Easy DIY Sticker and Washi Tape Book / Traveler's Notebook Insert

Cover image for 3YearsApart's Easy DIY Sticker and Washi Tape Book / Traveler's Notebook Insert

This DIY sticker and washi tape insert makes an especially great gift for all the sticker and washi lovers in your life. Especially if you want to share part of your collection with someone without throwing full rolls of washi or half-empty sticker sheets at them. It's just a much better way to present it and super easy to make!

It's also awesome for travel and on-the-go journaling and makes it easy to carry a good variety of washi and stickers without random bulky bumps in the Traveler's Notebook.

DIY Sticker & Washi Tape Book Traveler's Notebook Insert




We have a playlist on YouTube for other DIYs as well!

Anyway, here are written step-by-step instructions on making the sticker and washi book insert because we also love those of you who prefer reading and photos. 💖

Please let us know if there are other DIY ideas you'd like us to do or any Traveler's Notebook or Planner problems you'd like us to try and tackle. As always, please share your creations by tagging us on Instagram @threeyearsapart and/or support our little Etsy shop.

Okay, spiel done. Here we go!

We will be doing a Traveler's Notebook style book insert with cardstock and wax paper. It's great because it's thin and doesn't take up much room at all in a Traveler's Notebook. Other versions have been done by others like HalloAlice (cut up and folded sheet protectors) and PaperLlama (disc-bound parchment paper).

Just a note: In the video and while making this, you'll discover the pages curl up because the paper was on a roll, but they'll flatten out in a short amount of time. Especially after being squished inside a Traveler's Notebook!

A hand flipping through a full Sticker and Washi Tape Storage book / Traveler's Notebook Insert
This is a flip-through of what we'll be making! A Sticker and Washi Tape Storage book / Traveler's Notebook Insert.

Materials

  • Wax paper*
  • Cardstock - Or whatever paper you'd like to use as an optional cover. 
*Note: Tested parchment paper vs wax paper. Wax paper was the clear winner in terms of keeping the stickability of washi and stickers intact and for not curling and falling off.

Tools

  • Scissors or Paper Cutter 
  • (Optional) Bone folder
  • (Optional) Bulldog or Binder clips 
  • (Optional) Stapler (if stapling the spine)
  • (Optional) Pencil (if sewing the spine)
  • (Optional) Awl or other sharp pointy hole-making object  (if sewing the spine)
  • (Optional) Needle and string, thread, or twine  (if sewing the spine)

Step 1: Cut the wax paper down to size using a paper trimmer or scissors.

Cut up sheets of wax paper and a roll of wax paper in preparation to make a DIY Washi and Sticker Storage Insert
You can use any brand of wax paper, just cut it down to the height of your insert.

The wax paper we have is 11.9in. wide, so for an A5 size insert, we're cutting 8.25in. off the roll (the height of an A5). It'll be folded in half in the next step to form two pages of the sticker/washi book insert.

This tutorial uses 5 sheets. This will result in 10 pages (20 if you count both sides). That's a good amount of sticker and washi storage! Of course, you can use as many sheets as you'd like.

We're going to be trimming the excess edge near the end (step 5). This also removes the extra overhang of a closed insert that you get when you have stacked folded pages.

Alternative: If you want, you could also get more exact measurements from the beginning, but be aware, you'll still have to trim it if you want an even edge.

To figure out the size you want, just measure out the length and width of the size of the insert you'd like to make (you can measure an existing one), then double the width. 

For example, the regular size Traveler's Notebook is 11cm wide x 21cm long (approximately 4.33in. wide x 8.25in. long). You want your sheet of wax paper to measure 22cm x 21cm (8.66in. wide and 8.25in. long). You can do the same thing for the pocket size, personal size, etc.

Step 2: Fold all the pages in half and stack.

Folding sheets of wax paper in half.
Folding all the sheets in half is harder than it looks because the pages are thin!

Like previously mentioned, we're folding all the pages in half! If you have a bone folder, this is a good time to use it. Fold to match the orientation of your insert. For our A5, we're folding vertically from left to right to end up with an 8.25in length spine and approximately 5.95in width.

After folding, arrange the sheets so that each sheet is stacked with each other. It should open and close like a book.

Assembling folded wax paper into a book.
Arranging the sheets one inside another, like assembling a book.

Step 3: Cut and fold the cover (optional)

Holding up a sheet of cut and folded cardstock to be used as the cover for the insert.
After cutting and folding the cover. Isn't that some pretty cardstock? :D

If you're putting the wax paper within another insert or folder, a cover is optional. But this here will be a separate insert, so we're just making a thin, lightweight cover out of cardstock to give some decoration and protection to our standalone sticker and washi tape insert.

The cover needs to be cut down to the actual size of the insert. In this case, it's going to be both the front and back cover for an A5 insert. So, we'll cut approximately 8.25in. height and 11.9in. width since the cover will also be folded the same way as the pages.

Put the wax paper pages inside the cover.

Step 4: Bind it all together.


