Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Journal Cover Tutorial

I am a list maker.  I have to do lists, to buy lists, lists for homeschooling and girl scouting and menu planning.  I love nothing more than to see all those items crossed off *sigh*.  I so look forward to back to school shopping season and all of the fresh, clean notebooks and supplies.

On that note, I also like to personalize the things that I use on a daily basis.  I love a composition notebook, but the standard black and white cover leaves something to be desired.  So, I made these beautiful, reusable, washable journal covers.  The cover has a pocket inside the cover to hold your pens and a ribbon bookmark to hold your place.  These make for beautiful diary covers and when you fill one book, just swap it out for a new one!




You can use the same fabric for the whole project if you'd like, but I used a solid color for the liner and pocket and a pretty pattern for the outer fabric.  For this project you will need the following pieces of fabric (make sure that you wash, dry, and iron your fabric before cutting!):

-2 pieces of 11"x16.5" (one in pattern, one in solid)
-4 pieces of 6"x11" (two in pattern, two in solid)
-2 pieces of 4.25"x6" (this is for the pocket, I used the solid liner color for both pieces for contrast)
-1 14" piece of 3/8" ribbon

First things first, line your two smallest pieces up together, faces together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the top (long) edge.


Flip the fabric so that the faces are on the outside and the raw edges of the seam you just made are on the inside.  Making sure that your edges are all lined up again, press that seam and sew a 1/4" topstitch.

Take one of your 6"x11" outer sleeve pieces and lay it down face up.  Lay the pocket piece that you just made face up on top of that, like so:

Now add on top of that one of your sleeve liner pieces, face down and pin or clip making sure to line up all of the edges.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the left side of the stack.

Flip, iron, and topstitch that seam, just like you did on the pocket.  Take your 2 remaining sleeve pieces and repeat, except this time you want to sew on the right side.  You should end up with 2 sleeve pieces that look something like this:

Take your large liner piece and lay it down face up.  Line up your sleeve pieces on top face up.  The sleeve with the pocket should be on the left, and the seams that you made should be in the middle.

Lay your large outer fabric piece on top, face down.  Clip or pin all the way around.  Sew 1/4" from the edge, all the way around the perimeter, leaving a gap between the sleeves at the top.

Snip the corners, being careful not to snip through your stitching.  Reach through that hole that you left in the top (carefully), and turn the cover right side out.  Push the corners out completely using anything pointy but not sharp (chopstick, knitting needle, etc).

Press your cover really well, tucking the raw edges of the gap so that it lines up with the top.  Insert your ribbon bookmark 1/2" into the center of the gap.  Sew a 1/4" topstitch around the entire outer edge of the piece.  Start your stitching right before the bookmark and end right after, so that you end up securing the bookmark ribbon with 2 layers of stitching.

That's it!  All that's left is to add in your composition book!

I've made a few of these and my kiddos are loving them.  My 12 year old is using hers to keep track of her sewing projects as she learns to use her sewing machine.  Here's the one I made from my left over fabric from my ironing board cover tutorial.

These are a perfect back to school surprise for the kids! You could make some covers in each child's favorite colors to help them stand out from all of the blah black and white.  Have fun with it!

~Melissa
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20 comments:

  1. So cute! I love buying fabric from the store so I have a ton at home, so I definitely will need to try this! I might need to work on my sewing a bit first though! :)

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    1. This project is pretty easy for beginners. Just remember to lower your presser foot and pivot the fabric at the corners and you should do really well! Thanks for commenting! Good luck!

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  2. What a fantastic way to personalize something that everyone can and will use and in a sophisticated way at that! Thank you for linking this post with us at Welcome Home Wednesday! We hope to see more of you next week!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'll definitely be there!

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  3. Oooh this is great! I love the fabrics you chose, too! So pretty :)

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    1. Thank you! I love jewel toned colors. :)

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  4. Love these! Peacocks are my favorite! I have an insane amount of peacock feathers, decor and jewelry!

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    1. I have a bit of an obsession with the peacock, as you can probably tell, lol.

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  5. I love the flowery one :) I'll definitely try to make one of these whenever I have time!

    http://instantraveler.com/

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    1. I'm making dozens of these right now! Have fun!

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  6. I absolutely love these, and your choice of fabrics and patterns. Super cute!

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    1. I'm glad you like them! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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  7. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we love partying with you! Hope to see you next Friday. :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Thanks for stopping in Lorelai! See you there next week!

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  8. This is adorable and so simple!! Would make wonderful presents, too!

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    1. Absolutely! I think I'll be making a bunch of these for Christmas. :)

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  9. Color combinations is simply awesome

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  10. I love this! You sure are a find. I am going to follow you on FB!! So many great pictures and a tutorial that is understandable. A million thanks.

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    1. You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words!

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Keep it nice, ya'll!