Can you guess the secret ingredient that I used to make this custom 3D notebook for my son?

Can you guess the secret ingredient that I used to make this custom 3D notebook for my son?

This year for Christmas, I made custom journals for my kids.  They were definitely a hit!  The “secret ingredient” for this project was a plastic shield from the toy section that had a crest on it.  Disassembled, the crest from the shield makes a great 3D embellishment for the cover.  After a little bit of a paint treatment, the cheap look of the plastic is transformed into an heirloom-quality gift!

Project estimate:

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  • Binder, sketch book, journal, etc., $1 and up
  • Toy shield with 3D decoration,  $1 and up
  • Hot glue, on hand
  • Tissue paper, on hand or $1
  • White glue, on hand
  • Paint, on hand
  • Plastic shopping bag, on hand

Total:  $2 and up

DIY custom notebook

Remove the 3D decoration from the shield with a pair of pliers. Hot glue it to the front cover of the book.  Use a book with a stiff, heavy cover for the best results.

diy custom notebook

Wad the tissue into tight balls and straighten them out. Tear them into 3″x3″ pieces. Slip the book, except for the top cover, into the shopping bag to prevent it from getting damaged.

Add 1 part water to 5 parts white glue and mix it together. Sparingly dab the glue mixture onto the 3D decoration in a small area and put on a piece of tissue paper.

custom diy notebook

Continue doing this until the entire decoration is covered.

diy custom notebook

Using the same technique, cover the rest of the book top. By the time you have finished doing that, the decoration should be dry enough to add another coat of tissue to. IMPORTANT: Any thing plastic must be covered with the glue and tissue. Sanding isn’t necessary.

diy custom notebook

When the area is completely dry, it will be shiny. Now you can paint it, I used an acrylic paint I purchased from the dollar store. Use the main colour and let completely dry.

Mix a small amount of white to your main colour. Put a very small amount on a sponge brush (I used the same brush for the entire project) and dab off the excess on a piece of newspaper. Lightly brush up and down to highlight the 3D decoration. If you get too much in a spot, paint it black and start again.

Custom 3D Notebook