Muji semi-bleached notebook (modified)
Cardstock $5 – Package of 50 sheets (from Michaels)
Here’s a little fun side stationery project I concocted probably a month back. It’s been almost two years now since I last mentioned my Traveler’s Notebook (link), when I purchased the Olive Special Edition version in 2017. Since then I’ve experimented with different inserts, including the standard blanks, kraft paper and creating my own watercolour paper inserts. I enjoy using all of them, but of course, I don’t really get in the habit of stocking up, and so when I run out of paper, I always scratch my head with what to use in the meantime.
One day I happened upon Muji scrap paper. It’s not really scrap, but they advertise it as bleached (or semi-bleached) paper, and they’re only a dollar. Sometimes they sell for even less when there’s a Muji sale. Or you can also buy them in packs of 5 or so now for a discounted price. So being out of my regular Traveler’s stock, I decided to use this scrap paper for the time being. Now these notebooks come in an A5 size, which means, for it to fit into the Traveler’s size, it needs to get cut down. Not an issue, slice slice!
The other thing I had to note was how thin this paper was. My first thought was *grown ‘Now I have to use a regular gel pen or ball point cause my fountain pen ink is going to rip right through it.’ Surprise! This paper is magic. It’s not quite as excellent as Clairefontaine or what I imagine Tomoe River paper would be, but it’s still pretty magic. Practically no bleed through or feathering. The show through is also quite minimal. Colour me impressed! A small note though, depending on what ink I used, there were certain ink and pen combinations that did feather a bit, but it was so minimal I didn’t think too much on it.
That was part one of the test. Now in part two, is where I start thinking a little more long term. This scrap notebook might actually work as a replacement, but the cover is way too flimsy. And by cover, I mean that it is just another piece of scrap bleached paper. The thing with Traveler’s Notebooks is that even if they are all linked together with the elastics, it needs a relatively strong cover to keep it all together. So I took some cardstock that I already had from making envelopes and misc. crafts, and decided to use it as a cover.
As quickly as I had thought to use the cardstock, I now had several sheets of coloured cover paper to use for all my future scrap notebooks! The only things you’ll need for this hack:
- decent exacto blade
- metal edge or ruler
- a cutting matt if you don’t want to destroy your desk
- and a stapler
- Don’t forget the paper of course!
The only small hump I came across was stapling the cardstock centre to my notebook. I had to open it flat, and place something softer below that could pick up the staple before turning the book around and folding the straight staple legs over with a blade.
That’s that! I will also note that in addition to making colourful notebooks for myself, I’ve also picked up some of muji’s other thin notebooks with cardstock covers. Each cover colour is coded to what type of paper is inside. So far I have black covers with grey tape which have grid paper inside, and cardboard colour with orange tape for blank pages. These are also great options, but require chopping off the edge to fit the Traveler’s size. Small paper cost (remember to recycle!) for a great economical option.