Fabric Notebook Cover

Fabric Notebook Cover - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Stay organized during the holidays this year by using a simple notebook as a holiday planner.
For a fun holiday touch, keep your notebook in a cute Fabric Notebook Cover.

Fabric Notebook Cover


1 Notebook (I used a composition notebook)
1/3 yard patterned fabric (I used Jovial Christmas Fabric Mistletoe Naughty)
1/3 yard contrasting fabric (I used Jovial Christmas Fabric Flannel Pajamas Tonal)
27″ length of ribbon (I used 3/8″ Cranberry Solid Grosgrain)
1 1/2″ piece of Velcro
1 1/2″ piece of Pellon Stabilizer or felt
1 button (I used The Chubby Santa Resin)
Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat
Quilter’s Ruler
That Purple Thang
Fabric Marker

I used a composition book, but you can use any size notebook that you would like.
Even if you use a composition notebook, your measurements may be different than mine,
so make sure to measure.

Your first step is to trace your notebook onto a paper or manila file folder.
This will be your pattern.

Laying open, my composition book measured 19″ x 15″.

With a ruler add 1/2″ to each short side of the pattern.
Measure and add 1/4″ to the long side.
This will allow more room for the binding of the notebook.

Cut out the pattern you’ve drawn on the file folder.
Trace the pattern onto the printed fabric.

Measure 6″ in on the pattern. Draw a line and cut out.
Trace and cut out 2 pieces of your plain fabric.
The 2 pieces of the plain fabric will be your lining.

With a paper or file folder, measure and cut out a 6″ x 1 3/4″ strip.
Trace the strip four times; two times on both fabrics.

The two 6″ strips of your patterned fabric will be sewn inside of your cover on the top and bottom.
Also cut a long strip to sew inside the cover.
This step is optional, but it will be sewn to help reinforce the binding of your notebook.

Cut out the plain fabric 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips and round the corners on one end.

You should have one large patterned fabric piece for your cover,
2 plain fabric pieces for your lining,
2 plain fabric strips for the strap,
2 patterned fabric pieces to reinforce the bottom and top,
and one long, skinny strip of patterned fabric to reinforce the binding.

The two 6″ x 1 3/4″ plain pieces will be the straps for your notebook cover.
With the right sides facing, pin the two 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips together.

Using coordinating thread, sew fabric all the way around with a 1/4″ seam allowance,
leaving the unrounded end open.

Clip the rounded edge just above the seam.
This will help the fabric lay smooth when you flip it inside out.

Using That Purple Thang turn it inside out.
That Purple Thang has made my sewing so much easier!
I used to use a pencil and I was always poking holes through my fabric.
I must say, it was $3.50 well spent!

Press with an iron.

Sew a 1 1/2 ” fuzzy side of the Velcro to the inside of the strap.
I sewed around the Velcro three times to give it more durability.

Sew your button onto the top of the strap.
In my supplies you’ll see that I have a cover button kit pictured.
I planned on using one of those, but I had an extra resin Santa from another project,
that I thought would look cute!

The Notebook Cover would look great with a covered button, as well.
The Ribbon Retreat carries a button cover kits in a variety of sizes.
They’re easy to put together and turn out really cute!

Isn’t he cute?
The Ribbon Retreat carries the cutest resins!

I hot glued the resin Santa to the top of the strap. I’m not sure how well the hot glue will hold up, E600 glue might be the better choice.

Fold the long side of your plain fabric pieces down about 1/4″ and press with an iron.
Fold over one more time, iron and pin.

While you’re ironing, fold the 6″ x 1 3/4″ pieces of the patterned fabric under and press. Fold again, iron and pin. Also, fold both sides of your long skinny patterned fabric and press.

Sew a straight stitch down the fold line of your plain fabric, removing the pins as you sew.

Find the middle of your patterned fabric by folding it in half.
Pin the strap to the fabric with the raw edge facing in and the Velcro facing out.

Pin your 1 1/2″ square piece Pellon stabilizer in the middle of the opposite side.
The Pellon will help with durability.

With the button side down, sew the strap to the right side of the patterned fabric.

On the opposite side of the patterned fabric, sew on the piece of Velcro.
You will be sewing the Pellon at the same time. The patterned fabric will be “sandwiched”
in between the Velcro and Pellon.

Fold the patterned fabric in half to find the center.
Do the same with the 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips of patterned fabric.

Place the strips on the top and bottom, with the right sides facing, lining up the centers.
Pin and sew the raw edge of the 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips onto the patterned fabric,
with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Iron and fold the 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips in.
Sew on the fold line with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now we are going to sew the long strip of fabric to the center of the patterned fabric.
Again, this step is optional, but will reinforce the binding of your notebook.

Find the middle of your large patterned fabric and with the wrong sides facing,
pin the long strip of fabric down the middle, tucking the ends under the 6″ x 1 3/4″ strips we just sewed.
Sew all the way around the long strip of fabric, removing the pins as you sew.

Next we are going to sew the plain fabric to the patterned fabric.

With the right sides facing, pin the two plain fabrics onto each side of the patterned fabric.
Make sure to tuck the strap in between the two fabrics.

Sew the plain pieces of fabric to both sides of the patterned fabric, removing the pins as you sew.

Using That Purple Thang, turn inside out and press with an iron.

You’re almost done, you should feel proud!

Tie the 27″ length of ribbon around your cover.
Trim it down to where you want it and seal the ends with your preferred method.

I’m thrilled with the way it turned out!
Now I have a pretty cover for my notebook filled with Christmas ideas.

Fabric Notebook Cover - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

You can customize this cover for different occasions using different designer fabrics,
ribbon and buttons.
You could add Ric Rac or flowers.

My mom made a darling one with lace on the edges.
It’s just darling and she uses it as a journal.

Fabric Notebook Cover - {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

There are so many uses for notebooks, I’m sure I’ll be making a few more.
They’re a great gift idea, as well.

Whatever you decide to make it for I hope you enjoy making your Fabric Notebook Cover!
Have a great day!

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  1. Tish
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Cute! Thanks for sharing. My Grandmother received something like that one year for Christmas that her sister made her that had a photo album in it. She made a small photo frame and put it on the top of it, in case you needed another idea for it =)

  2. Alice
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    What a great journal that would make. Can’t wait to make a couple for Christmas gifts. You inspire me to get working.

    • Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Thanks Alice and Tish! Journals and photo books would be great Christmas gifts! Happy crafting!

  3. cindy
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    In the directions…you say to measure 1/2 inch on the short side but the picture looks like 1/4 inch on the short side. Should I do it like the picture? Thanks!

    • Posted January 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cindy! You want to add a 1/2″ on the top and bottom and 1/4″ on the sides as shown in the picture. This will make it easier when you fold the top and bottom over in a later step. Does that make sense?

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