I’m old enough to remember going to school with my school book covers carefully wrapped in brown paper for their protection. Normally the brown paper came from the paper bags our groceries came home in. Back in those days, there were no such things as plastic bags!
Now, moving forward a few decades, I believe the need to cover school books may have gone the way of the Dodo. The need to cover notebooks, however, may still exist!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had times when I found a notebook on sale or in a discount bin but the cover was damaged, didn’t match my style or was, frankly, hideous. So why not rescue those lost and lonely notebooks and make them uniquely yours by covering them with fabric?
With so many fabric lines available out there, you’ll be able to customize a book cover using the fabrics you or a child, friend or family member REALLY like! For this project, I’ll be using Northcott fabrics from the Stonehenge Quilts of Valor and Stonehenge Gradations Brights collections.
Once you decided which notebook to cover with fabric, you need to start measuring. There are three measurements you must take.
The first measurement is the vertical height of the book.
The second is the horizontal width of the book. This measurement must include the front cover, the binding and the back cover.
The last measurement you need to take is the width of the inside cover (the height measurement is the same as the outside measurement). Cut the width of piece of fabric for the inside cover narrower than the inside cover itself. Doing this will give you the flexibility to use the space between the fabric and the book cover to store papers. You’ll need to cut two pieces of fabric, one for the inside front cover and one for the inside back cover.
Now that you have all your measurements it’s time to start cutting fabric. As with all sewing projects you’ll need to add seam allowances to all of your cut pieces.
You must choose between two possible seam allowances:
(Note: it’s very important that you choose the correct one depending on your notebook)
- For a softcover book add ½” seam allowance to your pieces of fabric; OR
- For a hardcover book add ⅝ʺ seam allowance to your fabric pieces.
Once all your pieces are cut, sew the inside fabric pieces. Fold under approximately ¼ʺ along one of the long edges of inside fabric and sew. I sew approximately ⅛ʺ away from the fold.
Place your inside and outside fabrics right sides together, placing the book’s inside pieces to the ends of the longer piece.
Once finished sewing your inside fabric edge, place right sides together, sew both inside pieces to the short edges of the outer piece using a ¼” seam allowance.
When the sewing is done, turn your project inside out. You’ll notice that you have a fold between both inner pieces. To properly secure these flaps do a quick seam over both flaps.
You can now turn what you’ve done inside out, slip it over the book and voila, your book cover is now complete and ready to be placed over the book.
You’ll be the talk of the town once your friends see what you made.
For those among you that are more adventurous, you may want to add a quilting element to your cover or even make the whole book cover using a quilt block!
Give it a try!
This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Use quilting dog ears to match up your points
Go to part 3: Matching grid lines on your quilts