show you a few of the ways that I package might note pads to give as gifts or to sell in my online store. I used three main ways. The first way is to just pop the notepad into three syllable cellophane bag. That keeps the notepad nice and clean and stops the pH is getting dog-eared. The second option is to make a simple route to go around the front of the notepad. I often print these on craft card to give a contrast with the white paper of the notepad, you can print a label that goes on the front saying whatever you like. The third way is I like to wrap twine around my notepad and have a little tag hanging off it with my business card. So those are just some simple ideas that you might like to use to package your notepads. As a little bonus, if you go to the Projects and Resources tab down below, you'll find a PDF version of my notepad ramps that you might like to use. 8. Conclusion: So now you've come to the end of the class. I hope you're happy with your notepad and that you've learned some skills along the way that you didn't have before and that you'll be able to use in future to create more beautiful note pods that you can give as gifts are opened your own stationery shop with. I'd love you to upload your projects into the class project gallery so that I can give you some feedback and see the lovely things you've made. And also so that you can have a look at what other students have done. They can have a look at yours and that you can give each other feedback and comments to encourage you going forward in your notepad designing journey. If you show your pods on social media, I'd really love it if you tag me, my occurrence or reckless, reckless and designs on Instagram. If you follow me on Skillshare, you'll get notified when I publish a new class, and I've lots of plans to publish new classes over the new year. Thanks so much for joining me in this class. I really hope that you'll join me in some of my new classes in 2023.