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

 

 

12 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….

  • Sewcrzy
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Love these covers! Thinking of adding some leftover chalkboard material for my
    granddaughters so they can personalize them more.

    • Jacquelynne
      Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Oh that is a great idea- wish I had thought of it!

  • Priscilla
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    LOVE it… love you! Be blessed, always =-)

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