Make a personalized notebook cover

Address books, journals and diaries, stationery and fabric envelopes, I like all forms of stationery.

Despite the technology and the possibility of accessing my appointments via a “cloud”, I always write the commitments by hand in a journal and keep a notebook with me at all times in which I record everything from my to-do lists with notes for future design projects. .

Beautiful stationery can get expensive, but you can transform even the most basic notebook by covering it with fabric and then embroidering it with a title or something more personal.

You can choose to cover a photo album or scrapbook and embroider names, dates, places or other memorable words on the cover. You can work on a patterned fabric or simplify the project by embroidering a quote or other meaningful phrase on a solid background.

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You will need

  • Notebook, photo album, etc.
  • Plain sheet of paper larger than the book
  • A piece of fabric larger than the book (I used an old piece of linen from a bed sheet but any cotton or linen, new or old, will do)
  • Needle and thread
  • Embroidery needle and selection of brightly colored embroidery threads
  • An embroidery hoop (optional)
  • Pencil (or magic embroidery markers with ink that fades that disappears after 48 hours) and ruler

How to do

Step 1

Open your book and measure the length and width. Make a pattern by marking the measurements on the paper, adding 12 cm to the length and 2 cm to the width. Place your pattern on the fabric and cut it out.

2nd step

Fold a 0.5 cm hem (wrong side) at both ends of the shorter sides of the rectangle and sew a seam either with a sewing machine or by hand.

Step 3

To make the “pockets” in which your book can slide, fold 5.5 cm at each end of the rectangle, right sides together, iron the fold then sew only the upper and lower seams of the pockets (5.5 cm each) in sewing 1 cm from the edge.

Step 4

Cut the four corners diagonally then turn the pockets right side up and iron flat. Then sew the two hems between the pockets, at the top and at the bottom.

Step 5

Use an embroidery hoop if you have one to embroider the cover of your book. This will help your seams lie flat and keep them even.

Choose an embroidery thread and stitch a series of horizontal lines, spaced about 15mm apart, from the vertical fold edge to where the spine of your book begins.

Embroider a border in a contrasting color approximately 3 cm from the edge of the back. If you are not sure that you can sew in a straight line, first use the pencil or embroidery pen and the ruler to trace the lines on the fabric and embroider along them.

Step 6

Finish by embroidering your words. I did this with the naked eye but, again, if you prefer, you can write on the fabric in pencil or pen first and embroider over it.

Step 7

Sew the loose ends to the back of your work, press to remove creases, and slide the cover around your book.

For more clever ideas, visit our Crafts and Hobbies section

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About Raymond A. Bentley

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