DIY Book Jackets

July 18, 2013 | DIY

DIY Book JacketsI have so many little notebooks floating around the office that are only partially used, but are starting to look a bit worn on the outside thanks to being pulled in and out of bookcases countless times.

So I figured I might be more inclined to keep using them if they had nice, new looking covers again.. you know, giving them a fresh, new lease on life ;)

They’re dead simple to make, and fun too! So let’s go…


All you really need is:

– Paper or thin card in colours of your choice
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Notebook you’re wanting to cover (easier if it’s just a stitched or stapled spine)
– Scissors
– Sewing machine and thread

Step 1.
Measure and cut your card. Start by measuring the cover of your notebook when it’s spread open. I then took those measurements and added approx. 8mm (1.2″) onto the height, and approx. 80mm (3 1/4″) to the length, and measured out that rectangle onto my card. Cut it out.

For example: 
Notebook Size: 140mm x 180mm
Card Size: 148mm x 260mm

*Alternately, instead of only adding 4mm each side of the height (8mm total) you can add the usual seam allowance of 1.5cm to the height (3 cm total) to make it easier to sew later down the track. Then, once you’ve sewn the edges you can just trim off the excess.

Step 1

Step 2.
Gently fold your card in half and crease lightly, but don’t make it a sharp crease. Place your notebook spine into this crease.

Step 2Step 3.
Holding the cover of your notebook together with the card, and keeping the spine in line with the crease, fold the excess card over the cover and crease it using a bone folder or your finger nail. Keep the book as closed as possible when folding the card in. If you keep the notebook spread open when folding, once you close it again the jacket will most likely be too small.

Step 3Step 4.
Repeat Step 3 on the back cover.

Step 4Step 5.
Using a sewing machine to sew straight down the two longer sides of the card being sure to catch under the flaps. Make sure that the distance in from the edge that you sew is between 1 – 3mm from the edge (as we’ve only allowed for 4mm extra height on each side of the card).

*Note: See Step 1 for alternative to sewing so close to the edge.

Step 6.
Trim off all the treads, and try it out on your notebook!

Book JacketsBook Jackets

As an added extra, I also carved some stamps to look a bit like labels and then stamped them on the covers. You could create any stamps you like though!

StampingStampedFinished!These were on a fairly small scale because they were the notebooks I had, but you could also use this technique on school exercise books, journals etc. if you like.

Have fun! And for more DIY ideas, don’t forget to check out our DIY section!


  1. Love this! Such an adorable idea!!

    xo Becky
    Seductive Mania

  2. I never thought about using my sewing machine on cardstock paper, you can do that huh? I love this idea! Also I love the stamps you carved. I bought some big letter stamps and didn’t know what to do with them, now they have a purpose. (: thanks! have a good day!

    • ffadmin

      Hi Sarah! Yes you can, it just might blunt the needle a bit more quickly. You also have to be a bit careful about the cardboard thickness, but on the whole it works quite well! I hope you have success, would love to see the results if you decide to make them! :)

  3. What a great DIY! I have plenty of books lying around that could use this! Love the colors you have chosen!
    xo Akshara
    Simply Akshara

  4. ffadmin

    Thanks Becky and Akshara! :) x

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  8. Lucy

    Your notebooks and stamps are lovely. Please could you tell me how you label your photos. They look brilliant. Many thanks Lucy

    • ffadmin

      Hi Lucy, I use photoshop to label my photos. I draw the arrows in Illustrator first and bring them into Photoshop, but there are also plenty of free brushes out there you could use instead! :)

  9. Super cute as always! Love!

  10. Absolutely brilliant – and beautifully designed. I love your DIY’s!!!!!!

  11. Lucy

    These are lovely and your stamps too. Please could,you tell me how you put the text and arrows on your photos. Thank,you so much?

  12. Lucy

    Thank you so much

  13. What a fantastic little project! I love the simplicity of it, and the colours you chose are perfect.

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  16. So beautiful and elegant! I’ll be featuring this on The Crafty Crow!

  17. alex

    this is a lovely idea but where do you get the letter and other stamps from? thanksx

  18. Fran

    what sewing machine do you use? make and model?

    • ffadmin

      Hi Fran, it’s a Janome Decor Excel II :)

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