Notepad Chaos: A Free WordPress Theme


Over the last years we’ve featured a number of designers and developers who released their work for free — among other things we presented high-quality free fonts, free WordPress themes, free wallpapers and, of course, free icons. You can find many of them in our section Freebies1.

Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place which is why we support designers and challenge them to release something for free in order to be featured on Smashing Magazine. And the results are quite often pretty impressive.

Notepad Chaos: A Free WordPress Theme2

Today we are glad to release Notepad Chaos — a free professional WordPress-theme. The theme has 2 columns, a quite vibrant design including “personal” design elements such as handwritten headings, stick-it-notes, clips and pins. The theme was designed by Evan Eckard3 especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Download the theme for free!

You can use the theme for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. However, it’s forbidden to sell or redistribute the theme without both designer’s and Smashing Magazine’s permission — please link to this article if you would like to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish, but if you are planning to release your modification, please ask our permission first.


The theme has been updated to version 1.5. It’s now up-to-date with cleaner code and includes a lot more functionality (gravatars, dynamic sidebars, etc.). You can find the files and demo here9.

Motivation behind the design

Here are some insights about the design process and development from the designer himself.

“I had recently stumbled upon many websites with gorgeous, gigantic, illustrated backgrounds and wanted to try my hand at creating a site that shared that similar element. This theme was an experiment into layering multiple images and having everything line up and flow with the site’s content.

Notebook Chaos10
Among other things, the Notepad Chaos theme has handwritten search box and navigation at the top of the layout.

It was quite a challenge to develop the design after creating it, but in the end it helped me gain more experience in CSS and what we designers can do to try and create sites with plenty of visual depth. On the technical side of things, the theme doesn’t use any plugins or extras, and focuses simply on the design.

Sidebar in the Notepad Chaos is designed as a post-it-note and clipped at the top.

The themes uses a custom field called “thumbnail” where the user can add an image to their post. The instructions are within the readme file along with how to set up the menu links.”

Thank you, Evan. We appreciate your work and your good intentions.

Last but not least…

We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists. You may not know it yet, but we might feature you in one of our upcoming posts.

If you would like to release a high-quality free font, a WordPress-theme, some wallpapers or an icon-set please contact us12 — we would like to support you (both financially and with the broad coverage on Smashing Magazine).

You may be interested in the following free WordPress-themes as well:


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    Great theme. only problem is when viewing with Internet Explorer 6. The yellow post-it for Recent Posts is broken. The top part of the Post-it displays correctly (with Recent Posts text), then there is a large gap, the length of Pages and Categories in column 2, before the bottom part of Recent Posts displays (containing links to posts) this looks bad.
    See it here:
    Can anyone help please?

    • 302

      Bart Bruijnesteijn

      February 19, 2010 1:11 am

      You should loose IE6, it gives problems with a lot of websites as it doesn’t adhere to standards, I know from professional experiences working with big corporate websites. If you want to stick with IE, go for the more recenter versions. But I should also consider better alternatives like Firefox

  2. 603

    Any idea how to change the number of recent posts that show up on the yellow post it on the side?

  3. 904

    has this site asked for permission to modify? I can not find information

  4. 1205

    umm i new to this and i have this wordpress account and i want this theme i just dont know how to put it there i download it already but the rest im clueless and i really want this theme

  5. 1506

    je le met tout de suite sur mon site
    I’m french
    I immediately put it on my site (roughly)

  6. 1807

    Me encanta (i love it) felicitaciones!! (congrats!) fué el que más me gustó de 100 opciones. (it´s the best of 100 options i found in the internet)
    bye bye people

  7. 2108

    I am using this theme now! Thanks!
    Sorry for the noob question… How do i remove the footer that says:
    What is this place? This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.

  8. 2409

    Bettina From Denmark

    May 6, 2010 4:00 am

    I really would like to have this theme too but I can´t make it right. Could one off you send me the code that I could copy and paste ???? Please.

  9. 2710

    one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.

  10. 3011

    a nice theme, looking at the files now!

  11. 3312

    Awesome Them….good work…

  12. 3613

    nice theme ,so great

  13. 3914

    Love the theme… but I’m unable to get the “more” feature to work.

    I’ve even downloaded a plugin called Evermore and it also does not work with the theme.

    I’ve looked at it the Preview and Publish mode and neither have this feature working.

    Please advise.

  14. 4215

    Forgot to give you the details of my computer setup:
    Am running WinXP Home edition
    Computer is a Dell
    Browser is FireFox

    I’ve tried publishing the post and still the More feature isn’t working.

    Please advise.

  15. 4516

    This theme definitely rocks but I’m wondering how to change the ‘About’ and ‘Archives’ buttons. What’s the name of the font you used ’cause I can’t find it.

    • 4817

      Talian is a 3-column, wiegdt-ready, green-and-black theme optimized for SEO and adsense readiness. (No Ratings Yet) Loading Sphere: Related Content

  16. 5118

    Its pretty good

  17. 5419

    thank u so much
    nice site

  18. 5720

    Is Notepad Chaos widget ready?

    It’s a very cool theme, but I can’t seem to find that bit of information.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. 6021

    thanks a lot

  20. 6322

    Hi there
    Just wondering once I download the psd files and alter in photoshop, how do I get the changes back to html, or to whatever file necessary? Then do I need to upload to? So it shows on my blog?
    Thanking you!!!


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