Patchwork Notebook Cover Tutorial



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.


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.


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”


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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

70 thoughts on “Patchwork Notebook Cover Tutorial

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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  6. 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?

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  11. 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!!

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

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  18. 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. 🙂

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  24. 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!

  25. 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!
    Great Falls, MT

  26. 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!

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

  29. 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!

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  31. 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!

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  33. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
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