Monday, May 7, 2012

Patchwork Notebook Tutorial

I'm not sure where I came across this colorful idea to cover a notebook in fabric scraps.  It wasn't a blog because I've made these in the past before I ever got into blogging.  Maybe I came up with the idea.  Quit laughing! It could happen!

These make charming graduation gifts, and that is exactly what I am doing with this batch.

First, buy a Moleskine notebook.  I got mine in a three-pack at Barnes and Noble.  Any notebook that has a thin cardboard cover will do.

Make sure that you change your needle in the machine to a Heavy Duty/Denim needle.  Sewing through cardboard will dull your needle quickly so you may need to change your needle after 4 or 5 notebooks.

Take your fabric scraps and arrange them in a design you like on the cover of the notebook.

Remember your design or take a picture to refer to as a guide.  

Starting with your undermost fabric lightly glue the fabric in place.  Or just hold the fabric steady with your hands as you are sewing.  I found this to be easier as the stiff cardboard and the tight hold of the presser foot caused the fabric to shift despite the glue. I used the holding method for the 2nd notebook I made, and it worked better for me.  You will see the difference in the photos at the end of this post.  

Choose a decorative stitch to begin sewing with.  Don't choose one that is too complicated or goes back and forth too excessively.  That doesn't seem to work well with the cardboard.  I just chose a simple zigzag.  Stitch the fabric in place beginning and ending beyond the border of your fabric.  This adds a nice touch.

Make sure you clip all your loose threads after each fabric piece is sewn in place.  If you don't you will have a tangle of loose threads to deal with.  

Continue with the other pieces of fabric.  

On the inside you will have a multitude of stitching lines.  This can be a great place to write who the book is for.

You could also fold the first page in half lengthwise, stitch up the sides, and insert a cash gift for the graduate.

Two finished products!

Linking up with I Gotta Create and Fabric Tuesday.


  1. Lovely idea I will have to give this a go as my daughter loves notebooks and always has millions in use at any one time!

  2. So much fun!! I admit, too, that I love sewing fabric and paper together ;) Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  3. I love notebooks! I may try this (but for myself :))!
    Thank you for sharing!


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