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Artful Notepad

Artful Notepad

Total Time Needed: 2-3 Hours

With its translucent cover, this sleek little pad shows off a child's photo collage, and the lucky recipient will never believe it was made from a trash-bound milk jug. It's the perfect gift for a parent, a teacher -- or anyone who has notes to take.


  • 1 one-gallon translucent plastic milk or water jug, washed and dried well
  • Scissors
  • Several sheets of construction paper or lightweight card stock
  • Hole punch
  • Glue stick
  • Photo(s) or a color copy of the photo(s)
  • 2 milk jug rings (the kind that pull off from the cap) or 2 loose-leaf rings (available at office supply stores)


On the milk jug, locate the 2 smooth panels opposite the handle (they're shaped like lopped-off triangles and measure approximately 6 by 4 by 2 inches).

Use scissors to cut out the panels (younger children may need help). Trim the pieces to match, cutting them into any padlike shape you want. These are the front and back covers.

Punch 2 holes in the top of each cover, making sure they're lined up. Punch matching holes in the pages. It's easy to line up the holes if you stack the pages and punch several at a time.

Use a glue stick to attach cutout photos to the top page, which will be visible under the milk jug cover.

Sandwich the pages between the 2 plastic covers and slip a milk jug ring or loose-leaf ring through each hole.

For a twist on this gift: Instead of using photographs, your child can decorate the inside cover with his own drawing or painting.