When it's time to start stocking the school backpack, it's easy to just grab a stack of plain, boring notebooks.|
But since you have to tote these things to and fro every day, why not trade the standard-issue ones for something snazzy and personalized?
There are plenty of eye-catching options to buy or to make yourself.
At Zazzle.com and Cafepress.com, you can upload favorite images and decorate custom journals and notebooks with different fonts and colors. There are also fun backgrounds like chevrons, animal prints, sports themes and nature motifs that can be jazzed up with monograms or catchphrases.
Frecklebox.com offers cute, 50-page, wide-ruled spirals printed with owls, hearts, flames, robots, camouflage, flowers and other kid-centric patterns for grades 2-8. They can be personalized with names or initials in a variety of styles.
My Paper Monkey's has some fun designs, including sporty cartoon dinosaurs, stars, splatter and checkerboard designs. Names can be ordered in cool fonts that resemble graffiti, industrial stamps or pretty, Parisienne-style script. Find them at mypapermonkey.com.
Add your name to a chalkboard image of inspiring words on a notebook at Tinyprints.com, or choose from designs like patchwork, meadow or feathers.
If you're crafty, consider making a notebook or journal from scratch using recycled paper. Magazines, scrapbook paper and maps make good cover art, and can be cut into geometric shapes or left intact. Apply them to chipboard or cardboard, add blank or lined paper, and secure. Online tutorials suggest binding them with staples, duct tape, brads, book rings, wire, elastic or stitchery. Check out babbledabbledo.com.
Yarn and ribbon make pretty patterns on a plain book. Create stripes of color, or make a bunch of little bows or loops as embellishment. Affix bandanas or cloth napkins in zingy designs. Glue on buttons, sequins or shells.
Or give a composition book about three coats of chalkboard paint and add a bulldog clip to hold some chalk so you can carry an always-ready art space.
Find some craft pipe cleaners and create a colorful, textured notebook cover, or add a rainbow of rubber bands to a notebook cover to hold clips and pencils.
Have some fabric or felt lying around the house? Cover a book with soft velvet and add a stamped design of leaves for a luxe little book you'll love to get to work in. Or if you like to sew, cut out a felt cover and embroider it closed around the edges; add a pocket for an eraser or pen. Visit spoonful.com.
Have a favorite cereal, cookie or other food that comes in a box? Cut it up and grab some Mod Podge adhesive to make fun notebook covers. Visit mypaperpony.blogspot.com.