Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doane Paper Notepad Hack

My friend C has fallen in love with the Doane Paper notepads, and the one I gave her has become a very popular item in her media arts classes. But she has had one request: holes, so she can put her class notes in a three-ring binder. We tried doing it ourselves using an industrial-sized three hole punch but couldn't get the notepad to fit through the slat. So C emailed Chad Doane, and was surprised and thrilled when he emailed her back with a response. Unfortunately, holes would increase the cost of the notepads, but if there was demand then it would be considered.

There must be another way, right? How about making a notepad--it can't be that hard. Fortunately Chica and Jo have a step-by-step guide on making your own custom notepads and sell the padding compound (which looks and smells very much like Elmer's Glue) and other things to get you started.

With the padding compound and a small paintbrush on hand, I then needed the grid+lines paper. Easy enough, as Doane Paper has a download for printing 8.5x11 grid+lines paper. With a bit of photo shopping and the use of a laser printer I had 100 sheets of "Doane Paper" to hole punch and glue to the chipboard backing.

This wasn't hard, but it did have it's headache-y moments. The paper wouldn't line up, then the pressure on the paper wasn't hard enough to push everything down smoothly. In the photo above, I'm brushing padding compound onto the edge of the paper; on top of that is a huge directory that I needed to add pressure to keep the paper smooth while I glued it together. The first pad came out pretty well and I gave it to Connie, then started on my own.

And there is it, a Doane Paper large notepad with holes for a three-ring binder. Mine came out slightly askew, as I didn't line up the paper quite right. But all in all, a fun project and as I have lots of padding compound left I'll be making more. The paper used is regular 20lb photocopy stock, about 75 gsm and not exactly Clairefontaine or Rhodia. But I have a ream of 28lb clay-coated laser printer paper on order, and so I'm looking forward to another round of notepad-making.


  1. "I've never seen anything like this . . .!" "Where did you . . .?", said my co-worker at lunch. She'd spotted the Doane Paper download I'd run off earlier. Am glad there're more people out there interested in paper innovations such as Doane. Jack/Youngstown

  2. Can't you just buy a regular pad without the holes and just drill the holes with a sharp drill bit?

  3. My thought would be to print the paper and have Kinkos or Office Depot copy, pad and hole punch it. I guess I'm more of a delagator than a do-it-yourselfer ;-)

  4. Most print shops will happily make pads out of any stack of paper that you bring in. A friend of mine once padded $2 bills for his daily bridge tolls.