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DIY Covered Notebook Tutorial

Step by step tutorial to make a DIY covered notebook. This is an easy upcycle, and a great way to use up scraps!

Click to read also: DIY Pencil Holder Craft

how to make a covered notebook

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How to Make a DIY Covered Notebook

These cute little notebooks are easy and fun to make! I used the same technique we used to make playful Monster Book of Monsters notebooks for my daughter’s birthday a few years ago to create these much sleeker, but still fancy, notebooks.

make your own custom covered notebook

I made a bunch of them using vinyl scraps I picked up at Fabmo, a Bay Area non-profit that rescues designer materials for creative reuse. If you live in the San Francisco area, this is definitely a crafting resource to check out!

Now my kids use the notebooks as travel journals and mini sketchbooks. I like to keep one in my purse for notes and doodling.

DIY Notebook Materials

Supplies for covering a notebook

These are the materials you need for this craft:

  • Plain notebooks. I used these A6 notebooks, because they fit the size of the scraps I had from Fabmo and were blank inside (since I wanted these to double as mini sketchbooks).
  • Scissors and/or a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I think it’s useful to have both cutting tools, but you can make do without an extra shopping trip. I used Havel fabric scissors and this small Olfa rotary cutter.
  • Vinyl or fabric to cover your notebook. This is a great thing to get from designer re-use centers like Fabmo, because you can get gorgeous prints for almost nothing or even free (I do recommend making a donation, as they ask. We want to keep these organizations running!)
  • Tacky craft glue.
  • A medium width acrylic paint style paintbrush to spread the glue
  • Parchment paper (found in the baking section of stores). I used wax paper when I was taking the photos for this post, but later found that parchment paper worked much better.

Tutorial Steps

Here are the steps to making these notebooks.

upcycle a notebook with a new cover

Start with a sheet of fabric or vinyl that is a little larger than your notebook.

Slip two sheets of parchment paper between the book cover and the first and last pages. This is to prevent glue sticking the actual pages of the book together.

Spread glue on one side of the cover of your notebook.

covered notebook tutorial

Use the paint brush to spread it around, and then stick on the vinyl or fabric.

Repeat for the other side of the cover side and the spine.

Adding a fancy cover to a notebook

Let dry.

how to cover a notebook

I found it helpful to stick something heavy on top to keep the notebook flat while it was drying. My sand filled tape dispenser worked well.

vinyl covered notebook

Once dry, open the book up and trim the excess fabric/vinyl from the cover.

Trimming the corners of a covered notebook

I found it easiest to use a rotary cutter for the straight edges and scissors for the corners.

notebook craft tutorial

Enjoy your beautiful notebook – and make a few more!

Please share photos if you use this tutorial to make your own covered notebook!

DIY covered notebook tutorial

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MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

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