Prev Next

Summer Project: Upcycle School Art by making a Beautiful Notebook

By Cindy Hopper

Here is a great way to recycle a child’s artwork into beautiful notebooks in minutes! These notebooks make great gifts or super cool journals to keep kids writing over summer vacation.

You will need spray adhesive, a composition notebook, child’s artwork the size of the notebook cover, colored duct tape and a sharp utility knife.

If you don’t already have a selection of artwork that you can use have your favorite artist get busy.

Make a color photo copy of the picture. We found copying the artwork gave the journal cover a smooth finish. If you don’t mind the waxy feel of the crayons or your picture was made with markers, this step can be omitted.

Spray the back of the picture with spray adhesive.

Place picture on the top of the notebook and then trim around the edge with a knife.

The artwork is trimmed to the edge of the notebook cover.

Place a piece of colored duct tape on the bound edge of the notebook. Allow half of the width for the front and half to wrap around to the back.

Trim edges of the duct tape even with the notebook.

Ta Da!


About the Author

Cindy Hopper

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has cont...

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has continued her love of art and is now passing her creative skills on to her three children. Cindy’s family and friends are the beneficiaries of her passion for fun and meaningful creative projects.

Cindy’s personal blog, Skip to My Lou, has taken her love of a project to new levels. Postings keep the family busy -– from testing new recipes for holiday treats to designing and building floats for a neighborhood parade to making fabric rolls to hold crayons to creating themed parties. Cindy seems to have an unending supply of ideas for gifts, parties and rainy days.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

tooo sweet!! I love this! I would also suggest either clear contact paper or 3″ clear tape across the cover to protect the masterpiece… I know that this will definitely encourage my daughter to write!! Thanks for the great idea!!


What a FANTASTIC idea! My girls will LOVE this…


Would mod podge over the top also protect? If so, and would work over crayon, can skip the color copy part.

Kathy Bigler

We did this tonight and it was a huge hit!!! My daughter made a prayer journal for the summer. The only thing I would suggest is that no background be left white, as we could see the actual print of the composition book. Thanks for a great idea!!! :o)
Editor: Thank you so much for letting us know. We love to hear reports back on how our projects went. Whee!

Toddler Craft Onna

I love this idea!! Simple, fun and useful!! What’s better then that. I have bags of art work that I am looking to use!! I’ll be creating this project!! Thanks!!

SoBella Creations

What a fantastic idea!

Sherry Artemenko
Sherry Artemenko

Great idea! Also, how about making a scrapbook of all the artwork for the year? Snap a photo of all sizes of artwork and paste the pictures in the notebook with plenty of room to write about them. The artwork may be a starting point for a wonderful fiction piece, encouraging language.
I am a speech language pathologist with lots of ideas on how to talk, read and play with your child to encourage language. Summer is a great time to do this!


Micheals’ has art notebooks for $1 this week, well my local one does at least


I have used modge podge for the entire project before, and covering the finished product with it is a great idea although it does curl the cover a bit. To make this more an adult’s style, I have used scrapbook paper for the cover.