Friday, 16 December 2011

Brighten up a plain note book. Cheap gift

I was wondering what I could write about today, as life is becoming pretty mundane while I wait for the 25th to arrive. I don't know about you, but this is my least favourite time of year. It seems like everything has been put on hold and the tension is building up as we hurtle towards a black hole. Then when we come out the other side and hit the first of January it's a great sense of relief as I look forward to the start of a fresh new year. So now I am filling in the time untill this happens.

Did you all cover your school books with old wallpaper, or wrapping paper, or even newspaper if you were poor enough? I did, I used old colourful pop magazines, the Beatles usually ended up on the front cover. Then I seem to remember they brought out plastic covers you could buy from Woolworths, in all the colours of the rainbow. Anyone who didn't cover their books was pretty square, you had to follow the crowd and make your books stand out.

Some of you have mentioned you are going to start or resume sewing again, here is a simple idea which you might like to have a go at. Take one hard back cheap note book with a spiral spine. Spiral is best because you need to fold it back.

Open the book out flat and cut out a piece of fabric which is slightly taller than the book, and double the length of it. Sorry if I haven't explained that very well. It helps if you use a pencil or pen to mark the edges of the book on the wrong side of the fabric.

This pic might help. I am using a dress I got from a car boot sale. Fabric with a slight stretch is best because the cover has to be a tight fit. My dress is polyester.

First make a hem along each end, one turn is enough. Then with fabric face up fold the ends to the middle but not quite, leave a centre strip for the spine. Machine along the top edge, then insert your book to check where your bottom seam should be. The book should fit tight. Sew bottom seam. Trim off any excess fabric if there is any.

Then turn it the right way round, and insert your book. That's why you need to fold the cover right back.

One covered note book.

The whole of the inside of the cover is enclosed in the new cover.

A cheap and easy pressie to make. You could use plain fabric and personalise it with embelishments or embroidery etc. This one is an A5 but you could use any size note book.

Have fun. Toodle pip.


  1. Fantastic idea for a pressie and very effective.
    Love from Mum

  2. Thats a lovely idea. See you could have used that on super scrimpers christmas special


  3. Looks very nice. I happen to like Christmas. I enjoy a few quieter days when others do not call, lol and I can go ahead with my plans. I am not doing the usual this year with family...and have a busy schedule ahead (for myself). It will be a nice change.

  4. lovely idea for a present you could even sew a pen pocket on it.

  5. Will not be spending X-mas here, so shall enjoy the festive days being with mum and dad over in Germany. Might have to have a quiet X-mas here in Britain, next time round. But, you are right about these few days before the big day. I`m just making last minute preparations for our trip. Buying a few new undies and warmer socks was one of my jobs today, as we just don`t know what the weather will do once we get there. The shops are full of people hunting for the last X-mas present bargains. I was glad to get back home as soon as possible. I hate crowded places.
    I`d rather sit at home with a cup of tea and read your fab ideas on here. Nice job on that book cover! Whoever gets this as a present should be pretty chuffed!!

  6. Love it Ilona, you are so imaginative. It is extremely neat too. Will bookmark this for when I start some more sewing :0)

  7. I love this idea, and the fabric looks perfect on the book - but might be a bit too bright as a dress! I'm going to dust off my machine in the new year and have a go.
    Today I planted dried peas, to grow pea shoots for salads, and I am sprouting some adzuki beans. Never done anything like this before so very exciting.
    I'm also going to attempt to walk further in the future. I need to lose about 1 1/2 stone, so I reckon with walking more and copying your 'concoctions' I'll get there. Thank you.

  8. Must be telepathic; I bought two ruled notebooks today at the dollar store (2 for a buck) Brilliant idea and reusable also. Will get the machine whirring and knock a couple of covers out tonight.
    I would be thrilled to get a present like that.

  9. I love your book cover, I will have to give it a go myself.
    I used to cover my school books in wallpaper. It was mainly the embossed kind and I spent many a boring lesson drawing round the ridges!

  10. Wow, Ilona, this turned out beautifully. I've got a few I can cover myself so this is great inspiration.

  11. good idea, looks great!

  12. That is a great idea! I would never have thought of making a cover for a ten-cent notebook! The book looks important now. I have about 60 of them, bought for a dime at Office Max. Goodness knows I have plenty of scraps.

  13. How lovely!you are so clever,i would love to receive that as a gift!

  14. Oooh, that's brilliant! Hubby has a gardening journal, I could cover it and be able to wash the cover when it gets grubby finger marks on it.
    Thanks Ilona.
    Jane x

  15. I know just how you feel about everything being put on hold for Christmas, and it's my least favourite time of the year too. I cannot wait for the New Year when normal life resumes again. I love what you did with notebook - it turned out beautifully.

  16. You could put these on 'instructables'. Lots of people would use the ideas I am sure and you always have good pictures and clear instructions.

  17. That is the simplest and nicest book covering tutorial I've ever seen. Have printed it out. Thanks Ilona. Linda xx


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