Fabric Tear Away Notepad

Fabric Tear Away Notepad

Any guesses what today is?  It’s Silhouette Challenge day!  This month the intrepid Silhouette Challenge Facebook group took School as our inspiration and ran with it.  After some careful consideration, I decided that I wanted to be able to make my own tear away notepads.  Who doesn’t need more of those?  We certainly need more of those around the house.  And how perfect for the start of school as you’re gathering all your office supplies!  I also happened to get a test swatch of some Karen Hallion Spoonflower fabrics in, and just couldn’t help myself but to add a nice fabric and leather cover to it all.  Here’s how I made it!






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Leather Trim (Minimum size for this design is 8×5″, your design my vary.  Though I used ArtMinds here, I’m always a big fan of Tandy Leather Factory)
Karen Hallion Iron Lady Test Swatch from Spoonflower **Use your favorite fabric here, or make a cover out of patchwork scraps!!**
*8×10″ Sketch Paper
Gold Thread {I could not find the thread that I own online, sorry.  It was similar to *this one.}
*Hand Awl with *stabbing blade
*Leather Needle
*Rotary Cutter
*Self Healing Cutting Mat
*Straight Edge
*Binder Clips (not shown)
*3M 77 Spray (not shown)
Newspaper (not shown)
1 piece of regular printer paper (for protecting from over spray, not shown)
Snake Eyes stab binding tutorial by Becca Making Faces
FREE Silhouette Cut File <- click to download
And of course, my Silhouette Cameo (not shown)

Step 1: Determine your size

The first thing to do is determine what the size of your notebook will be.  Since I’m using a swatch of fabric that has a design on it, I first needed to cut out the square I wanted and measure that.


Make sure to square your edges well as you go along.  This is one project where it will show if you don’t.  You could also use some anti-fray spray here if you happen to have it.  I haven’t had any fraying problems yet, but it would probably help in the long term.


After measuring, I found my pattern to be approximately 6.5×5.15″.  Since my paper is 8×10″ and I wanted a leather trim up top, I trimmed the width down to 5″ and planned on a 1.5″ upper trim.  This way I could cut my 8×10″ paper in half and make the most use of it!

Step 2: Cut your paper and backing

Now that I knew what size my paper was, it was off to Studio to design my papers.  For the papers, I just designed right on an 8×10″ sized paper and had the Silhouette do both the straight cut to cut it and half and the perforated cut at 1.5″ down from the top.  Please note that depending on the placement of your paper, you might need to snip off towards the edges a bit along the straight cut.  You can download my FREE Silhouette Studio files HERE in both V2 and V3 files if you’re using the same paper size.  I cut my sketch paper using the default card stock setting.  I probably could have lowered the blade a little bit and still been fine.

Tip: In V3, to change a straight line to a perforated line select your line and click on the “Line Syle” button lineStyle in the top right.  You’ll have the option of changing to 6 different perforation styles.



For the chipboard, I used the Silhouette brand chipboard.  Designing this one was a little bit harder, since I knew I wanted to do a Japanese Stab Binding along the top. After some searching, I found a treasure trove of designs by Becca Making Faces and decided on her Snake Eyes pattern.  With the dot pattern on hand and knowledge of  my binding size up top (1.5″), I centered and placed the dot pattern for reference on the back of the chipboard.  The lighter red line and the white circles will not cut, but I used them to help center my design.



Step 3: Assembling the paper pad

With the paper all cut out and perforated, it was time to assemble everything together.  I started by tapping the pages and backing as evenly as possible and holding it together with some binder clips. Of course, given my cut method, my pages weren’t all exactly the same size, but I was ok with that.


Then I placed a piece of white paper on top of the front pages under the perforation mark, lifted up the top flap, and sprayed a little bit of 3M 77.  I did this in between each sheet.  Some of them pulled up right away, but don’t worry about that too much right now.  Keep focused on leaving pressure at the perforation mark so that you don’t over spray onto the interior pages.


Once you’re done, clip the top down with some binder clips for pressure and walk away for about 15 minutes.  Conveniently, you can use that time to prepare your cover!



Step 4: Preparing the cover

I wanted to add a leather backing to the cover fabric and have the trim up top both for aesthetics and to add a little extra weight to the cover piece.  Since we’ve already cut out the fabric, the next thing to do is to adhere the fabric to the leather.  I used a bit of 3M 77 again to lightly spray the back of the fabric and carefully place it onto the leather.


As I placed it on the leather, I went very slowly to try and place everything carefully and without air pockets.  I was able to lift up again to re-position if needed, and I even had my fabric adhere to itself and could pull it apart.  I would take this step nice and slow, but be aware that the more time you spend fiddling, the more likely the glue is to dry on you.  Once I was done, I pressed down on the fabric to add a little pressure.


Then I went back to my handy dandy rotary cutter, straight edge, and cutting mat and cut the leather to size (8×10″).


Step 5: Punching the holes

Next, I clipped the leather cover onto the paper pad.  I actually started with just the side clips, but decided I needed the top clips a little later on (hence why you see the holes).  I didn’t glue the cover to the paper so that I could remove it and attach it to a new pad later down the line.  Re-use for the win!



Coming in from the back, where I had pre-cut some very small starter holes with the Silhouette, I used my awl to punch through all the layers of paper and into the leather.

