DIYdiy projects

diy project: hanging notepad

by Kate Pruitt

This project stems from a conversation I had with Grace and Amy on my last visit; they had seen an image of a rolling pin held in place with two simple straps, and thought it could adapt nicely to become a wall scroll for organizing ideas. I managed to score three long branches from a tree that had been heavily pruned in our apartment’s backyard this past week, so I decided to try out the concept in the studio.

It was easier than I expected. After a little bit of gathering materials, leveling, and hammering, it was up. I am a notoriously bad at keeping track of writing utensils, so I added a ceramic Ikea kitchen pot as a pen holder. There are many materials that would work beautifully as the two components of this project—if you don’t want to wait to find the perfect fallen branch, this would also look nice with metal pipe or a long wooden dowel. If you feel a desire to write on your walls, I hope you’ll give this project a try! —Kate

See the full how-to after the jump . . .


  • long skinny branch (as straight as possible, but some curvature is okay) or pipe or dowel
  • two leather strips that are at least 40″ long (you can get these here)
  • thin leather cord
  • 12″ – 24″ roll of paper (Look for one with a center hole at least 2″ in diameter. Most large butcher or craft paper rolls should have this.)
  • hammer
  • 1″ nails
  • two clothespins
  • spray paint (optional — to paint clothespins)
  • Ikea ceramic pot


1. Determine how long you would like your leather straps to hang on the wall. I left them at 40″ long, which makes them hang about 20″ (you fold them in half), but you can cut them shorter with scissors. Cut both 1″ strips to the exact same length.

2. Determine the height you want your roll of paper to be at. Fold the first strip in half to form a loop, and hold the bottom of the loop at the height you want the roll of paper to be. Pinching the ends of the strip together directly over one another, hammer a nail through the ends where they meet on the wall.

3. Slip your roll of paper onto the branch, then slip one side of your branch into the first loop on the wall. Fold the second strip in half to make a loop, and slide that loop under the other side of the branch. Use a friend or a level to determine where the other strip must sit on the wall in order for the branch and paper roll to be horizontal/level.

Note: If your branch is curvy, this may mean that one strip needs to be higher or shorter than the other, but that’s okay — it’s more important to have the roll of paper level than to have the strips the same size.

While holding the branch at a level height, hammer a nail into the folded strip at the exact height of the other nail (this is where a level, ruler or second person comes in handy). Now you can cut the excess leather off the second strip if it ended up having excess length above the nail so that the ends of the leather strips are level with one another, and the branch is level with the floor.

4. Take the length of leather cord and fold it in half. Tuck the center fold through the hole in your hanging pot, and pull the ends around and through the loop to secure the leather around the pot.

5. Wrap the leather cord behind and over the branch, then knot the ends together behind the cord. Bring the ends back to the front and knot again. Snip off excess cord.

6. I chose to leave my clothespins unpainted for a simpler look, but you can paint them fun colors, as well. Use the clothespins to pin the roll of paper on both ends; this will weight the paper down so it doesn’t roll up, and will keep it tidy.

You’re done!

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  • This is brilliant. From the picture I assumed it would be really complicated, but no! It’s simple and wonderful! It may even help solve a marriage dilemma. I was thrilled to haul home a super-cure chalkboard from the thriftstore, only to have my partner tell me he hates chalkboards. Paper scroll to the rescue!

  • this is an awesome idea! I am hoping an offer goes through on a condo, and if it does i will definitely try this out!

  • I like how this is not only useful and practical but also it acts as a decorative piece, its like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. How are the straps attached on the wall? what did you use to secure it? and will the branch fall off?

  • Brilliant! One of my favourite cafes display their special’s menu on a hanging notepad just like this one…Thank you for sharing this one I would love to make on for my own kitchen!!

  • This is awesome! Did you paint the branch? It looks darker in the tutorial than in the supplies photo. I’m super duper excited about this project!!! I have some random tree branches sitting around :)

  • Great idea!! You can change it up so many ways, depending on what room. I added a chalk board in the kids room. Then hung this over top. Looks great and she uses chalk or pulls paper down, clips it to chalk board with decorative clothes pins. It helps keep paper in place and protects wall. Also helps for writing/ drawing purposes. Kids love this, there own art easel, but doesn’t take up the floor space. In kitchen i used metal pipe and hung chalk board & white magnetic erase board side by side (recycled from yardsale, consignment store. Take apart old easel. use chalk paint to freshen up chalk board if neede) then paper roll over top white board, so when pull paper down I use magnets to hold paper in place. You have to hang the 2 separetly, or paper roll short enough to fit between hangers for board. Hope this sparks some creative juices and see how many ways and sizes this can be used. =)