Super-simple Back-To-School DIY – Cute Up your Notebooks


Back to School…AKA the end of:

“Mom, what’s for dinner?” at 10am. Yes, the perpetually hungry 8yr old asks that early.

“Mommy I’m bored!” Again the 8yr old.

“Mom, can we go to the Mall? I NEVER get to do anything fun with my friends, and it’s all your fault!” This would be the 13yr old girl.

“Ugh, why do we have to go to the  park and ride our bikes?! Why can’t I stay in my room and play Minecraft all day?! UGH, it’s not fair!” The 10yr old talking.

Ah, yes, back to school…back to my life, back to as close to a normal schedule as I’ll have with school-age children….Hooray!

I sure will miss them. But I’m also sure I’ll be ok Smile

So, In time for the beginning of another school year, I present to you a super-simple DIY, also known as “Cute Up Your Notebook.” Why have a plain old boring notebook like everyone else? Cover ‘em up with my favorite go-to: Contact paper of course! Have you noticed how cute contact paper is getting? Isn’t it great!?



So all you need is:

Cute Contact Paper
Cute Tape
Scissors and/or craft Knife

That’s it! You guys are a smart bunch aren’t ya? I’m sure you don’t need instructions. BUT, in case you do:

1. Measure the total width and height of your notebook. Composition notebooks (my favorite) are 8 x 10. To allow for the spine, adds another 1/2 inch. Total size of contact paper you need: (8 + 8 +1/2) 161/2”. To be safe, I cut 17”. Better too long than too short. You can trim, but you can’t add.

2. Peel and stick the contact paper. Starting on one long edge of the notebook, apply to one side first. Once you reach the spine, open up the notebook flat and cover the spine. This allows space for the notebook to open and close easily. Finish the other side. Trim around the curves and edges of the notebook.

3. If you want to take it to the next level, make a box around the top middle of your notebook with cute paper tape. Also line the spine with the tape.

That’s it, easy peasy!

Now, I said this was for back to school, but that doesn’t mean Mom can’t have a little crafty fun! Now’s a great time to stock up. The composition notebooks I love are available for .49 cents or less at Wally-World…You can literally buy a couple of hundred of ‘em!

I made myself a couple of these for my use. Tasks lists are so much more fun with a cute notebook to write them in.

Screw you Target, I can make my own cute notebooks for a fraction of what you want!

I actually have found that I keep better track of my composition notebook because it stands out from The Mister’s. He’s a notorious composition notebook user and we have boxes of his old notebooks to prove it.

How I Use My Notebooks.

All things AfroMartha Notebook:


I keep one notebook for writing down anything pertaining to AfroMartha the blog or shop. This is where I jot down ideas for product, future blog posts, middle-of-the-night can’t-sleep-ideas etc.

Anything regarding AfroMartha that I want to note and keep track of goes in this notebook This notebook saved my sanity with the last vending show I did.

Weekly Menu Planning:


The other notebook is for menu-planning which is a big-time headache saver. One day a week, usually on Sunday I select 7 dinners, one for each night of the next week.

I assign one dinner per night. This dinner is not set in stone. I can switch these around as needed.

Once I’ve chosen the meals, I make my grocery shopping list in the same notebook.  I try to coordinate this with what’s on sale and also try to coordinate similar ingredients. My list includes all groceries for the week, not just what I need for the 7 meals, BTW. I take this notebook with me when I go grocery shopping.

With my meal-planning notebook, I know what I’m making for dinner each night and there’s no last minute scramble upon hearing the words “Mom, what’s for dinner?” This also helps me with knowing when to start prepping the meal. I work every night at my part time “day job” from 7:30pm to 1am. I usually start prepping dinner right around 4pm when the kids are arriving from school, that way we can eat together and I may catch a little nap before I start work (I work from home).

The 13yr old girl (the only other person in this house that would appreciate a cute notebook, made a few of her own for back-to-school. She even got fancy-schmancy and fit the contact paper through the wire spirals of the spiral notebooks.

What can I say, she gets it from her Mama.

NOT. Even I don’t know how she pulled that one off.

Well actually, she says she cut slits at each spiral location and passed the contact paper around the spirals. Nice, huh?


So there it is, go cute up some cheap and abundant Back to School Notebooks! What’s back to school like in your neck of the woods?



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