Patchwork Notebook Cover Tutorial

1-materials-needed-s.JPG

Materials Needed:

  • a thread-bound composition notebook 
  • around 15 charm pack squares (or 5 x 5-inch fabric squares)
  • a piece of neutral lightweight fabric cut 11″ x 27″
  • fusible webbing/iron-on adhesive (I use Heat ‘N Bond Lite)
  • rotary cutter and mat OR scissors

Step 1:  Fuse iron-on adhesive to 11×27″ fabric.

Cut iron-on adhesive to cover 11×27″ fabric.  Several pieces might be needed to cover the entire area.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse.  After fabric cools, peel off paper backing.

2-peel-backing.JPG

Step 2:  Make patchwork cover fabric

Arrange charm pack squares with wrong side to fusible webbing on top of cover fabric.  Fuse a few squares at a time, being careful not to get glue on your iron.

3-fuse-fabric.JPG

Trim off excess and continue filling in until the entire piece of fabric is covered.  Trim off all excess fabric around the outside and iron final piece one more time, making sure edges are adequately fused.  From here on out, this will be referred to as your “cover fabric”.

Step 3:  Sew decorative stitches over the “seams” 

4-sew-seams.JPG

Step 4: Sew “seemingly useless but pretty border” straightstitch on top and bottom of cover fabric

Center the notebook on the cover fabric.  Measure the top and bottom until even.

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Add 1/4 of an inch to this number.  In my case, the top and bottom measurements were 1/2 inch.  Adding a 1/4 inch brings it to 3/4 inch.  This is how far in you will sew your border straightstich.

Sew a line 3/4 inch (or your own calculated measurement) in across the top and bottom  of the cover.

5-sew-fake-straight-stitch.JPG

The reason for this line of stitching will become apparent in step 10.

Step 5:  Sew under sides of cover.

Iron a 1/2-inch crease into both short sides of fabric. 

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Secure the raw edge under with a straight stich 1/4 inch in from the edge.

6-sew-under-raw-edge-2.JPG

Step 6:  Prepare side flaps

Center the notebook on the RIGHT side of the cover.  Fold in flaps and measure both sides until they are even.  In my case, this measurement is 5 1/2 inches.  Pin the flap at the top and bottom and slide out the notebook.

7-measure-and-pin-edge.JPG

Step 7: Sew down the side flaps.

Determine the top and bottom seam for the side flaps.  Lay the notebook back on the cover.  Measure the top and bottom, moving the notebook until it is centered and both measurements are the same.  Note this measurement and SUBTRACT 1/8 of an inch.  This is your seam allowance for sewing down the flaps.

8-measure-top-and-bottom.JPG

My measurement was 1/2 inch.  Minus 1/8 and I have 3/8. Sew the flaps down with appropriate seam allowance, back stitching where the flap ends near the center.

Step 8:  Clip corners and turn cover right-side out.

9-clip-corners.JPG

Step 9:  Test fit the cover.

Gently ease your notebook into the sleeves, expecting to utilize some notebook contortionism.  Remove the notebook.  If it’s too tight of a squeeze, then I’m afraid there might be some seam ripping in your future.  :(

Step 10:  Press and sew in raw edges on top and bottom.

Iron crisp edges and folds into the cover.  Iron raw edges on top and bottom down and pin.

10-iron-raw-edges.JPG

With raw side DOWN, sew at least 3 inches of raw edge down, lining up stitches on your previously “seemingly useless but pretty” border line of straightstiches. 

10-sew-raw-edge-down.JPG

Step 11:  Refit the Notebook in the cover and your finished!

12-finished.JPG

Helpful hints:

  • Although I have included my measurements in this tutorial, in my experience, not all composition notebooks are the same!  Measurements and fabric size may need to be adapted slightly for your notebook.
  • If you would like to use your own fabric instead of making patchwork fabric, then start this tutorial at step #4.  I would recommend interfacing lightweight cotton for a more substantial cover.

© 2006 Craft Apple Creations

65 Responses to “Patchwork Notebook Cover Tutorial”


  1. 1 sueb September 17, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Nicely written tutorial and very very generous of you to share it with the world!

  2. 2 Kate September 17, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Thankyou so much for sharing. Great tutorial – I like tutorials with lots of pictures!

  3. 3 weirdbunny September 17, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Yet again Lindie your so proffesional in making stuff. My note pad covers are no way near as good as the ones you make. I’ll have to follow your tutorial from now on !

  4. 4 Cindi September 17, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Hahaha, evil laugh! Now I can just copy what you did with the notebooks I bought and I don’t have to figure out how to do it! (teehee)

  5. 5 lera September 17, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    you are incredible!

    i’m going to have to stash this idea (and tutorial) away until i have more time.

    right now, i’m hoping to have a baby! ha ha ha

  6. 6 Patricia September 17, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Thank You!!! It’s so nice of you to take the time to make and share this tutorial. I hope I can make one of these soon!

  7. 7 Randi September 17, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you for this great tutorial! I am going to be making a bunch of these for Christmas gifts–as soon as I make some for my girls and me!

  8. 8 Lori September 17, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial. This will be perfect for Christmas presents.

  9. 9 Jessica September 18, 2006 at 8:14 am

    fabulous! thanks so much.

  10. 10 Cathy September 18, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Your tutorials are terrific! Now I’m inspired by you again :)

  11. 11 Copper's Wife September 18, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you, once again, for a great tutorial. IMHO you can never include too many pictures!! Maybe I’m a visual learner??? thanks again!

