Monday, October 18, 2010

Recycled Notebooks

For my birthday my wonderful husband gave me a comb binder. What made the gift so special was that I had been wanting one, but had not mentioned it for months. I was surprised to see such a perfect gift! I tend to hint heavily about what I would like for my birthday, but not this time. Thanks Jess!!!
With my new comb binder, I have been making notebooks using recycled materials. I start by using any recycled cardstock I can find. My recycling bin is typically full of boxes from cereal, granola bars, cake mix, crackers, etc. Once the sides, top and bottom are cut off, I use the back sides of the them which offers a clean background to create. I love using paint chips which provide vivid colors to work with. After cutting and gluing them to the cardstock, I wrap the covers in packing tape to ensure the paint chips will stay in place. I tend to do many of my projects with kids and you can never tell if they will use enough glue (or too much glue). The tape is just there to make sure they don't fall off.
I have now done this project with about 50 kids and I am always amazed to see what they come up with for their designs. My favorite idea was to cut out the names of all the paint colors and make a collage with them. There are such creative names given to many of the colors that not only does it make a beautiful design, but it is fun to read too.
Once the cover is completed, I use scrap paper to fill the notebook. We keep a box full of scrap paper at my house. A lot of the scrap paper comes from misprinted pages from my printer, or fliers and announcements sent from school. My kids have learned to use both sides of their paper and typically use scrap paper whenever creating new projects. I am also amazed at how much perfectly good paper people are willing to throw away or recycle. My husband came home with 4 reams of goldenrod colored paper that his boss didn't want and was ready to throw away. Thanks to him for rescuing it. It filled the notebooks that over 50 kids made. My mom also gave me 2 boxes filled will all sorts of paper that her school was ready to throw away.

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