Are you frugal? I’m pretty frugal. Well, OK. I’m not as frugal as my Mom was… she saved the bags from boxes of cereal and split them and used as waxed paper when she baked cookies! Now, THAT’S frugal! And smart.
She would have been proud of me for this one. We always got a kick out of making something from what seemed like nothing!! She would have loved these DIY note pads and pen holder.
This paper was left over from my daughter’s wedding:
And that’s only about a third of it. The program for her wedding was 16 pages long (times a few hundred), and the printer had separated each with yellow sheets of paper. LOTS of yellow paper. And every so often, he slid in a piece of cardboard as well. After we put the programs together, she was going to throw the yellow paper away and I absolutely wouldn’t have that! *wink* So I wound up with all the yellow paper.
What I really wanted the paper for was scratch paper. Simple enough. But the HUGE stacks were just unmanageable. The idea came to me to actually make the kind of memo pads that have that adhesive stuff at the top edge, keeping all the pages bound together in a stack so you could just tear off a sheet as needed. I discovered you can order something called padding compound, or padding cement. But who has time for that? Or money??
I did some research and found a recipe for making your own padding compound. It’s pretty easy, and I already had some of the ingredients needed to make it! Here’s what you need:
- 1/4 oz (1 pouch) unflavored gelatin
- 3 Tblsp boiling water
- 1 Tblsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp glycerin
- Pour the gelatin into the boiling water. Use a whisk to stir the mixture until it has dissolved and no grains of powdered gelatin are visible. It will be pretty frothy.
- Add the vinegar and glycerin. Whisk for 1 minute or until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour into storage container (I used a baby food jar).
- With a paint brush, coat the end of your stack of paper. Let dry and give 2 more coats, drying in between. Keep edges compressed with popsicle sticks and held tightly with clamps.
- When making my notepads, the compound kept getting thick and I just popped my jar (without lid on) into the microwave for about 8-10 seconds.
After assembling several note pads, I wanted to dress them up, so I used the washi tape that was in our swag bags at Haven. I applied it just to the top of the pad and wrapped around to the back, so that they looked like this:
And then, one thing led to another and I made a pencil/pen holder out of a can and washi tape! I love how the ribs of the can give it texture through the washi tape!!
So here is my new desk set. And here’s the best (frugal) part: It was mostly FREE! I did have to purchase the glycerin, so I spent just over $3. I know this is my baby, but I think the note pads are cute enough to put in Christmas stockings!! (Yes, I’m already thinking a few months down the road…)
What do you think? I’ll leave you with some more images. Have an awesome day!!
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