June 11, 2019

How to Reuse or Recycle Old Notebooks

If you are a mom or dad and you have kids that already go to school, I’m pretty sure that sometime in your life, you are asking yourself “What are you going to do with their old notebooks?”. It is easy to throw out those old notebooks and just buy a new set of notebooks every school year. But of course, we all know that we can still use those old school notebooks and used papers.

Ever since my son started going to school, I always have a pile of papers, notebooks, and books. So at the end of the school year, I do my own inventory so I will have an idea of what I need to buy, reuse, and recycle. Last March, I only spent less than P400 on my son’s school supplies compared to P1431 if I will buy everything at their school bookstore. I saved money because I still have enough supplies and I will reuse most of his school supplies like notebooks.

Having said that, I always collect those notebooks and used papers that I can reuse and recycle. It is my way of helping the environment and saving money too. I already blogged about my DIY Scratchpad before, so you can check my post here on how I reuse old papers.

Read: DIY Scratchpad

For now, let me share “How to Reuse or Recycle Old Notebooks”. There are 3 things that I do with old school notebooks.

1. Reuse Old Notebooks 

After the final exam, I will get all my son’s notebooks and check if there are notebooks that I can reuse. For this school year, I reused 3 notebooks. Math, HELE and Araling Panlipunan. I just removed all the used pages and replaced the cover so it will look new.

For our Math spring notebook, the cover is not in good condition so I removed the cover, spring, and sew the pages of the notebook. Then I used cardboard to make a new cover. I was able to make two new Math Notebook.

For HELE and Araling Panlipunan, I just removed the used pages and cover it.

2. Make Scratch Paper 

My son is using composition notebooks so I don’t tear the used pages, I cut it so I can reuse the other side. You can use a paper clamp to keep all the papers, make a scratch pad using padding glue, or use a fastener. This year, I have some fasteners so I used them to make my own scratch paper. It is easier since the pages of the notebook are not uniform. If you notice, I still have a writing notebook, leftover from Grade 3 Level.

3. DIY Notebook

Since I have a lot of scratch papers, sometimes I make a DIY notebook. For those school notebooks that my son can’t reuse, because I feel that the pages are not enough, I used it. Instead of buying Filler Refill, I make my own notebook.

After removing the used pages, collect the unused pages. You can use a stapler or sew the unused pages including the cover to bind it. In my case, I just sew the paper, using the present holes as my guide. So now, I have 6 Filler Refills and I don’t need to buy anymore for my notes or journals.

This is an easy DIY project that you can do to save money every school year. I am lucky that my son reuses his school supplies.

Note: I got the pencil wrap PDF file from Pinterest. I just print the file and used it for our notebooks.

Update 2020 

COVID19 happened so we’re stuck at home and we cannot go out because of the Community Quarantine. So I started organizing and decluttering my son’s school supplies. I started making DIY notebooks again. This time I was able to make 4 notebooks. I printed my own notebook wrapper using the patterns from Nautical Collection and for the text, I used the Chery Rush Font.  

Update 2021 

For the school year 2020 to 2021, my son has online classes so he seldom uses his notebooks so he will just reuse those notebooks for the school year 2021 to 2022. But I also have my old notebooks so I decided to save the unused pages.