DIY “To Do List” Notepad

I love making lists. I tried a few list-making apps on my phone, but nothing beats the feeling of scratching a completed task off a piece of paper. I’m old fashioned I guess. I prefer long skinny notepads for my to do lists, but since those are hard to come by I made my own 4.25″ x 11″ notepad (the perfect list-making size). You can download my design to print, and follow the instructions below to make your own notepad!

DIY to do list notepad


pdf file to print (download it here—for personal use only please)
8.5 x 11 paper
paper cutter
a piece of chipboard cut to 4.25″ x 11″ (you could cut up and reuse a cereal box)
4 clothespins

DIY to do list notepad

How to:

1. Open the pdf file in Adobe Reader and make sure your printer is loaded with paper. Click print. In the print dialog box make sure “page scaling” is set to “none.” Print a test page to make sure everything is aligned properly. If you cut the page in half vertically you should have one to do list centered on each half. (Home printers often print slightly crooked due to the way the paper feeds through the machine, so your lines may be a bit slanted on the page. Don’t worry about it—it won’t hinder your list-making!)

2. If you are satisfied with your test print, go ahead and print half as many pages as you’d like in your notepad. I printed twenty 8.5″ x 11″ pages so that my notepad would contain forty individual sheets.

3. Cut the printed 8.5″ x 11″ pages exactly in half vertically, so you end up with 4.25″ x 11″ to do list sheets.

DIY to do list notepad

4. Stack the 4.25″ x 11″ sheets on top of your chipboard. Holding the notepad upside down, tap the top edge on a table until all the edges are perfectly aligned. Clip one clothespin to each side of the top of the notepad to hold the pages together.

5. Spread glue on the top edge of the notepad. I squeezed glue onto my finger and smoothed it onto the paper. Make sure all the edges are coated with glue, but be careful not to use too much or the paper will ripple. It doesn’t take much. After gluing, use the remaining two clothespins to clamp the center (see photo).

DIY to do list notepad

7. Let the glue dry and remove the clothespins. Don’t leave the pins on for too long, or they may leave indentions in the paper.

8. Make lists to your heart’s content!

DIY to do list notepad



  1. Michelle

    I love this! I have been making my own calendars, etc. but never to do lists (mine are usually post-it notes). I love the feeling of making my own paper products/organizers because then they match the way you think and work – this is great!

  2. kay*

    LOVE this! I’m a chronic list maker (there’s few things that feel greater than crossing something off a list!) and totally old school as well – paper and pencil…though I did JUST download a new list app today – so we’ll se see!

    thanks for sharing.

  3. Nicolle S

    Super cute! I have an obsession with all things organization and DIY so this is perfect! I already pinned it to do later :) Thanks!

  4. Erin

    This is so cute!! I love that it’s skinny and long…it’s so much easy than the fat lists!! Can you tell me what program you use for making images like this? I’d love to try one of my own!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I just drew the image on paper with a pen, and then I added color and the text in Adobe Illustrator.

  5. Annika

    This are lovely. I have the same problem with apps, downloaded way to many…using none. I just love scribbling too much:)
    This is a great post. Thanks

  6. Hannah

    Oh gosh, I remember making notebooks like this in Prep School. Love it! I am a hard-copy list girl too…apps don’t seem to work for me.

  7. Haylee

    Oh my gosh this is beautiful. Thank you! so much for being generous enough to share it with us. I seriously am obsessed with your design.

  8. Brittany - the Home Ground

    I just found this via Pinterest (though I’ve admired your work for a long time) and am so happy I did! Thanks for making this available to those of us who love lists just as much as you do!

    the Home Ground

  9. Dawn

    I love this tutorial! I made the notepad and glued a magnet to the back. It is perfect for my fridge. Nice and neat! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Monika Wright

    A friend shared this link with me because I wanted a notepad gummed on the right side to stick in my planner pocket. Thanks so very much for using everyday supplies, this is awesome and so are you!

  11. Pat McLean

    I love this notepad and would definably order them you made it as one of your notepads. I am not much a DIY’er but this is the perfect simple pad. I have searched high and low for something similar (simple and the same size) for sale and it is not out there. PLEASE consider adding this one to your products.

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