Today I have the neatest thing to share with you!!
I’ve been wanting to create this gift idea for the blog for quite some time, but I never got around to it because I always make these gifts at the last minute! Then I forget to take pics.
This year I got my act together and snapped pics of the entire process for you!
How to Make a Money Note Pad
This year I’m giving my niece a money note pad for Christmas. Here are the exact steps so you can make your own! I promise you will be your gift recipient’s favorite parent / grandparent / aunt / uncle / sibling / friend / neighbor if you give this as a gift. It’s ALWAYS a bit hit!!
What You’ll Need for One Notepad
- stack of crisp $1 bills (you can get these from the teller at your bank)
- a piece of cardboard for the backing (I cut mine out from an old box…I’ve used cereal boxes before…really any cardboard will work)
- padding compound (this is the one I got from Amazon)
- small brush
- two small binder clips
- paper trimmer
Step by Step Instructions with Pics
1) Start with the crisp bills.
This is the most important step. They must be crisp or the note pad won’t lay flat or look nice. Trust me, I’ve tried to cheat on this one. I wouldn’t bother if you don’t have nice looking one dollar bills! 😀
2) Cut out the cardboard backing exactly to the size of the bills.
3) Line the bills up precisely with the cardboard backing like this.
This will take a minute or two to get just right. Make sure none of the bills are crooked or sticking out.
4) Clamp the left side of the stack of bills with small binder clips.
5) Add a layer of padding compound to the edge of the tightly clamped stack of bills.
This is the exact padding compound I used. As for the brush, any small brush will do – I just grabbed this one out of my kids’ craft supplies. I will say that using a round brush is harder than a flat one, so go with flat if you can!
Your first coat will look thin like this:
6) Keep layering on the adhesive really thick.
You want at least 5 layers all at once. It will start to set up pretty quickly, so it won’t run off as you add layers. When you have enough that it’s still sticking but looks like it might start running off – that’s enough! 😀
Here’s a pic that better illustrates just how thick your layering should be. It will look a little lumpy! But that’s ok. It will dry flat!
7) Lay down the notepad to dry.
Let dry fully. I didn’t count the hours, but overnight did the trick. I’d say at least 8 if you’re doing this all in one day.
You don’t want the adhesive to be tacky at all because the bills need to tear off cleanly, like an office notepad.
If you put several layers of adhesive like I showed above, the notepad should be stuck together enough to pull a bill from the middle or top. A cool idea would be to start with 1 extra bill at first so you can tear off the first one to check.
If, for some reason, your notepad seems to be falling apart, it’s because you didn’t use enough adhesive. Try fixing it by clamping it tightly once more and adding more layers to the original edge. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to scrape off the original adhesive and try again.
I’ve made several of these and only had one fall apart – it was the first one where I only used a single layer of adhesive. I think you’re good to go if you used 5 or so as recommended!
8) Now show everyone your notepad!
It is sooooo cool. Everyone who sees one of these things wants one!
I just found out the adhesive I used for this notepad comes in many different colors! I think this could be so much cooler now!
These money notepads make great gifts for any occasion really. I like to give them to the teens in our family for Christmas. Even if you’re only giving them $15, the coolness factor makes the gift seem so much bigger! 😀
You could also use this same notepad making method to make notepads out of anything paper – think: chore coupons, love notes for Valentine’s Day, an actual notepad you designed yourself. The ideas are endless!
If you liked this tutorial, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear who you will be giving your money notepad to as a gift!
The Perfect Money Gift Idea!