Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fabric Covered Notebooks (a tutorial)

Greetings and salutations! Are y'all ready for a really quick, easy back to school project?

You are? Really??!

Then let's get started!

These are super simple...and oh, so fun.
If you're going to make them, now is a GREAT time - composition notebooks are on sale at Target, $.50 a piece! (They're usually only $1.09,, either way - not an expensive project.)
I based them off of a tutorial online...but, of course, now I can't find it!! (If anyone knows where the tute is, let me know, and I'll link up? Thanks!)

The original tute had you use Wonder Under, or a similar fusible web, and you ironed the fabric on. I improvised, taking into account my composition notebooks (as opposed to the more expensive moleskine notebooks from the tute) and the different adhesive. Ready?

Gather your materials. You'll need:
1 tapebound notebook (spiral just won't work for this project)
spray adhesive (I use the Scotch stuff with the purple lid)
Fabric (I like home dec weight, but anything will do)

Lay your fabric out on the table, wrong side up. Open up your notebook and lay it on the fabric. Measure the notebook, open, and cut out a rectangle of fabric that is 1" larger than the notebook, all the way around. (For example, my notebook's dimensions are 9 3/4" x 7 1/2". That means, my notebook, open, is 9 3/4" x15". So, I rounded up: I needed a rectangle of fabric that was 12" x 17". Make sense?)

At this point, lay your fabric over the cover of your book and look carefully - can you see the pattern of the cover through your fabric? If you can, then you might want to stop and cut some solid-color paper the same size as your notebook covers. Glue those down with a glue stick, and then proceed to cover the notebook. Make sure your faux-covers cover the cardboard section, only, and don't go over onto the black binding tape.

Lay out some newsprint or something else that will protect your work surface - you want it to be MUCH larger than the piece of fabric you're spraying. (Unless, of course, you LIKE to have your sewing table sticky for the next two weeks?) (Alternately, just lay your fabric on your porch, spray it and run inside to finish the rest of the project. Your call. Even WITH precautionary work station always gets really sticky after this project.)

Now, lay your fabric out, wrong side up. Spray it with your spray adhesive, making sure to get it all the way to the edges.
Grab your closed notebook and press the spine to the center of your piece of fabric.

Now, carefully open up the front cover of your book and press it to the fabric, leaving the back cover vertical.

Now, close the book towards the front cover, then flip the book onto its back cover and press to adhere the fabric to that side. Make sure you smooth out any air bubbles and that the book can be opened and closed - that's why you stick one side and then the other.

Open the book back up, and cut a slit above and below the spine of the book. Next, cut out squares at each corner of the cover.

Open one cover of the book and fold down the extra fabric. First, the top, then the bottom, then the side.

Repeat with the back cover, and you're done!

There. Wasn't that quick and painless?! Once you've got your materials laid out, you can whip these out in just a few minutes each.

Let me know if you do this project - I'd love to see pics!

*Shopping notes - I bought my spray adhesive at JoAnn's, my notebooks at Target (on sale, currently, for $.50 a piece, usually $1.09) and my fabric is from IKEA. Our IKEA here seems to have a sale each May where one line of their fabric is on sale for $.99 a yard. This year, it was several gorgeous canvas prints, the Katarina line. If you've never checked out the fabric at IKEA, please do so! It's really lovely, and quite high quality. You'll find it in the drapery and rug section, not in the showroom.


Phiphi said...

This is more fun than the usual paper cover. I wish they advice using fabric cover for school books instead of the usual one..Love tha red fabric..

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