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Hobbies: Create personalized notepads as gifts

If you're giving a notepad to someone, personalize it for the recipient.
If you're giving a notepad to someone, personalize it for the recipient.
SHNS photo courtesy Dena Fishbein

I'm always writing notes and lists to keep my thoughts organized, so I've got plenty of notepads on hand. This means I have another surface that can become beautiful and personalized by hand. It doesn't take much time to embellish just one small cover, so I worked on a bunch at once, leaving me with extra to give as gifts to friends and family.

As I worked on the notepads meant as gifts, I imagined each recipient and designed the pad using motifs I thought the person would enjoy, such as sayings that would mean something special. I also tried personalizing it further, such as having the recipient's name — or just initials — stamped in ink.

While I embellish projects with a combination of vintage treasures, you may use modern designs with your own selection of personalized add-ons.


Inexpensive notepads


Scrapbook paper

Stamps and inkpads

Costume jewelry

Millinery flowers


Decorative tags






1. Measure the size of your notepad and cut out a piece of decorative paper that is 1-1/2 inches longer in length and the same width. You will be using this extra bit on top to wrap around to the back of the pad.

2. Line the wallpaper to the bottom of your pad, wrapping the extra 1-1/2 inches over the top of the notepad to the back and gluing it to the back. Folding a crease first at the top of the pad will help.

3. Now embellish the cover with your chosen trinkets. Stamp a name or a personalized saying, use charms and pendants — it's up to you.

My notepad flipped open from the top, so I added the extra 1-1/2 inches to my height. If you have a pad that opens from the side, add the inches to your width. You may even choose to wrap the paper all the way over the back to have more surfaces to decorate. These also make great party favors.

Dena Fishbein is the designer and artist behind many home, gift and paper products found at your favorite stores. To ask her how to embellish anything, visit her blog at