Learn how to easily make a semi-DIY personalized notepad of any kind, like this school excuse one I made for our family! You design it then have someone else print it!
How to Make a Semi-DIY Personalized Notepad for School Excuses
Several times, I’d seen personalized notepads for school on sites like Jane and Groopdealz, but they weren’t quite to my liking. They were just….okay. Certainly not tempting enough to get me to click ‘Add To Cart.’
Either they didn’t include all the information that I wanted, or their designs just weren’t what I was looking for.
However, since I liked the concept of having a mostly pre-printed notepad for our boys’ school years, I decided to just design my own!
If you want something done right…
Yep, Photoshop and I are quite friendly so I whipped up a notepad for our family that fits the bill completely, then I had a printing company do the second half of the job by turning it into a magnetized notepad.
That’s why this is a semi-DIY, baby.
Step 1: Determine What You Want Included
Our school excuse notepad had to be functional but also cute. I mean, since I was doing the designing part, I didn’t want to settle for one or the other.
These were my must-haves while designing this notepad:
- Lots of boxes to check and blanks to fill in (aka QUICK & EASY to complete)
- Options for future AND past absences/tardies
- Both boys’ names (so a family notepad instead of one for each)
- A signature line for me or my husband to sign (no forged notes here, silly boys)
- Mine and my husband’s contact info
- Cute DIY illustrated family portrait (to really make it personalized)
Step 2: Create Your Design
There are lots of different programs available where you can create a design for your notepad.
I love Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but there’s also Illustrator, PicMonkey, Canva, Microsoft Word, Preview on a Mac, as well as many others.
All you need is a program that will allow you to add text and then whatever amount of customization that you want, so choose whichever program that you’re comfortable with.
Here’s how my file looked in Photoshop as I was designing it. You can see all the different elements in the Layers window on the right.
It’s really easy to design…just individual layers with the bits of info you want to include.
And here’s a closer look at my final design (if you’d like more details on how I made that cute little family portrait, check this out!):
Step 3: Find a Place to Print Your Notepad
While I have made my own notepads in the past (and I actually still have the clamp, adhesive, and backers in my WorkBox), I decided to outsource the second half of this project.
Just didn’t feel like doing all that printing and then all that cutting…once again, semi-DIY, baby.
After searching the interwebs for options, I found several places that could do the task, but I ended up going with Vistaprint. They had just what I was looking for, and (most importantly) the price was right.
I uploaded my final design to their site and selected the notepad with a magnetic back option. It’s sized at a handy 4″ x 5.5″ and has 50 sheets, so it *should* last us many years (*knocks on wood*).
Our Final Semi-DIY Personalized Notepad for School Excuses!
About a week or so later, our personalized notepad arrived in our mailbox, and after opening it, I was thrilled with the final product!
It just looks so darn nice, and I cannot stress how quick and simple it is to fill out.
This makes a mom’s heart smile, for sure.
Since it has a handy magnet on the back, it fits perfectly on the front shelf of our family command center (look for a post on this area of our home soon!).
Easy access + Seconds to fill out = One less thing to worry about on busy school mornings. #ParentingHack
The nice thing is that this idea can be applied to notepads of all kinds, not just ones for school excuses. I even did something similar (designed myself then used Vistaprint to produce) our return address stamp.
So many possibilities!
More School Fun!
Here’s a collection of all of my projects that are great for the school year! Some are perfect for parties, make great gifts, or have useful tips…and many include FREE cut files and/or printables, too!
If You Enjoyed This…
Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots of other tutorials, crafty creations, parenting tips, and freebies!
Thanks so much for stopping by!