Sometimes notebooks are a pain in the butt to look for. They’re either the dull, basic kind you can buy in a five pack, or they’re so ornate and expensive it feels like the book is too pretty to write in. A good middle way here is upcycled notebooks. They’re easily customizable and stylish, but you get the added benefit of upcycling’s practicality. The notebook will be pretty, but not so fancy that it feels like you can’t scribble all over it. Below are 15 surprising ways old junk can become gorgeous and personally meaningful notebooks. notebooks1.jpg

1. Cereal Box Notebook

There always seems to be tons of cereal boxes sitting around. Why not use a few to create some custom notebooks? The box designs and fun characters contribute to a pop culture-themed design. You can find the full tutorial here. notebooks2.jpg

2. Sheet Music Notebooks

This would be a perfect gift for the music fans in your life, even if you’re one of them. The outside of the notebook is a basic, attractive cardstock pattern, so the project is easily customizable. You can find the full project specs over here. notebooks3.jpg

3. Cardboard Box Notebook

Here’s another take on using a cereal box to make a notebook, but instead of using the outer pattern, this project just makes use of the basic cardboard and adds some customization. You can find the tutorial here. notebooks4.jpg

4. Soda Can Notebook

Yes, this was actually made out of a soda can! The can was cut with a knife to start a hole, a scissors and the edges were regulated with a paper cutter. You can find the full details here. notebooks5.jpg

5. Mini Cereal Box Notebook

Here’s a cute way to make several notebooks out of a cereal box. These are actually hand-stitched together with a needle and embroidery floss. The decorative paper at the spine adds a nice customizable element. You can find the full tutorial with photos here. notebooks6.jpg

6. T-Shirt Notebook

You can even make a notebook with old t-shirts. It’s a perfect way to reuse that shirt you have a sentimental attachment to, but has a minor hole or two. You can find the tutorial here. notebooks7.jpg

7. Book Cover Notebook

This notebook would be great for any fans of retro fiction. The pages are even from a recycled teacher’s record book. It’s available from wasnowcreations at etsy. notebooks8.jpg

8. Monopoly Notebooks

Yes, these are actually made out of a Monopoly game board! They’re perfect for a little bit of childhood nostalgia. These are available in a 12 pack from ChaosToArt at etsy. notebooks9.jpg

9. Postcard Notebook

It’s so easy to collect postcards on trips and just leave them in boxes forever. But this product makes excellent use of them. It’s available from ReadWithMe at etsy. notebooks10.jpg

10. Candy Box Notebook

Let your inner kid have his or her day with this Sour Patch Kids notebook. The colorful box design makes a fun notebook cover, and the theme gives it a pop culture appreciation element. It’s available from LittleShopOfCharm at etsy. notebooks11.jpg

11. Board Book Notebook

This was made from a children’s board book. It has a lovely, retro appeal, perfect for collectors of classic Americana. This one’s available from SummertimeCrafts at etsy. notebooks12.jpg

12. VHS Box Notebook

Thanks to VHS players being obsolete, the world is swimming in old VHS tapes. This product made good use of VHS boxes by making a notebook out of them. It’s a great way to celebrate your favorite classic movies. This and other designs are available from OldSchoolMojo at etsy. notebooks13.jpg

13. Book Cover Notebook

Here’s a great way to repurpose the millions upon millions of old books the world is awash with. The notebook was made from a vintage copy of this children’s favorite. It was made by TheGiftShed at etsy. notebooks14.jpg

14. VHS Notebook Collection

This photo shows how awesome a themed collection of VHS notebooks can look. These would make a perfect gift for a fantasy fiction fan. These are, of course, made out of old VHS covers by ArticleAdjectiveNoun at etsy. notebook15.jpg

15. Chip Bag Notebook

There aren’t too many things you can do with a Doritos bag, but this crafter did a good job of turning trash into treasure nevertheless. It’s another great item with a pop culture, Americana feel to it. It would also be a cute and funny gift for the chip lover in your life. It’s available from ChewOnThisOrThat at etsy.