Making Your Own Pads of Paper
I just successfully used the method described below to create my own pad of paper. It's cheap, easy and fast!
On the downside, the website where I originally saw this is now charging $7.00 for their instructions. On the upside, I'd copied them into Evernote long ago, when they were free. On the downside, I don't have their nice pictures to show how it's done. On the upside, it's easy enough that simple descriptions will be enough. Believe me, this will take longer to describe than to do, and if needed, I can take photos and load them later.
I also didn't follow the instructions exactly, more about what I did different at the end.
What you'll need:
Stack of paper
Cardboard pad backing (optional)
Cotton ball or cotton cosmetic pad
Woodworking clamps and a length of thin wood longer than the edge to be bound
*-*-* or *-*-*
Straight table edge and a heavy flat weight (like a telephone book)
Note: I needed the cardboard backing because my pad slips into a portfolio. Not having anything handy, I trimmed down a double thickness of file folder and used that. It's big enough to slip into the slot of my portfolio and hold the pad securely.
1. Get the paper and cardboard backing nice and even along the edge to be bound.
I was able to use a clipboard to hold the paper, leaving the edge to be bound hanging over the side of the clipboard by about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm or so). Next, I clamped a length of 1x2 wood across the paper, along the edge of the clipboard, to hold the paper tight for binding. The idea is to compress the edge of the stack together before applying the glue.
Alternately, you can carefully place the stack of paper on the edge of a flat surface, leaving that same sort of overhang. Put a heavy book on it, right along the edge of the table, to hold the edge of the stack tight.
2. Take a wet cotton ball and run it along the edge of the paper to be bound. It doesn't have to be dripping, but make a couple of passes to make sure it's damp.
3. Squeeze the cotton ball dry, then apply some Gorilla Glue to the cotton ball and run that along the edge of the paper. Give it a couple of careful swipes to make sure you get the entire length. You don't need much glue!
4. Take a nap. Oh wait, that's me. You can just do something else for an hour or so.
5. All done! When you unclamp/remove the heavy book/whatever clever thing you did, you'll find that you now have a pad of paper! I test tore a sheet free from mine, and it seems to work pretty well. Perhaps a bit of care when removing a sheet to prevent tearing the paper, because that Gorilla Glue is strong.
I now have a beautiful pad of Cornell-style gridded note paper, with my name printed in the upper corner of each sheet. And now that I know this works, I can do it with some better quality paper too.
I spent less than $5.00 for the glue, and if I only use it for this it'll be a near lifetime supply.
The original site recommended building a simple jig to hold the paper straight. It was basically a flat board with two short pieces of wood attached at 90 degree angles, and two holes near the edge so that you could use bolts and wingnuts to clamp the paper tightly. If I find myself doing this often for a particular size, I'll probably knock one together, or figure out how to make it somewhat adjustable for a couple of sizes (like sheet and half-sheet).