How to Make a Notepad out of Junk Mail

10 DIY Back to School Projects

how to make a notepad

Oh, junk mail! Why do you invade my life? Even after signing up with Catalog Choice, I still get bills and credit card offers each week, and if you’re saving all that paper for possible future craft projects, they can add up quickly.

We’re all familiar with the joys of crafting with junk mail, but have you ever peeked inside of those envelopes that house things like bills and bank statements? Inside many of those envelopes are printed patterns. The idea is that the printing on the wrong side of the paper prevents snoops from reading your mail through the envelope, but the side effect is that every day your mailman is basically delivering free, decorative paper to your house!

security envelope

If you can’t stop the flow of junk mail, at least you can craft with it! Collect yourself some security envelopes, and you can make a sweet, miniature notepad to jot down ideas, phone numbers, and anything else that strikes you while you’re on the go.

How to Make a Notepad Out of Junk Mail


  • About 7 security envelopes
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Stapler and staples


1. Measure, mark with pencil, and cut your security envelopes into 7 pieces that are 2.5″ X 5″ apiece.

2. Fold your pieces of paper in half, so each one is 2.5″ X 2.5″, then nestle them together so that they’re all book-like.

nestling mini notebook pages

3. To make your cover a little bit stronger than the other pages, you’re going to glue two pieces of security envelope together. Cut out your two pieces, and use your glue stick to glue them together right sides out. Fold this in half and nestle it over your interior pages.

4. Use a clothespin or binder clip to hold your pages and cover in place on one side, then open up your notepad and staple the spine near the top and bottom along the crease.

stapled notebook

5. Of course, this leaves an unsightly staple on the edge of your notepad. We can’t have that! Let’s cover it up. Grab a scrap piece of security envelope, and cut it to 3/4″ by slightly shorter than 2.5″. Fold it in half, so that it’s 3/8″ X 2.5″, apply your glue stick over the wrong side of the paper, then nestle it over the spine, pressing down well to get out any air bubbles.

junk mail envelope front

Voila! Toss your mini notepad into your purse, and you’ll never be without paper again. Until it runs out. Now, where did I put my pen…?

16 thoughts on “How to Make a Notepad out of Junk Mail”

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  2. Love this! Thanks!

    And, the little windows are great for looking closely at things in a picture book, or finding special words and letters (for children who are ready to learn to read).

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  6. Jackie that’s a great idea for teachers as well as parents . I’m retired now but if I were still teaching I would certainly use it . Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I love this mini-notebook idea and will make one today.

    For some time, I’ve been using the “mini brick” design from inside some junk mail envelopes as the “walls” of little model buildings for my children’s games:

    First, cut out a simple “net” (the Walls of a box shape plus tabs for glueing) from card eg cereal boxes.

    Then, fold card to make an open-topped box.

    Finally, use your “brick” paper to cover the outside walls.

    (It is possible to add some wrapping paper with a mini design for “wallpaper” for inside – but that is easier before you fasten it together than after, I find!)

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