Remember that leather tools are meant to punch through thicker hides than yours!  Use caution and don’t punch through your own skin!


I didn’t want to push out the leather too much, so as soon as I got the awl through the tiniest bit, I flipped it over and widened the hole by punching the leather down into the paper instead of out and away.


Do this for all of the holes in your pattern.

Step 6: Japanese Stab Binding

I won’t reiterate how to do this particular pattern here, since you really should just head on over to Becca’s tutorial for that.  But here are a few tips and tricks.  Japanese Stab Binding is a method of binding with thread that requires moving from one hole to another in order to make a pattern without ever retracing your steps (so you will never have 2 threads overlapping each other along the same line).  I modified her pattern a teensy bit, and I did end up overlapping myself so my binding isn’t technically a Japanese stab binding (but again, I’m ok with that).  You need to have as much thread as you’ll need for the project when you begin.  I wrapped my thread around the top of the notebook 6 times and then doubled that.  The length worked well.  I had a little more than I would have liked left over when I was done, but it really wasn’t too much.  Finally, I should have used a slightly thicker thread for this project in order to keep everything more taught in place.  Since the thread is significantly thinner than the holes, it’s easier to move around some of those side strings than I would have preferred.


And Done!

That’s the end of this tutorial!  Here, have some more pretty pictures of the project.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed the project and check out all the other lovely school inspired designs below!


notepad_kgdcraftermath-19 kgdcraftermath (2)

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Back to School: Printable Book Cover Labels Back to School: Personalized Bag Tags DIY Chalkboard Vinyl Calender  Stamped Lunch Notes with the Silhouette - August Challenge Personalized Classroom Sign for the Teacher Apple earrings for that special teacher School Supply Organizer (Teacher Gift) Easy Vinyl Embellished Bookmarks Chalkboard Place Cards Fabric Tear Away Notepad LEGO inspired Printable Backpack Tags {FREE PRINTABLE} First Day of School Photo Prop Back to School: Personalized Notebooks Back to School: Geometric Paper Bag Textbook Covers Easy Back to School Teacher Gift & Printable Frozen Inspired Pencil Toppers First Day of School Photo Keepsake Giving School A Little Boost

1. Weekend Craft // 2. From Wine to Whine // 3. Life After Laundry // 4. Adventures in All Things Food // 5. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 6. Sowdering About // 7. The Kim Six Fix // 8. Architecture of a Mom // 9. greylustergirl.com // 10. Please Excuse My Craftermath // 11. Simply Kelly Designs // 12. My Paper Craze // 13. Sweet Tea & Saving Grace // 14. Black and White Obsession // 15. Ginger Snap Craft // 16. It Happens in a Blink // 17. Creative Ramblings // 18. Little Blue’s Room

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28 Responses to Fabric Tear Away Notepad

    • I am in love with all things Karen Hallion, and am so happy she sells her designs as fabric! Thanks Kristen!

  1. Kristy,
    Another amazing tutorial. Your creativity continues to inspire me to push myself to learn more. Sewing, cutting with the Silhouette, and hand made is putting your many talents to a piece worth treasuring.
    You are the best,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

    • Aw, thanks Karen! You inspire me as well! I love the mirror project you made for your friend. Blogging buddies are the best!

    • Isn’t that fabric just awesome! I love all of Karen Hallion’s art, hands down no questions asked. She happens to do princesses too… 😉

    • Trisha – I am so glad that you love it! Especially since I know you’re a leather girl yourself! I bet you could do this with some thrifted pieces!!

    • Samples are the best to play with Michelle! I’m glad you like the projects I make with it. Mostly I’m just experimenting!

    • Thanks for the pin Angela! I find the best way to get courage is to just go for it. Sometimes it’s really hard (I absolutely destroyed a limited edition piece of fabric this way once), but you never know if you’ll succeed until you try!

  2. You always push the bounds with your creative projects; and it pays off! Because boy, is this creative, or what?! The cover is simply stunning. I even think you should frame the cover once the notepad has been exhausted. Well done, my dear! And thanks for organizing such a stellar Challenge this month. Looks like a fun collection of projects! (Our group never disappoints, do they?)
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Tie-Dye Infinity Scarf: Video TutorialMy Profile

    • You know the best thing about the cover Lauren – it’s reusable! Since I didn’t glue it down to the paper pad, I can just remove the stitching and add a new pad underneath when the first one is exhausted. Isn’t that awesome!!!

    • Thanks Susan! I hope you do try, and that if you do you share it. I’d love to see where you take the idea!

    • Thanks Michele! The artwork is by Karen Hallion. I’m over the moon with her work, and so grateful that she sells the artwork on fabric over at Spoonflower. So many pretty things I could make with it!

    • Thanks Winnie! I love writing tutorials. They allow me to really share the whole process with you guys – and I love that it inspires other people to create their own projects!

    • Thanks Pam! The stitching up top was one of my favorite things as well. Now I want to go and start making my own stitch patterns!

  3. Wow Kristy this is amazing!! I’m impressed by the whole thing, the idea behind it, how you went about it and then that fabric…me oh my it is beautiful! Nice job!

    • Thanks so much Dee! You should check out some of her other work – she does princesses too. I bet your little girl would like some of her artwork. 😀

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