Jacquelynne Steves

Fabric Covered Notebooks and Journals Tutorial

Fabric covered notebook journal

**This is a Fat Quarter Friendly Project!** Remember making book covers from brown paper bags? Do people still do that? Fabric covered notebooks and journals are the same idea, but much prettier :)

Oh my! I can’t believe we’re already talking about “Back to School” projects- seems like just yesterday we were talking about projects to keep the kids busy all summer long!  I have always loved back to school time- it means a new beginning! Pristine notebooks filled with empty pages and the unlimited possibilities of what will be written in them. Brand-new-still-pointy crayons. Colorful folders with un-bent corners. The smell of a classroom that has been unoccupied for the past 3 months….

CompositionBooks

Perhaps your kids aren’t quite so excited about going back to school, but here is a little project that just might cheer them up (OK maybe it won’t cheer THEM up, but it IS a good use for that fat quarter stash of yours!) At this time of year, you can get marbled composition books for under $1. Decorate them with some fabric and create school notebooks for the kids, or a journal for yourself. They also would make a great gift… Once you get the hang of making these, you can churn out several per hour.

Fabric Covered Note Books and Journals Tutorial

You will need 3 different fat quarters or fabric scraps, some matching thread for topstitching, and a standard sized marble notebook/composition book (about 9 3/4 x 7 1/2″).

Cut 3 pieces of fabric, 4 1/8 x 21″.  Sew fabric together along long edges.

Press both short edges 1/4″ toward wrong side, then turn under again and press. Top stitch along fold.

a

 

Zig zag stitch along both long edges.

b

 

Fold one short edge about 2 3/4″ toward RIGHT side of fabric. Sew bottom folded edge using 1/2″ seam allowance. Backstitch at beginning and end of seam.

c

 

Place cover of notebook in “pocket.” Mark top of pocket with a pin at the edge of the notebook cover. It should be snug but not too tight. Remove notebook and sew seam for pocket at pin marking.

d

e

 

Place notebook back in pocket. Wrap cover around closed notebook. Repeat previous step (pin top and bottom seams and sew.)

f

g

 

Turn pockets right sides out. Insert notebook to check for fit- it should be snug but not so tight that it causes the notebook to bow. If you’re happy with the fit, press the seams and press the zig zag edge down.

h

 

Top stitch zig zag edge between the pockets about 1/16 – 1/8″ from edge.

i

 

Insert notebook and enjoy!

If you like this project, please share it with the buttons below!

HaveACraftyDay-Cat

 

 

9 Comments

  • Jennifer
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Oooh – these are so pretty!! I love the fabric that you used for these, so full of color – they don’t look like those boring composition books anymore! And I guess you could use “boys” fabric as well to make books for the little men in your life as well!!

    Thanks for these great ideas!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jennifer- you know I thought about doing one with boys’ fabric AFTER I had my post all done! Duh! I am such a girly girl, and I have 2 girls, so that is where my designs tend to go…. But definitely they would be great with blues and greens and browns… and stripes! I’d love to see them with striped fabric!

  • Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    These are beautiful Jacquelynne! I love making notebook covers and yes…..I remember brown paper bag ones for school!

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I always had to do the brown bag covers when I was in elementary school. By the time my kids were in elementary school, you could buy those stretchy cloth covers which were re-usable- much easier than the brown bag, but not nearly as fun!

  • Judy
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have any kids in school anymore but I do have some of those composition books around and plenty of fat quarters. I think I will make some covers for them so I have pretty notebooks in my sewing/craft room to write down ideas and inspiration. Thanks for the idea! Strangely enough I had never heard of covering books until we lived out of the US for 3 years in the mid to late 90′s and then by the time we came back it seemed like the schools were requiring everyone to do it.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Judy! I love notebooks and journals but the pretty ones can be so expensive- this is a great way to make your own!

  • Posted August 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Cute!! I think I might just make a few!!

  • Jacquelynne
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Sandy! I’d love to see some photos if you decide to try it :)

  • Posted August 10, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Looks wonderful….

3 Trackbacks

  • By El Taller de Bielisa » Tapa de tela para libretas on August 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    [...] Me encantan estas tapas y cualquiera que se pueda hacer con tela!!! Jacquelynne Steves [...]

  • By Sewing Trends with Rachael | Sew Mama Sew | on August 26, 2013 at 2:53 am

    [...] Cloth Napkins for School Lunches by Buggy and Buddy, Back to School Sewing by s.o.t.a.k. handmade, Fabric Covered Notebooks by Jacquelynne [...]

  • By Hand Stamped Napkins & Other Quick Projects on December 29, 2013 at 8:14 am

    [...] Fabric Covered Note Books- This is one my personal favorites. You can make these for just about everyone on your list, depending on the fabrics you use. They can be used for note books, journals, prayer journals, etc. [...]

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