I first saw this version with a paint sample notebook... really too small to be useful for schoolwork, but so cute and easy.
I loved the idea so I went searching. And found this simple tutorial with template. It makes a notebook with 3 1/2" square pages.
You can find the tutorial at http://papernstitchblog.com/2012/07/10/diy-how-to-make-a-matchbook-notebook-with-template/
And I loved this idea so much1 It is simple to do, could make it as simple or fancy as you like, and would be a great way to use that free paper for the shoeboxes.
Then I thought, 3 1/2 inches square is still small. What about if it were made with 12 inch cardstock? The dimensions could be scaled up to a 5 1/4 inch square paper. That is a nice size notebook. The method is simple enough I think it would be an easy matter to make one in any size you had cardboard for.
Want to make it with free cover? How about using cereal boxes or other upcycled materials for the cardboard? It is colorful and free. And could be matched with a pencil holder too?
How to with template at http://makezine.com/craft/quick/pencilcase/