How to: Make Your Own Notebook Dividers without spending any money! #college #organize #frugal I have a confession to make: I am an office supplies junkie. I could spend hours in the post-it note isle of the grocery store, my boyfriend has to distract me when we pass the notebook isle in the book store or I’ll send up buying everything in sight, and one time I sat down on the floor in a craft store and went through touching every single piece of colorful card stock they had.

However, while I absolutely love going out and buying these supplies, sometimes I get more joy out of creating them myself.

Making these things gives me the chance to personalize my materials and make them my own. Last year I got really into decorating my own notebooks. I used everything from fabric to paper to zippers to charms to personalize my journals to fit me.

While I was doing that, I came up with a way to create my own divider tabs to divide these notebooks into smaller sections for each class.

Last week I found an empty 3 subject notebook in the bottom of my drawer, and I suddenly felt the need to use it. I rewrote all of my class notes from my other notebook into this new one and divided each section by class. However, this 3 subject notebook came with only pockets to separate each subject and note tab dividers. So I got to work to create my own.


Step 1: Cut the Tab

If you’re using note cards, glue the two index cards together with the white sides facing out. If you’re using card stock then cut the page in half and glue them together. This will reinforce the tab and make it thicker and less prone to bending or ripping.

Decide how wide you want the tab (I used the height of the note card as my width) and how tall you want it (ensure that there is more than enough room for it to stick to the paper and to stick out of the notebook) and begin to cut one tab. Make sure that the corners are rounded on the sides you want to stick out. Cut as many of these as you need. These will be your tabs.1

Step 2: Decorate the Tab

I used washi tape to make these colored so they stand out, but you can do a variety of things. You could use colored card stock, colored pencils, markers, pens.. etc.

I put a piece of washi tape on one side of the tab, lined up with the top of the tab, and cut it to fit around the corners. Repeat on the other side. Your tab will now look like it has a line of color on the top half, and not the bottom half.

Take the sharpie and write whatever label you want on the tab. Make sure to write it on both sides.

Step 3: Attach the Tab

4 Take your trusty glue stick again and attach the bottom half of the tab (the part that isn’t covered by washi tape) to the edge of a piece of paper in the notebook you are dividing.

Optional: Then take a piece of clear tape and place it over the bottom of the tab on the paper to make sure it doesn’t fall off.

Repeat for the other tabs on other pieces of paper throughout the notebook.

There you have it, your own homemade, inexpensive, tabs!



3The best part about being able to divide one notebook in multiple sections is that you only need to carry around one notebook for the entire day. Something that I’ve found very beneficial to add to this notebook is the schedule for each of my classes that the professor posts in the syllabus.

To do this I just printed out each of the schedules of each class that the professor provides and then glued it onto the first page of each section. I also printed out the assignment schedule that I create at the beginning of the semester and glue that onto the first page of the entire notebook. This way I can check off each day as it goes by to make sure I don’t miss anything!


Do you like to make your own supplies? Have you tried to do this before?


DIY: Make Your Own Notebook Dividers
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18 thoughts on “DIY: Make Your Own Notebook Dividers

  • February 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    I am glad to hear someone else is an office supply junkie! I think I’m just an organizational supply junkie in general, so office supplies are right up my alley. I love personalizing my school supplies for each new semester, it makes classes a little less boring 🙂
    Colleen recently posted…Picking the Right CollegeMy Profile

  • February 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    What a great idea and for someone who lives in a remote part of Costa Rica like me, office supplies ARE SUPER HARD to come by! Thanks for the DIY tip!

  • February 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    My life would be so much easier if I were better organized like you are, thanks goodness I can keep most of my work on my iPad or iPhone now…it’s made it a little easier to find things 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…“Amazing Grace”My Profile

  • February 11, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Who doesn’t love office supplies? What a great tip! Love the washi tape.

    • February 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

      I love it too! Thanks, glad you think so 🙂

  • Pingback: Decorating Ideas with Washi Tape

  • March 20, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Is it possible to make full page dividers for spiral bound note books? I’m starting a new section of the same subject and want to divide my notebook but I don’t know how best to do it. Any suggestions?

    • April 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Could you explain more what you mean about full page dividers? Do you mean ones with pockets and everything?

      • April 5, 2016 at 5:18 am

        Pockets are not necessary, just like full page pieces of thicker paper or something. I’m not sure there is a way to attach them to the notebooks without taking the spirals out. I’m imagining something like binder dividers, but I’m not sure that will work in notebooks. Is there a way to convert card stock paper in dividers?

        • April 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm

          Hmm… I would probably use some colorful card stock paper! Either glue it on top of an existing page in the notebook, similar to what I do with the tabs, or use a hole punch and scissors to make it so you can slide it in and out of the spiral notebook. Hope that helps!


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