Working as an Interior Designer for many years, I keep lots of details in 3 ring notebooks. But notebooks can be so plain and ugly. So I decided to remake several of mine into fabric covered notebooks.
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This project was so easy and only took a few minutes to make each notebook.
For most of my project notebooks and idea notebooks, I use a basic white 3inch – 3 ring notebook that can easily be found at any office supply store or Walmart and Target.
These types of notebooks are also very easy to cover in fabric to match your office decor or to color code for different projects. For this example, I used a bolt of designer fabric I already had on hand.
For this project you will need:
- Notebooks in any size and width
- Hot glue gun
- 1 yard of fabric of your choice
- Butter knife
- Yard Stick
- Optional card stock paper in coordinating colors
- Spray Adhesive
The first step is to iron the fabric if needed so there will not be any wrinkles on the outside of the notebooks.
Lay the notebook on the inside side the fabric and measure around the edges of fully open notebook. Trace the outline of the notebook.
Then measure another set of marks at least two inches or more around the outside dimensions of the open notebook for the top and bottom. This will give you the extra fabric needed to fold over the inside edges of the notebook covers.
For the two sides of the covers, you will need to measure at least 3 to 4 inches extra to fold inside the cover.
I sometimes measure a wider outside width just to cover the inside of the notebook more with fabric. This is entirely up to you but you do need to make sure you have at least two inches of fabric around the notebook to secure the fabric to the notebook.
Cut the fabric to size on the second set of measurements.
Then take your notebook outside – yes outside – to use the spray adhesive to avoid the fumes and to make sure you don’t end up with a sticky mess all over your table and fabric.
If you can’t go outside, try spraying the adhesive inside of a cardboard box.
After applying a layer of spray adhesive on the outside of the notebook, place the notebook on the center of the cut length of fabric and press down. Close the notebook and smooth the fabric down to the cover of the notebook. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the fabric and continue to press the fabric on to the notebook.
At this point you should have fabric attached to both sides and the back of the outside of the notebook.
Now you will need to attach the fabric to the inside covers of the notebook. Start by placing the notebook on the table with the covers open and the notebook laying flat.
Cut two slits in the fabric at the back of the notebook where the two side fold in.
We will come back to how to finish off the binder around the metal ring hardware in a few steps.
Next, apply a then line of hot glue to the edges of the fabric and fold it over the inside edges of the notebook to create an envelope of sorts or like wrapping a present.
I actually finished off the inside of my binders in three different ways, but the final look is totally up to how fancy and clean you want the inside of your binders to look. First, I just folded over the longer end piece to cover up most of the inside flap.
On the second one, I made a small fold in the end fabric to make it cover a smaller area of the inside and to allow me to still use the inside pockets.
But if you want a more decorative finished look to the inside (and not use the pockets), you can glue on sheets of card stock paper in coordinating colors, or a coordinating fabric.
I have made fabric covered notebooks using all of these steps and it really is up to you how you want the inside of the covers to look.
Since I am the only one who will be looking at these notebooks, at least on the inside, I am happy with any of the finished looks.
To take care of the fabric edges around the metal rings, you will need to cut the small strip of fabric lined up with the metal rings to around 1/2 inch or longer depending on the location of the screws that hold the metal ring hardware in place.
Use the butter knife to slip this small edge of fabric underneath the metal clip hardware. You can apply a small dot of hot glue to hold it in place if needed.
With just one yard of fabric, I was able to cover three 3″ notebooks.
I made all three of these fabric covered notebooks in less than an hour and they were so easy and simple. These are also the same techniques and steps I have used to make decorative photo album with covers as gifts, but also add a layer of cotton batting to them to make them more decorative.
Make a few of your own to color coordinate your work space!
“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” Galatians 6:9
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Really Pretty! I’ve been looking for pretty paper to use! Now I’ll look for fabric! Thanks for the great idea! #HomeMattersParty
Michelle James says
These are so pretty! What a nice gift they would make too! #homemattersparty
Sara @ finditfixitorbuildit.com says
I love this! What a fun way to add a personal touch. #HomeMattersParty
Thanks Sara. It is also a great way to clean out your fabric stash.
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
These notebooks turned out great. What a lovely idea — so many possibilities. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂
Life With Lorelai
Shirley Wood says
Those turned out really pretty. Nice tutorial Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. I love your fabric. Pinning.
Thanks Shirley. I can’t wait to see this week’s projects.