Update: Download templates here.
As my children get older, each year the pressure increases to create Valentines that are "cool" and, more importantly, not "lame" or "embarrassing." Pumpkin is at an age (10) where he still likes to give and receive Valentines at school, but he doesn't necessarily want to admit that he likes it. Luckily, this matchbook notebook Valentine fit the bill perfectly last year. As a matter of fact, as Pumpkin saw me photographing the notebooks for this post, he told me that some kids still carry their notebooks with them from last year! So I guess that's proof-positive that matchbook notebooks as Valentines are kid-approved.
Always the critics, Pumpkin and Petunia thought that the standard, matchbook-sized matchbook notebooks were too small, so we adapted the idea and made them a bit larger. We added graphics of Pumpkin and Petunia's two favorite animals (monkey and elephant, respectively) and printed them up. One 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper makes two notebook covers. The following show what the templates look like for each design.
Print the templates on the paper of your choice, we used textured cardstock, cut using the solid lines as your guide and score and fold as indicated. (measuring from the top of the paper, you will fold at 1 1/2 inches, 6 3/4 inches and 7 inches). It is much easier to fold the paper if you score it first. You can easily score the paper using a straight edge and a bone folder or the dull side of a butter knife.
Once the notebook covers are cut and folded, just cut scrap paper to fit inside. You can use paper right out of your recycle bin, stacked so that the unused, blank side is showing. You could also use lined paper if you have stacks of it lying around like we do. Here is what the inside of the notebooks look like. We measured our notebook paper to be about 3 1/4 by 4 1/2 inches.
We stacked about 10 to 15 sheets of paper to include in each notebook. Once you stack the paper, just slip it under the bottom flap of the notebook cover and staple in place. Then fold down the cover and slip under the fold. The finished notebook is approximately 3 1/2 by 5.
Last year, we made about 50 of these fun little notebooks for classmates, teachers and friends. They do take a bit of extra time, so definitely plan ahead, but the end result is well worth the time and effort and your children will give something fun and useful to all of their friends! Matchbook Notebooks would also make great party favors!
If you would like me to send you a pdf file of the templates, just email me with the subject line Matchbook Notebooks and I will send the templates right off to you!