Make it Monday :: easy fabric covered notebooks :: tutorial


Make It Monday Title (1)

Are you after a quick way to sew a fabric cover for a notebook, or even a book? Then read on! I’m quite addicted to sewing these, if I had my way I’d cover every book on our bookshelf! It’s also nice to be able to have a customised notebook!

Easy Fabric Covered Notebooks Title Image

You can adapt this tutorial for any sized notebook, or book. It won’t work so well on spiral bound books, so stick to those with smooth spines. The sky’s the limit for ‘prettying’ them up too – you could applique, embroider etc. I’ve used some busy patterned fabric for these so I’ve kept them plain.

You will need:

Fabric: The amount depends on the size of your notebook. Decor weight is perfect, but if you’d like to use quilting weight cotton, just add a layer of medium weight iron-on interfacing

Notebook: I’ve used 3 different types here – a journal, an exercise book and a hard cover composition book

Sewing Supplies: Sewing machine, Scissors, Measuring Tape, Rotary Cutter & Mat (optional), Overlocker/Serger (optional)

Step 1:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 1

Using a measuring tape, measure around closed notebook – front and back cover

The composition book shown here was 15 inches (I measure in inches because I cut my fabric using a rotary cutter on a mat which is in inches!)

Measure the inside cover stopping just short of the spine as shown in the photo, and multiply by 2 for inside front and back cover

My inside measurement was 7 inches. Multiply by 2 = 14 inches

Add inside measurement to your cover measurement, and this is the length of your fabric (29 inches)

For the width of your fabric – measure the height of your notebook and add an extra 2 inches to both sides = 4 inches total. (My measurement was 9 3/4 inches for the notebook + 4 inches extra = 13 3/4 inches)

Cut fabric using your measurements!

Step 2:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 2

Sew a narrow single fold hem on each short end of your fabric. You can overlock/serge the raw seam first, if you like but it’s optional

Step 3:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 3

Fold fabric right sides together matching seams. Place a pin in each corner. Using a round object, trace a small curve on each corner. Cut

Step 4:

Fabric Notebook Cover Tutorial 3

Place fabric right side up and fold around notebook, making sure it’s centered both ways. Place pins as shown in the photo just to the side of the notebook. You’ll want this seam snug, but not too tight so allow a few millimeters of wriggle room

Step 5:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 4

Opening one cover at a time, add more pins on the inside as shown. Remove notebook carefully, and then draw a line connecting the pins

Step 6:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 5

Sew along this line – back-stitching at the fold of the fabric, and also at the seam edge

Step 7:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 6

Trim threads, and turn inside out. Use a pointy object to push corners out neatly. Press if needed (I hadn’t yet, in this photo!)

Step 9:

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 7

Insert notebook! It can be a little tricky, you may have to fold the notebook back on itself and insert both covers at the same time

Fabric Covered Notebook Tutorial 7

Enjoy your new cute notebook/s! They are re-usable, if you have the same notebook. If you make these as a gift, I think it would be nice to include refills.

6 Comments on Make it Monday :: easy fabric covered notebooks :: tutorial

  1. Jenny Jones
    January 19, 2015 at 9:04 am (3 years ago)

    Gorgeous idea and very easy to follow instructions. So good that they are reusable. Love the fabric you used-especially the crochet look one-drool:)

  2. Emily@squiggleandswirl
    January 20, 2015 at 5:08 am (3 years ago)

    Just what I need! I bought a little moleskine sketchbook online, it was a bargain, but I don’t like the colour. I’d been wondering how to cover it and now I know. Thanks Bec, your instructions and images look clear to follow. This will be my second make of 2015. P.s love the Make it Monday idea :)

  3. Kellie Winnell
    January 20, 2015 at 6:44 am (3 years ago)

    I absolutely love this idea and your tutorial is amazing!

  4. Sheila Harvey-Larmar
    January 21, 2015 at 2:29 am (3 years ago)

    What a great way to cheer up boring notebook covers. What brand is the sewing pattern fabric? I’d love to buy some:)

    • Bec
      February 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Sheila, sorry for the late reply! I found this fabric at my local sewing/craft store (Spotlight), not sure of the brand. It’s decor weight too!

  5. Jenny
    January 23, 2015 at 8:50 am (3 years ago)

    This is a lovely tutorial Bec, thanks so much for sharing your bright and happy ideas. I love reading your blog.