How-To & Diy

A Tear-Away Scroll Note Pad for Grocery Lists, Reminders, and Love Notes

July 29, 2016

The front door to the apartment where my family lives has a window in it. Way back when, it was probably the entryway to a professional's office (the door is at the end of a long hallway on the ground floor), but now it's our family's home and I decided I wanted to cover it up. I didn't think fabric would look very good on such a small opening, though a blind might, but we wanted something that would be a little more multi-purpose since it leads right into our living room.

This mounted tear-away note pad was our solution. We use it write lists of things we have to do, reminders, and then tear away the sheet when it's all checked off. Here's how to DIY a wall scroll note pad just like it.

Photo by Rocky Luten

Here's what you'll need:

  • A roll of paper as wide as the area you want to cover, about 3-4 inches in diameter (butcher block paper would be nice, but we got trace paper from the art supply store, which lets the light through a little bit).
  • 2 roller shade brackets
  • 2 eye screws
  • a 1/2 inch wooden dowel, cut to be 4 inches longer than the width of the area you want to cover
  • a yard stick
  • 2 metal washers
  • 2 screws

And here's how to make it:

1. Cut your dowel.

Measure the width of the area you want to cover, and then add four inches to that number: This is how long your dowel should be. Trim it using a saw, or have a friend at the hardware store do it for you.

2. Mount the brackets.

The dowel will fit right between the two brackets, so mount them precisely that distance apart with their holes facing inward, using the screws that come with them. (Our brackets were already mounted, we used the distance between them to measure the length of the dowel.)

Photo by Rocky Luten

3. Mount the scroll.

Slide the dowel through the roll of paper, and then hold it long-ways between the two brackets (it might help for a buddy to help you out with this) so that the end flap of paper is flush against the wall or door, pointing towards the ground. Screw an eye hook through the hole in each bracket and into an end of the dowel, securing it in this arrangement.

4. Add a yard stick at the bottom.

Your yard stick should be the same length as the dowel; you might need to trim it accordingly! Once it is, pull the paper out from the roll as far as want it to go then hold the yard stick across it wherever you want to be tearing the paper off.

Shop the Story

Mount the ruler by screwing it into the wall with a power drill on either end, a metal washer between the ruler and each screw head. This is to keep the paper flat and also to help with tearing it off. Don't drill it too tight, so you can still slip the paper behind it. When you go to tear the paper just press in on the yard stick and rip it off.

Left: The configuration of bracket, eye-hook, dowel, and scroll. Right: The ruler rig on the lower half. Photo by Rocky Luten

We haven't had to replace the roll of paper yet, but to do that you would just unscrew the eye-hook at the ends. We tied a crayon to the eye hook with a piece of twine, but you could add a marker or a pencil—whatever writing utensil you prefer!

Do you DIY? Tel us what you'd love to know how to make at home, in the comments!

Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jeanie H
    Jeanie H
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • Rhonda35
Alexis Anthony

Written by: Alexis Anthony

Treasure hunter and sneaky snacker.


Jeanie H. August 1, 2016
I have this exact type of front door and I'm planning to do this now!! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea.
Merrill S. July 31, 2016
Love this!
Rhonda35 July 31, 2016
Clever idea!