Okay, so there are a few options here for attaching the pages. You can:

  1. Open the book up to the center and staple it along the spine.
  2. Not use any binding and just stick it into traveler's notebook as is (for easy rearranging - held together by the elastic).
  3. Sew it together.
Options 1 and 2 are pretty self-explanatory. We'll be continuing this tutorial with option 3: sewing the spine. Getting fancy here! It'll be more secure and sturdy.

It's helpful to get some bulldog or binder clips to hold the pages in place after making sure everything is neatly aligned. After all, you don't want to discover one slightly crooked page after it's all permanently sewn together!

When everything is in place, mark along the spine where 3 holes will be placed for sewing.


  • Mark the center. For an A5 8.25in. height insert, it'll be 4.125in. (4 1/8th of an inch).
Bulldog clips and a ruler running along the spine of a traveler's notebook insert in the process of being made. Marking the center hole at 4 1/8" for an A5 insert.
Marking 4 1/8" for the center of an A5 insert.
  • Mark about 1in. from the top and then again 1in. from the bottom. There should be 3 holes.
Marking areas for holes 1" from the top and bottom of the insert.
Marking 1" from the top and bottom.

  • Use your awl or another sharp pointy object to poke/stab some holes where you just marked. 

Using an awl to poke holes in a DIY insert
Be careful when poking your holes!

Taking your needle and thread/string/twine (we're using some thinnish twine), follow this order:
  • Starting with the middle of the interior facing towards you, thread through the center hole and leave some excess at the end. No need to make a knot yet, just make sure there's enough string left to make a decent one.
Threading through the center hole first.
Go through this hole first.
Hands holding a needle and excess twine going through the center hole of a DIY sticker / washi tape storage insert.
Make sure to leave about this much excess so you can tie a knot or two later.
  • With the needle now on the cover side, thread through the bottom hole. (It doesn't actually matter which one, as long as you do the opposite one later). Pull through until the string is flat. Don't pull so much that you pull out the excess you left in the previous step.
Threading through one of the end holes.
Second, thread through one of the end holes.
  • Now we're back in the middle interior. Thread through the last hole at the opposite end (which hadn't been used yet). Again, pull until flat and taut, but not so much that you lose the excess from the first step or start warping the insert.
From the interior of the insert, thread through the hole on the opposite end of the spine.
Third, thread through the untouched hole on the opposite end.
  • Finally, we're on the cover side again. Thread back through the center hole so that the two ends of the string are together. Again, pull it so that it's taut, but not so tight that it bends or rips your insert. 
Threading back through the center hole.
Fourth, thread back through the center.
  • Tie a knot around the center string (the one going from the bottom hole all the way to the top hole). This is to secure it and make sure it doesn't move anywhere. Feel free to double-knot.
Two hands tying a double knot around the center string that makes up the spine of a DIY Traveler's Notebook Insert.
Tying a know around the center string. Going to double knot it.
  • Cut off the extra string.
Golden scissors cutting off twine at the center of a DIY TN insert.
Cutting off the extra string after tying the knots.
An open-to-the-center DIY wax paper TN insert showing the end result of sewing / bookbinding with twine.
This is what it looks like after sewing!


Step 5: Cut off the excess page edges (clean up!)

Nearly finished DIY insert on a paper trimmer to get rid of the excess wax paper.
Cut or trim off the excess wax paper.
If there's anything sticking out from between the covers when your insert is closed, now is the time to trim it off! Clean up all the edges, round off sharp corners if you feel like it. This is just finishing off your DIY project nice and neat. 

Using a hole-punch to make divots for the elastic band of a traveler's notebook to rest.
Making "rest areas" for the elastic band so it doesn't dig into the insert.
Tip: Open up your insert to the middle and use a hole punch or scissors to cut a V slit or a half circle into the top and bottom of the spine. This will give a place for the Traveler's Notebook elastic to rest without digging into the insert. Highly recommend doing this.

If you really want to go all out, you could make and attach pockets and folders to the covers!

Step 6: (Aka. The Best Step!) Fill up your insert with all your on-the-go washi and sticker faves!

Flip-through of finished DIY washi and sticker storage insert. Included pockets on interior cover.
Flip-through of finished DIY washi and sticker storage insert featuring foiled washi.
Flip-through of finished DIY washi and sticker storage insert featuring functional stickers.

Have fun sticking all the washi and stickers you'd like to carry with you whenever your Traveler's Notebook goes!

I like to use this for foil washi tape. You know, the ones that have the paper backing. Those can sometimes get annoying, especially to carry around. This is a great solution!

You'll find that the stickers easily peel off and remain sticky, but they're also secure when on the wax paper. It's also a reusable sticker and washi tape book!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you made this, please do share and tag us on Instagram @threeyearsapart. We'd love to see your creations!

Let us know if you'd like to see more DIYs or have any requests.

Thank you for joining us!

- Kim, Amy, and Helen

P.S. Kim was the recipient for the sticker and washi book in the video and she loved it. Six months later, it's still going strong!



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