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Little book of big ideas

Design your own notebook cover, and create a special place to write, draw, imagine, and dream.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • PVA glue
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Erasers
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • One blank notebook for each person

Before you begin

Depending on your group, you may want to buy the notebooks in bulk, or ask everyone to bring a blank notebook from home to cover. If everyone brings their own, it’s a good idea to have some spare for anyone who forgets or isn’t able to get one. 

You may want to ask everybody to bring old magazines or leaflets with them, to use as collage materials.

Make your book cover

  1. Give everyone a notebook and a piece of paper.
  2. Everyone should open their notebook and place it on in the middle of the paper. 
  3. They should use a pencil to draw around the open notebook, so they have a rectangle shape the same size. It doesn’t need to be perfectly straight.
  1. Everyone should use a ruler to draw over the rectangle, so it’s straight. 
  2. Everyone should draw a bigger border outside the rectangle, that’s 5cm bigger on each side. To do this, they should measure two points 5cm outside each side of the rectangle, then join the points on each side up with a line. The lines will all join up to make a rectangle.
  3. Now, everyone should have a shape that looks a bit like a picture frame. They should cut around the outside of the bigger rectangle. 
  4. Everyone should use the ruler to find the middle of their rectangle, and draw a ‘V’ shape in the top and bottom of the border. The wide end of each ‘V’ should be on the inside of the border – closer to the smaller rectangle. The ‘V’ doesn’t need to come to a point. 
  5. Everyone should cut out their ‘V’ – this will allow their cover to stick to the notebook without extra paper bunching out at the spine. 
  6. Everyone should fold the top and bottom of their paper, along the lines which make the top and bottom of the smaller rectangle. The paper should now be the same height as their notebook – if it isn’t, they should fold it again. 
  7. Everyone should unfold their paper cover, and turn it so any lines face upwards. They should put their notebook on top of their paper cover, lining it up with the smaller rectangle. 
  8. Everyone should fold the paper sticking out on the left (the ‘frame’ space between the bigger and smaller rectangles they drew) over the edge of the front cover. They should stick it to the inside of the front cover using glue or sticky tape. 
  9. Everyone should close their notebooks, so they don’t make their covers too tight. 
  10. Everyone should turn their book over. They should fold the paper sticking out (the ‘frame’ space between the bigger and smaller rectangles they drew) over the back cover of the notebook, and stick it to the inside of the back cover using glue or sticky tape.
  1. Everyone should stick the top and bottom flaps to the inside of their front and back covers. They may need to trim the edges of the ‘V’ close to the spine, if there’s extra paper in the way.

Decorate your cover

  1. Now that everyone’s covered their notebooks, it’s time to get creative. 
  2. Everyone should use the pens and craft materials to collage, draw, and personalise their covers. Don’t forget a title or name, to make it yours.

Fill your notebook

  1. Now everyone has their own personalised notebook, it’s time to add some prompts for big ideas. 
  2. Sometimes, we can be creative and have ideas randomly. Everyone should leave plenty of blank pages, so that they can be creative and draw or write these ideas. 
  3. Sometimes, it’s helpful to have prompts to help inspire us, or help us to think about our ideas. Everyone should add prompts throughout their notebook, to give them ideas of lists to write or draw, experiences to draw or write about, and ambitions to imagine. Remember to leave blank space between prompts, so there’s space to be creative.


This activity helped you to develop skills. Did you practice measuring, and using rulers? Was it easy to draw the borders? Did it get frustrating? Do you think being creative is a skill? How were you creative in this activity?

This activity also helped you think about your strengths and confidence. This activity had lots of different elements, from measuring to designing and writing or drawing. What were you good at? Did you include anything in your book about your talents or strengths? Why is it important to recognise your strengths and worth? Did you include anything in your book about your dreams? Do you think you’ll achieve your dreams? How can you make some of them happen?


All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.