I’ve been pondering this for a while. How do I make a notebooking journal for my son to use that is sturdy, expandable, and at the same time attractive enough to get him excited. We are using a science curriculum that has lots of great printables but no place to put them. I want him to start keeping good records of our work. He loves the cutting and taping of his projects into lapbooks. Notebooking seems like the perfect solution. In fact, we are already using notebooking materials extensively for both Caleb and his sister, but finding an attractive way to store all of our papers has proven elusive.
A few days ago, I started thinking about my blog planner. The one I printed last fall, covered with card stock and took to the office store. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted for a notebooking journal, but it was closer then the things I could find ready-made. How could I change that design to fit my needs? I decided that I needed card stock pages for sturdiness, and an extra large spiral binding for expansion.
Before heading out to the office store this morning I asked Caleb what color was his favorite and his answer was blue. Once I got to the store this presented an interesting dilemma. I wanted to get the strongest card stock available and at this store that was 110 pounds. Sadly, the only blue available at this weight was a pastel which is not exactly what he had in mind. Nevertheless, I picked up the mixed package of 110lb card stock and headed to the copy/print area of the store.
Here I started quizzing the store clerk about my options. Would a larger then necessary coil work so that we could paste things into our books? Yes. What kinds of covers were available? I settled on a black vinyl back and a clear plastic front cover. Perfect for my boys, but I am pretty sure my girls will want their backs to be a different color when I repeat this process! I asked the clerk to bind each of the colors in the package into a separate book, which would give me five books for Caleb to choose from.
I figured that was okay because he is only seven and we have plenty of time to use those other books. The only thing left to do was place my order and wait! The cost of each book came to almost exactly $5. After I got home, I found a coupon which would have reduced this cost by 20%! (Learn from my mistake and always look for those coupons before you leave home .) Plus, I earned teacher rewards on my purchase.
After arriving home, Caleb and I decided we needed to customize the cover a bit. We took a full-sheet printable label and created a cover on the computer. We made sure to include enough margin that it would fit on his book.
We also made sure to leave plenty of room in case he wants to draw a picture on his cover later. We attached this to the first cardstock page of his journal so that it would show through the clear plastic cover. This really helped him get excited about his very own notebooking journal. We made it his very own! (Notice he chose the grey color and not the pastel blue.)