Friday, April 29, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Idea - Custom Notepad

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Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up next week here and I like to give a little something homemade to the teachers to let them know I appreciate all that they do. I wanted to make something useful and personalized and came up with the idea of making a custom notepad. I recently saw a tutorial on Infarrantly Creative for creating your own notepad and knew this was what I wanted to do. I came across these wonderful labels at Lovely Package and felt inspired to create my design with a clean, simple, antique type of feel.

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• Some decorative fonts for your label. I chose Beffle and Rosewood, which are available for free download from and respectively.

• A script font to be used as a faux signature of sorts. I chose Freebooter Script, also available free from

• A basic circle for part of the label

• Some rough lines to age the label (shown enlarged by comparison in the image above)

• A banner. I found this cute antique banner here at ScrapGirls.

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. I used Illustrator to draw the circle with black outline. I duplicated that circle and dragged it diagonally down to the right and filled it with black, then sent it to the back. This duplicated the feel of the font that I had chosen and felt in keeping with the banner. Next, I set the type inside the circle the way I wanted it to appear. Once I got this circle done, I imported it into Photoshop to assemble the rest of the design.

In Photoshop, I used a standard brush called Paintbrush Tool Texture Comb and drew some rough lines inside my circle label to rough it up a bit and help it match the banner that I had chosen. I drew and erased and drew and erased some more until I liked the look.

I chose to make my notepad 1/4 sheet of letter-size paper, so I set up my document to be 4.25 x 5.5 inches. I drew the rectangular outline border, then a thick black rectangle on top and a thinner black rectangle on the bottom, to frame the design. I typed "A NOTE FROM" in the border at the top, reversed the text to white, and gave it a little extra letterspacing to spread it out a bit. I placed the banner and dragged the circular nameplate on top. Almost done now! For a final finishing touch, I typed the teacher's first name in a script font and stuck it down near the bottom, as if as a signature.

After my notepad design was complete, I duplicated it 3 more times and placed them 4 to a page on a new letter-size document and printed it out. I printed 20 copies on tan paper, then used my paper cutter to cut them evenly into fourths.

Then, using some Mod Podge, rulers, and binder clips, I followed the tutorial at Infarrantly Creative to make my own notepads. If you would rather not make your own, you can easily take your finished design to FedEx/Kinko's (and maybe other copy shops, but I have used Kinko's and know they do it!) and have them turn it into a notepad for you. The cost is only a couple dollars.

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Here is my final notepad! I'm hoping my daughter's teacher will enjoy this gift and think of how much we appreciate her every time she needs to write a note. I'd love to hear if you decide to make your own notepad!

Designer. Mother of 4.
Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, or see my digital scrapbooking designs at Scrap Girls.


  1. What a terrific project....would be a great gift for grandma using a cover with photos of grandchildren on it.

  2. Love this project! As an art teacher, I would appreciate such a thoughtful gift. Thanks for sharing those freebies with us!


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