Living Hinge Notebook

Materials

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • 3″ by 5″ notepad
  • Elastic
  • 1/4″ plywood (or thinner)
  • Laser cutter

This is my first post involving a 3D design project! I made these notebooks for my family as holiday gifts, and so far these are my favorite projects I’ve created with a laser cutter. The spine involves a living hinge, a flexible “hinge” that is made from repeatedly cutting the wood to allow it to bend.

Steps

  1. Design a living hinge. For this project, I used parallel lines. The hinge is about 1 inch wide, and the approximate space between the cuts is about 1/16 of an inch.
  2. Get the size right. With a 3″ by 5″ notepad, I made the front and back covers each 3.5″ by 5.5″, the whole cover being 3.5″ by 8.5″. After the wood is cut, it should be flexible.
  3. Attach your notepad. I ordered a set of notepads with 50 sheets by Perfect Impressions, and fixed it to the back cover with only double stick tape so it would be removable in case the paper ran out.
  4. Use elastic to hold it together. This step is optional, but for a while, the notebook cover will spring open on its own. You want it to be slightly stretched, but not too stretched so that it’s strained. I used hot glue to stick the elastic to the back cover. And voila! Behold the living hinge notebook.
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