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15 DIY Notebook Designs for Going Back to School

Now that September is in full swing, those still off to school and college have finally settled in all the classes, we’ve decided that it’s time to get a little more creative about notebook designs! We knew it was time to start getting crafty with our school supplies this week when we caught ourselves staring at the notebooks, thinking about how much more everyone would enjoy taking their notes if they were more colourful, more sparkly, or had a little more personality in some way.

Just in case you’re as intrigued by the idea of customizing your own schoolbooks in a creative way as we were, if not more, here are 15 of the very best and coolest looking DIY notebook ideas that we could find for a little bit of inspiration and guidance!

1. Pusheen inspired DIY notebooks


If you’re not yet familiar with the absolutely adorable phenomenon that is Pusheen, then we’d urge you to Google it right now before even continuing this post! Pusheen is an adorable cartoon cat that started out as a viral Internet sensation and became a whole brand. Of course, there are Pusheen themed things that you can buy in stores, but those are only offered in some places, so we’d prefer to make our own Pusheen inspired designs where we can depict the adorable kitty however we pleased, including studying just as hard as we know we’re about to. Get the full instructions for making Pusheen notebooks of your own on Kawaii Sweet World!

2. Triangular colour block notebooks


If you’re going to put in the time and patience it takes to customize your own notebooks, would you rather creative something a little more geometric or abstract looking, playing with colours and shapes in a way that will appeal to just about anyone sitting around you? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Design Improvised made these awesome DIY triangular colour blocked notebooks in just a few simple steps!

3. Studded corners notebook


Has your personal style actually always been a little more edgy or punk rock inspired than what you’ve seen so far, so you were hoping to find a design that has a little bit more attitude? Well, those might sound like words you’d use to describe clothing, but hey, this idea actually requires tools that we have customized clothing before, so it works! Check out how JENeration DIY gave their notebook some personality by adding metal studs to the corners. Just don’t use the very large and sharp kind, since you probably won’t be allowed to take those to school for safety reasons.

4. Stitched notebook covers


When you craft in other areas of your life, do most of your skills actually usually lie in sewing, embroidery, or hand stitching? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll get along very well indeed with this absolutely lovely stitched notebook covers idea outlined step by step on Homemade 101! Feel free to recreate the designs that you see outlined nice and clearly in their tutorial or extrapolate the idea and make some designs of your own using those basic techniques!

5. Glow in the dark Tumblr inspired notebooks


Are you a child of the Internet age who went through a huge Tumblr phase, like the rest of us, and now all things styled like the emjois, wallpapers, and memes that you posted there make you feel nostalgic? Then we have a feeling you’ll get along very well indeed with something like these Tumblr inspired notebooks featured step by step on 4 Simple Steps 2 Life! Even if you were never an avid Tumblr user, these notebooks are just plain fun regardless.

6. Glitter emoji notebooks


Were you pretty intrigued by the idea of making emjoi inspired notebooks because you’ve always found them so fun looking, but you’re also a big fan of taking things to the next level and you can’t help wishing that the idea had a little something extra to it? In that case we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how 5 Minute Crafts made this super awesome sparkly version by creating a clear plastic sleeve within the centre of the notebook’s cover, filling it with emoji shaped cutouts and shiny sequins in different colours.

7. DIY glitter spine notebooks


Perhaps you’re actually pretty happy with the design and colours on the notebooks you found in stores, but you still can’t help wondering whether or not there’s a way to add just a little more glitz and glam to the blandest part of your book- the spine? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Trinkets in Bloom transformed their book by using loose glitter to give the spine a fun facelift!

8. DIY gold foil notebooks


Are you very interested indeed in the idea of adding a little bit of golden shine to your books like you saw above, but you’re really not fond of the idea of using loose glitter because you find that it sheds no matter how well you try to seal it? Well, if you’ve ever been a fan of quote decorated pieces, then we think you’ll very much enjoy the way Lovely Indeed created these DIY gold foil notebooks featuring all kinds of cute sayings.

9. DIY galaxy notebooks


If you’re the kind of DIY enthusiast who loves keeping track of trends in both the crafting world and fashion or pop culture, then we have a feeling you’ll have no surprise at all to see that DIY galaxy painted notebooks are very big this year, particularly since galaxy painted everything has been rather popular as of late! We’re actually huge fans of the colour schemes and speckling techniques involved in making these projects, so we naturally couldn’t resist including this awesome homemade galaxy notebook tutorial from My Crafts.

10. Symmetrical painting notebooks


In your other crafting projects on a regular basis, do the bulk of your DIY skills actually lie in your ability to create wonderful freehand paintings? In that case, why not use the skills you’re confident at the create a wonderful design that you know you’ll be proud to show off at school all across the front and back of your book? We love Curly Made‘s suggestion for decorating both covers of your notebooks rather than just the fronts, that way they look impressive no matter how you’re holding them or what angle people are looking at them from.

11. DIY monster notebooks


If you’re going to put in the time, effort, and patience it takes to customize your own notebooks yourself, would you rather create something really cool, or that you know no one else in your class will have? Well, if you’ve ever been a fan of things that are cute or show off a kawaii aesthetic, then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how 2 Cats & 1 Doll made this adorable fluffy monster book that’s actually got a fluffy texture, just like fur!

12. Holo unicorn notebooks


Since we’re talking about awesome trends that have swept both the fashion and crafting worlds, have you actually been keeping an eye out through this whole list for ideas that will let you create something awesomely sparkly and holographic? In that case, we think you simply must take a look at the way Makoccino created super fun sparkling unicorn designs across the fronts of their notebooks in only a few simple steps! After all, who doesn’t love unicorns?

13. DIY graphic washi tape notebooks


Are you pretty sure you want to make some kind of cool geometric design across your notebook covers but you’re having trouble choosing a pattern or colour scheme, since you’re feeling kind of tempted to just use as many patterns as you can find? In that case, we absolutely think you should take a look at how Ellie Taylor used washi tape to create all kinds of neat shapes and effects in all kinds of different designs and shades. We like this idea because many washi tape brands are very affordable!

14. Chalkboard notebook


If you’re going to decorate a notebook, would you rather find a way to do so that’s always customizable, rather than being permanent once you’re done, just in case you get bored part way through the year? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll get along very well indeed with this chalkboard notebook idea outlined step by step on Warm Hot Chocolate! They show you how to paint the cover of your book in black chalkboard paint so it can be written on and then wiped away at whim.

15. Hand lettered quote notebook


Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about notebooks that have been artistically decorated by hand but you’ve actually always been better at cursive, calligraphy, or decorative lettering than you have been at freehand painting? In that case, we think perhaps this beautiful hand lettered and carefully shaded quote notebook idea outlined on Mini Penny might be right up your alley. Recreate theirs letter for letter or try using the basic techniques you see here to create a saying of your own!

Have you made other kinds of totally awesome DIY custom notebooks before that you adored using all year but that you don’t see anything quite  similar to on our list? Tell us all about how you created yours or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!