Post-It Addict? Make Your Own And Save Money

I once worked in an office environment where the individuals who were in control of the supply closet ruled with an iron fist of dictatorship. These cruel, cruel individuals would only allot office supplies to their “favorites,” leaving the rest of us to rot in our cubicles. We had to offer up gifts and prayers to these lords of the supply chest in order to receive even the smallest of trifles.

At home, I would grumble and mumble at the cost of these ubiquitous little things. I loved using them, scribbling on them and inserting them into books and magazines to reference later, but I couldn’t stand paying the cost for them. It was just one more little thing that ate away at my monthly budget.

One day, I said, “No more,” and I decided to make my own Post-It notes.

If you’ve ever found yourself running low on Post-It notes, but don’t want to drop the cash to buy more or are in a situation where the lords of the supply closet are holding you down, making your own Post-It notes is really easy. They might not be quite as neat as regular Post-Its, but they get the job done. In fact, they get the job done well enough that I continue to make my own to this day.

Here’s what you need:

Five to ten sheets of ordinary printer paper I particularly enjoyed procuring these. That evil hawk lady in the supply room would watch me with her greedy eagle eyes as I would take a few sheets out of the printer tray, tell her I needed “scratch paper,” and walk away.

One glue stick These items are really cheap and no one uses them, so requesting one at work was easy – it was for “mock ups.” I keep one at home now, too, mostly for making Post-It notes. I’ve found that for this purpose, the cheapest glue stick is the best one; more expensive glue sticks tend to bind things together much better than you might want from a Post-It.
One paper cutting device I recommend a good old-fashioned paper cutter if you have access to one, but in a pinch, scissors or a small knife will do the job.
Here’s what you do (the (b) steps are optional, but fulfilling):

Step 1: Take about five sheets of printer paper in a neat stack and cut them in half vertically, so you make ten narrow and long half-pieces of paper.

Step 1(b): Hide these strips in your desk as the evil hawk lady walks by your cubicle. She knows you’re up to no good.

Step 2: Take one strip of paper and set it aside. On each other strip of paper, rub the glue stick in a line along one of the long edges. Then, stack them up again with the sticky strip on the same edge of the paper and the non-sticky sheet on the bottom of the stack (so you have a bottom). Press down a bit so the sheets stick together when you make the stack.

Step 3: Cut the stack of ten half-sheets of paper into three equal pieces.  If you want, peel the bottom sheet (with no sticky line) off of two of these small pads and stack these pieces on top of one another with the glue-edges on the same side. Press down.

Step 3(b): Put one of these homemade Post-It notes on a document that has to go by the evil hawk lady.

And viola, you’re done! You now have a stack of 60 homemade Post-It notes. These work quite well for most Post-It purposes and are extremely cheap to make, particularly if you can pilfer some printer paper for the purpose. The glue stick is the only real expense here, and a single glue stick will make many Post-It notes. Given that I really like to use Post-It notes for bookmarking and note-taking, I’d estimate that this technique saves me $3-$5 a month.

Trent Hamm
Trent Hamm
Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

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