tutorial: notebook cover for a beloved scribbler

Men are hard to buy for, and even harder to make for. That’s why I really love this project. I made it for my hub, gave it to him a couple of weeks ago on his birthday–and he’s actually using it! It holds a regular notebook filled with lined paper. He says he really likes that it’s so easy for him to locate in his overstuffed backpack, and he’s been using it every day at work. That’s pretty sweet. I gave him a stack of refill notebooks too.

This handy item is a version of a project in our book we’ve called “Appliqued Journal.” I skipped the applique part, because the recipient isn’t really the applique type.

Here’s how it’s done:

You’ll need: blank notebook or journal, sturdy fabric (I used a home-dec weight piece from Ikea), sewing machine and thread, pearl snap set

1. Open the notebook so it lays flat and measure it.  Measure, mark, and cut a piece of fabric that’s 2 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the open notebook.

2. Fold the cover in half with the wrong sides together and short sides aligned. Press the crease. Open the fabric. Press both long edges a scant .5″ to the wrong side.

3. Sew the folded edges in place with a zigzag stitch.

4. Finish the short edges with a line of zigzag stitch. Press these stitched edges 1″ to the wrong side and then open them so the piece is flat.

5. Mark the center of the left edge for strap placement. Cut a piece of contrasting or matching fabric that measures 4″ by 3/4.” (I just used a red scrap from the same Ikea fabric.) Narrow zigzag around all the sides of the strap.

6. Fold the strap in half and press the crease. Pin the strap, right side up, to the cover at the place you marked, aligning its center crease with the cover’s flap crease as shown here.

7. Sew the strap on with a rectangle as shown–use a straight stitch for this.

8. Stick a pin in the strap where you want the snap top to sit, then fold the strap over as if you were snapping the notebook closed. Make a pinprick in the front cover, then mark that spot–this is where the snap’s bottom will go.

9. Attach the snap’s top piece to the strap as directed on the snap set’s packaging.  Do the same to attach the bottom piece at the marked spot.

10. Secure the side flaps by stitching them in place at the top and bottom edge with a very narrow zigzag.

Slip your notebook into your cover. Finished! And sure, stitch up a card while you’re at it–some scraps and a piece of cardstock or thin cardboard will get it done. That’s in our book too…I mean, there are 101 projects. EVERYTHING is in this book. At least that’s what it felt like when we were writing it!!

This entry was posted by Debra.

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