Supplies: Fabric, scissors, cardboard, X-acto knife, all-purpose glue, ruler, iron, stack of heavy books, embroidery floss/thread, sharp needle
Time: 1 hour to assemble, 3ish hours to dry
Today’s craft was inspired by my need to do something with this beautiful floral fabric I found on sale.
I decided to make a fabric covered journal. This was not a particularly easy or interesting project to photograph, so I’ll have to make do with what I was able to get. So here we go. Start with a piece of thin cardboard twice the size you want your notebook to be. You’ll fold it in half to make the front and back covers.
Trace the cardboard twice on the fabric and leave a little extra on the edges. You’re going to glue the whole piece of cardboard down on the back of the fabric. I used a paintbrush to spread the glue evenly. (By the way, I added a little embroidered embellishment to the fabric, but that’s totally optional.)
Put a stack of books on the cardboard and let it sit for awhile. The cardboard will want to curl a little after you glue it unless there’s something heavy on it. Once that side is mostly dry, cover the opposite side of the cardboard with glue and fold the fabric over. Put it under the books again.
Meanwhile, you can cut your pages. Cut a rectangle that’s slightly smaller than the book cover from another piece of thin cardboard. Get a little stack of paper and trace the second piece of cardboard on it. Use a ruler, slice the stack of paper with your X-acto knife and fold the stack in half.
Now go back to the cover. Trim the extra fabric on the sides so you only have about 1/4” and glue those edges over. Make sure they’re on the inside of the cover. Make three dots on the inside of the spine and poke holes through them with a sharp needle.
Now line up the pages with the cover, thread a needle, and bind the pages to the cover. There are probably 1000 ways to bind a book, but I’ll tell you how I like to do it. Here’s a little key: when I say to stitch up, your needle should be going from the inside of the book to the outside and down is the opposite.
1: Stitch up through the middle hole, leaving a tail of thread. No knots should be happening.
2: Stitch down through the top hole
3: up through the middle hole
4: down through the bottom hole
5: up through the middle hole
6: down through the top hole
7: up through the bottom hole
8: down through the middle hole (this is you last stitch)
On the inside of the book there will be one long strand of thread that goes from top to bottom without an anchor in the middle. You’ll want to make sure the tail from the beginning and the tail at the end are on opposite sides of that thread. Tie them in a knot to anchor the long thread down. Now you can either cut the ends and let them hang or wrap the loose ends around the tied down threads like this:
With the whole thing bound you can either be done or add a bit more polish to the inside covers. This is really easy. Just brush some glue on the pages facing the inside covers and stick the pages to the covers. Squash it under a book for a couple hours and you’ll have something like this:
And the finished journal:
This is a lot easier than it seems, but it has a really personal element that will make it a really special gift. I don’t know if anyone’s reading (besides my mom, thanks mom!), but I’m going to do my first giveaway today. If you’d like to have this notebook leave a comment below and I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday. Why Thursday? No clue.