DIY notebook making

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This one is still very much a work in progress. The fabric is being a pain.

Step 0

Get all the design File:Documents

The first thing to do is get all your equipment together. Here are the materials we are going to need:

1.Destructible jeans or other durable fabric

2.2 x 3/8 height by 1/4 dia inch neodymium cylinder magnets (optional)

3.Hemp twine or thick yarn

4.1/8 in thick plywood

5. 1/8 inch stack of 8.5 by 11 paper

Here are the tools we are going to need



3.Hot glue gun

4.+7 Laser Cutter of Doom

To set things up:

clear a work area heat up the glue gun start soaking the paper in water. Try to keep edges aligned. Try to get water between pages.

Step 1

The first step is to rough cut the wood. I cut the wood in two steps because we need to bond the wood with the denim in step two. This is a messy process and hard to align all the edges. I trim the edges with the laser so that everything looks precise. Load the wood into the laser. Print out step one using these settings:

Speed 7 Power 100 Frequency 5000

That should thoughouly cut the pieces out of the wood

Step 2

This step we bond the wood to the fabric. Use the scrap wood as a guide to keep the cutout pieces in the right position. Apply the hot glue liberally and up to the edges. Press the fabric onto the wooden parts. Lay another piece of fabric on top. Apply the iron to the fabric layers to flatten the hot glue and form a good bond. Iron it till it's smooth.

Another good idea is to use the back pockets of the jeans instead of the legs. If the pockets are small enough, then your notebook will have a pocket on each cover. However, you need to skip the denim engraving stage.

When all the wood pieces are firmly bonded with the fabric, remove the scrap wood guide. Trim the fabric with scissors to the edge of the wood. Trim it as close to the wood as possible. Spray the fabric with a little water to avoid a flash fire in the laser cutter.

Step 3

This step might require some new graphics. I have it setup to run an ancient chinese poem (I have no idea what it means, but I usually make up a good story), a picture of me and my autograph. You might want to change the graphics around. The master is saved as an .svg file to allow you to edit it. Find some suitable graphics and have fun.

Place the piece back in the laser cutter. Place it so that the wood side is up. Line the wood up so that the red pointer is on the upper left hand corner of the wood. Print out the pdf using the combined (vector and raster) driver. Put the settings at

Speed 100 Power 100 Frequency 500

Hit print and watch the laser cutter go.

Step 4

This step we engrave a poem on the cover. Flip the piece over so that the denim side is up. Align the laser pointer to the upper left hand corner. Print the design using the vector driver with these settings:

Speed 100 Power 100 Frequency 500

Step 5

Without moving the piece at all, print out the next PDF to perform a fine cut of the piece. Use the vector driver and these settings:

Speed 7 Power 100 Frequency 5000

Step 6

Remove the piece. Now you have the cover finished. The next step is to make some cool looking paper. Put the wet paper into the laser cutter. Make sure it is good and wet the whole way through. Vary the settings according to the thickness of the paper. I've found that wet paper is more difficult to cut than wood. I recommend these settings:

Speed 4 Power 100 Frequency 5000

Step 7

Let the paper dry. This will take five or six hours.

Apply a finish and or stain to the wood. I'm still working on the best way to finish these pieces. I'm thinking a beeswax finish would be nice.

Push a magnet into the holes on the outside rim of the notebook. It should be a press fit. Super glue them in place.

When the paper is dry, stitch the design up using the hemp twine.