I 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
– Notebook you’re wanting to cover (easier if it’s just a stitched or stapled spine)
– Sewing machine and thread
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.
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.
Gently fold your card in half and crease lightly, but don’t make it a sharp crease. Place your notebook spine into this crease.
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.
Repeat Step 3 on the back cover.
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.
Trim off all the treads, and try it out on your notebook!
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!
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!