I have a ton of notebooks I use to write lists, thoughts, and journal in. They mean a lot to me and, since I use them frequently, I thought it would be fun to make a cover for them. The great thing about this project is that it uses felt, which is inexpensive. It’s a fast and easy way to customize and make things unique!
You can take the project a step further by making a felt character for the cover. I made an owl for mine. There wasn’t much too it; I drew the owl shapes on the felt and cut them out. I used my sewing machine to piece each part onto the felt cover. Try looking online for simple animal shapes to start out with.
If your notebook has an elastic band that keeps it shut (the one in this tutorial does) don’t worry! I It takes a bit of finagling, but you can keep that feature. The instructions for this can be applied to any size notebook (or book) you can get a big enough piece of felt for.
You Will Need
1 piece of felt big enough to cover the entire outside of the book, plus enough to fold over the cover and back
Extra felt for a character, buttons, etc.
Sewing supplies (you can machine or hand sew this, but hand sewing will take longer of course!)
1. If your notebook has an elastic band, you’ll need to free it. I had to tear off the paper that covered where the elastic was threaded through the back cover. Pull it out. You will only need to free the top.
2. Lay your felt on a flat surface, then set your notebook on top of it. You’ll need 1/4″ of space on the top and bottom. Trim the felt so you have one rectangular piece (I hadn’t done this step yet in the photos). Fold over both sides of the felt so you have an even amount on both sides of the covers (see image, it explains it much better!). Use a piece of chalk to mark where you made your folds. You’ll need to iron the folds so they stay crisp and flat. By the end of this step you should have one rectangular piece of felt with the long ends folded in and ironed. This is the book cover.
3. To make a felt character, draw the separate pieces on the felt. Cut them out and lay them on top of each other to make sure they all fit. Make sure your book cover isn’t folded for this step, or else you’ll sew the cover to the fold. Start sewing the shapes of your character on to the cover by pinning a layer then sewing. Repeat until all your layers are on. Try using small buttons for pupils.
4. Sew the top and bottom of the cover. At this point the book should slide into the pockets you’ve created. If you don’t have an elastic band, trim all your loose threads and you’re done! If you do have a band, you have a few steps left.
5. Slide the cover onto the notebook. Using an exacto knife, or other small blade, you’ll need to find the holes in the notebook and make two incisions. Thread the band through the bottom one, then through the top (top left photo). This is where things get a little tricky; you’ll need to take the cover off just enough so that you can push that band back through the hole and onto the other side. Use super glue or hot glue to secure the band back onto the cover (bottom left photo). Once the glue has dried, pull the cover back over and you’re done!