I wanted to make some pretty notebooks for the three young ladies in my homeschool writing class. My first thought was to cover a spiral with scrapbook paper (easy-peasy), but spirals aren’t known for being heavy duty. After digging around my stash, I decided that fabric covered composition books would be perfect.
For each book you will need: cardboard bound composition book, approximately 12×18 piece of main fabric, fabric scraps, fusible web (I used Wonder Under), 2- 18″ ribbon pieces, tape, letters/shapes to trace and basic sewing supplies.
Remember that when using fusible web to make an applique, you will trace everything backwards. That little point isn’t important when doing circles, but it is very important when doing letters! I used letters from Kimberbell Kids’ Personalized Pillow pattern. The letters are easily resized and I have used them on so many things- definitely worth the $7!
Measure out your main fabric for the cover and press it well. You want it to be just a little bigger than the composition book. This piece was 12×18 and it could have been just a bit smaller.
Iron the fusible web onto your fabric scraps. I used two coordinating fabrics for the letters and circles.
After cutting out the shapes and letters, lay them out on your main fabric and adhere them according to the directions for the fusible web you are using. A little tip- when layering items, stack them all and then iron them. Do you see the little bit of
fabric in the top right hand corner? That is my first big circle and letter. I managed to fuse the “M” to the butterfly fabric and the butterfly fabric to the Wonder Under paper.
At this point I applique stitched around the “M” and all the circles. You can skip this step, use a decorative stitch or add a little bling. I think it would be really cute to use flannel and snip the circle edges to create a ragged look.
This is the step where you suddenly decide you want ribbons to mark pages. Spend 45 minutes looking for the ribbon box. After locating the ribbon box (and turning everything else upside down), tape 2- 18″ ribbons to the spine of the book.
You’ll need to imagine the next step– apply the fusible webbing to the back of the main fabric piece. Line up the composition book on the fabric and make sure everything is lined up exactly how you want it. Smooth the fabric and pull it tight on both sides,
then iron fabric to the front of the composition book. Open the composition book and lay it flat, spine facing up. Continue to press the fabric to the book, moving from the spine to the back edge. IMPORTANT: If you just flip the book and do not open it, you will get an ugly crease at the spine when you open the book.
Pay extra attention to pressing along the edges of the book.
I used a rotary cutter to trim along the edges. You can use scissors, or a craft knife.
That’s it! I did run a finger dipped in white glue along the edge of the composition books to help seal any loose threads. It is not entirely necessary, but I want these books to hold up to heavy use. I also heat sealed the ribbon ends by passing them briefly over an open flame.
The best part of this project was that it was completed with items I already had on hand!
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