  12. 12 Wendi September 18, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! I love that idea for Christmas gifts as well!

  13. 13 kirsten September 18, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    they look lovely! nice work!
    – also love the charm pack photo – love those reproduction fabrics!

  14. 14 Sandy September 19, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    That is sooo cute! I even have the same fabrics so I’ll have to put this on my to do list : )

  15. 16 mariabinns September 20, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for this incredible tutorial. I have linked to it from my site One Hour Craft.
    Cheers
    Mia

  16. 17 patsijean October 22, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for this tutorial. I made my husband two covers and he loved them. He just ordered online 6 more special composition books with drawing space on each page. I will be making a few more notebook covers. I really loved making them.

  17. 18 KIKI December 23, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    This is so pretty! I totally want one for my “idea” notebook. Thanks for the tutorial.

  18. 19 Melissa December 29, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    Have you ever tried a light weight knit with this project? I have quite a bit in my stash right now and want to use them up somehow, this might be a good idea for year end gifts for my daughters 2nd grade class if I can use the knit material.

  19. 20 Shelly May 23, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    You know, I was thinking that you could use this same idea to make a Bible cover….hmmmmmmm.

  20. 21 Bev Schweigert June 18, 2007 at 11:05 am

    This would make a neat gift that my daughter could give her friends…. she could pick out the material and make each one personal.

    Fantastic tutorial!

    Bev

  21. 22 alphae June 23, 2007 at 5:39 am

    thanks for the ideas! i love it! keep it up!!!

  22. 23 Sherri July 20, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Your tutorial is awesome! The instructions were so easy to follow. Thank you so much for posting this!

  23. 24 Marcia August 8, 2007 at 5:20 am

    I just finished looking at all your tutorials…they are wonderful! Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.

  24. 25 Euapap August 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing. I would like to ask a question.
    What if you don’t want it to be a patchwork and prefer only 2 pieces that are stitched together and then ironed. Do you still need the fusible webbing or not?

  25. 26 Lauire May 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I read this really quickly, thinking the whole time it was for a laptop notebook (computer) and could not for the life of me figure out how you were refitting it on the notebook.

    Thanks for sharing. Now that I understand, I love it!!

  26. 27 The Patchwork Underground June 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    oh mi gosh! i want to make those!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks so much for this tutorial!
    <3 erin

  27. 28 Joyce August 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I teach sewing at the local HS and plan on using this for one of their beginning projects. Very clear tutorial. Thanks.
    Joyce

  28. 29 Gayla March 7, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Thank you for posting this tutorial! I just found your blog a few days ago, and I have already made 3 mini-notebook covers w/ ribbon markers and I’m almost finished with a full-size notebook cover! Your instructions are clear, precise, and easy to follow, and the end product is outstanding. :)

  29. 30 Loraine March 17, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for a lovely tutorial. Your projects are awesome!

  30. 31 Sandra August 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I will be starting an after school quilting program two days a week. This is the perfect starter project. Thanks so much. Great instructions.

  31. 32 Ania ze Wzgórza :) February 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Hi there! :)

    I love your tutorial, and I posted it on my blog: http://mojezielonewzgorze.blogspot.com/2010/02/kalendarz-w-nowej-odsonie.html

    Thanks for sharing! :) Great blog! :)

  32. 33 Kath October 6, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I’ve just started making book covers similar to this, and this is such an easy-to-understand tutorial… thank you!!! I love the final look. Can’t wait to ‘fix up’ my previous pattern with your design!

  33. 34 crescendogal December 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Just stopping by to say THANKS for the great tute!!! I whipped one of these up last night as a Christmas gift for my guy’s daughter that wanted an agenda…just so happened that I had enough scraps left over from making her a bag & accessories…now this will match! Wanted to add a picture for you but don’t know how to add it on the comment post. If you’d like to see, let me know. :0) You are SO correct in adding the straight line of stitching on top and bottom…a nice professional finish!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!
    crescendogal@yahoo.com
    Great Falls, MT

  34. 35 RachelS December 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Thank you so much for this. I have been agonising how to make a book cover as part of my C&G coursework without it being too big or too small which is what usually happens. Following your instructions I have today made the perfect book cover. You’ve made my day!

  35. 36 Natalie May 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial. It is very easy to follow and I just finished making my second one.

  36. 37 suvarna August 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea. I know the plastic coverings can be bought for copybooks and I never really liked them. This is so simple to make and washable too without getting like old plastic. I just love it! Its just a little spare time I’ve got to find now! Thanks!

  37. 38 AC September 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Your patches are lovely – I have been looking for some like these and failed. Where did you find them?

  38. 40 Athena September 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

    This is cute! Thank you for sharing your tutorial with us. :)

  39. 41 Sandra April 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I don’k know if you’ll ever see this comment…….but this is a GREAT idea. Even I can do this and I’m not very good at sewing. I can see a bunch of fabric covered comp. books in my future (lots of gifts). The instructions and pictures are very clear. I learn best from watching/looking at pictures to see “how it’s done.” Thank you for posting this tutorial!

  40. 43 Immigration Advicers Dover March 25, 2013 at 3:29 am

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Thanks!

  41. 45 rhondawinters April 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    This is an awesome idea! These covers look lovely!


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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 10, 11, and 12), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
© 2006-2014 Craft Apple Creations

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