I have had such a great time making these journal covers! They are so cute and there is no limit to the amount of creativity you can put into one. I chose one style that I liked and used different fabrics for variety, but you could make your cover anyway you like. You could piece it, quilt it, appliqué it, the options go on and on. You decide how to make yours and I would love to see your pictures!
To make one similar to mine you will need 1/2 yard of two coordinating fabrics and some interfacing. I wash and iron my fabric ahead of time just so I know I can wash mine later with no shrinkage. Then you need to cut the following pieces.
- 2 pieces of fabric and 1 piece of interfacing 16 1/8 inch by 10 3/4 inch for outside piece and lining
- 2 pieces of coordinating fabric 13 1/2 inch by 10 3/4 inch for interior flaps
- 1 piece of coordinating fabric 5 inch by 10 3/4 inch for exterior spine of the outer cover
- 1 piece 3 inch by 2 1/4 inch for pen holder
- Ribbon 14 inch for bookmarker
You will then want to fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of your exterior panel. The weight of the interfacing doesn’t really matter. It just adds a little stiffness to the cover that I like. It also helps if you are using any decorative stitches on your cover to keep those nice and neat. I used a medium weight on mine.
Then take your 5 x 10 3/4 inch piece and turn under 1/2 inch on each long side and iron flat.
Fold your main exterior panel in half and mark the center. Also fold the 5 inch spine piece in half and mark the center. Then line the center spine piece up with the center panel so you will know it is exactly in the middle, and pin this in place. I like to add several pins here to make sure it doesn’t move on me when I sew it down.
Then you will sew the long sides down on each edge using about 1/8 inch of a seam.
Now take your pen holder and press the short ends up 1/4 inch. Then press up another 1/4 inch so there is no raw seam and steam press in place. You will now go to the sewing machine and sew these two sides in place. Then press the pen holder in half so that the raw edges are together.
Then line the raw edge of the pen holder up along the left-hand side of your exterior panel, about 2 1/2 inches down from the top and pin in place.
Then take your 2 flap pieces and press them in half lengthwise and sew 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch down the folded edge.
Then lay the flaps on top of the exterior panel with the folded sewn edge to the inside. Also pin your ribbon to the top center.
Then take your lining piece and lay it face down on top and pin all the way around.
Then take your composition notebook and mark the curves of the edges 1/4 inch in from the edge to allow for your seam allowance. You will stitch along your marked curves when you sew this together.
Now you will sew 1/4 inch all the way around except for about a 4 inch opening you will leave at the bottom center, so you can turn it right side out.
Once you have sewn around the outside, trim your seams to about 1/8 of an inch or so. Do not trim the fabric where you left an opening. You will need this fabric to turn under.
Now turn your cover right side out and press flat. You will want to turn your seam allowance under the correct amount in the opening you left.
We will now stitch the opening closed by doing a top stitch all the way around, sewing on the edge of the fabric. Make sure when you get to the opening that you are catching the lining fabric in your stitch.
Now to insert the notebook into the cover, pull the front and back of the notebook backwards and slip into the flaps of the cover.
Then close the notebook and how cute is that! These make great gifts! And because this is not something you are going to wear or quilt with, you don’t have to use the most expensive fabric for this project.
Here are some other ones I have made. I have become addicted to making these!