Fabric Covered Composition Book

One of the activities that each girl I took to camp is supposed to do daily is write in her journal. We decided to make it a little more fun by giving them a specific camp journal. We were also on a tight budget, so we needed to keep it cheap.

This time of year, you can often find composition books for next to nothing (my camp assistant picked ours up for 11 cents each!!!), and we needed 25. So, fancying up a composition book seemed like our best option.

I sat down and searched online, but everything I found was either paper covered or involved sewing. I wanted fabric and I wanted no-sew (geez I’m picky). After a little trial and error, here’s what I came up with.

Supplies:

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Composition book
Fabric (cotton works best for Mod Podge-ing)
Mod Podge
Glue stick
Foam brush
Cardstock

Cut/rip/whatever 2 pieces of fabric 1-2” bigger than your composition book. My pieces were 7.5” X 11.5”. You’re going to “hem” one of the long edges (that will butt up against the black spine of the book) using a glue stick.

Run the glue stick along your edge on the wrong side. I did the bottom one.

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Fold up approximately 1/4” along the edge and press down to glue in place.

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Do this to both pieces of fabric.

Brush some Mod Podge on the front of the composition book, right up next to the black spine.

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Position your fabric evenly and push your glue hemmed edge right up next to the black spine. Smooth the fabric out on the Mod Podge.

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Flip the fabric back and spread Mod Podge on the rest of the composition book.

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Smooth and press in place.

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I put a piece of wax paper between my cover and the pages. Mod Podge doesn’t stick to wax paper. Then I flipped it over and did the same thing to the back of the composition book.

Open the cover and glue down the outside edge.

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I found it worked best to glue down a small angled corner section next, like this:

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And then finish up with the top and the bottom.

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Leave the wax paper inside and flip the book over and do the same to the back cover.

Once it’s dry, take 2 pieces of cardstock and cut them slightly smaller than your composition book.

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I tried Mod Podge to glue the cardstock down but it was bubbly and messy. I used some Terrifically Tacky Tape and it was fabulous, but also expensive. If I were making one or 2 journals, this would be my adhesive of choice. For 25? I used a tape roller.

I ran some tape down the edges of the cardstock and then placed it inside of the cover. I smoothed down the edges with a bone folder because Martha Stewart told me to use one. ;)

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Do the same to the back cover.

You can stop there:

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(You should probably wait for the glue to dry before you take pictures…)

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(See? That looks awful!)

Or, you might want to embellish. The journals I did for camp were all the same boring off-white.

AccuQuilt GO! to the rescue! I cut out dozens and dozens of flower shapes using my Funky Flowers die. If you don’t have a GO! Cutter, you could easily cut out flower (or other) shapes by hand. And provided you’re not making 25 journals, it might even be sort of relaxing. ;)

Once we got to camp, we let each girl personalize her journal by Mod Podge-ing flowers to the cover.

Here’s my example:

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And here are a few of the ones the girls did:

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If you make one, I’d love to have you add it to the Flickr group!

Comments

  1. Char, this is very cute. I also love how you got the kids involved. Great idea!

    SewCalGal
    http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

  2. Mod Podge Amy says:

    Very cute Char! This is why you are wonderful.

  3. Char, this is a great, simple tutorial with a GREAT outcome:) I just bought one of these composition notebooks to personalize for my son. I was just going to use plain ol' cardstock and stencil something, but the fabric turned out great!

  4. Pati @ A Crafty Escape says:

    Love it!!!

  5. Great idea, Char! I'm counting down to 3000!!! You are so close!

  6. PeaceLoveApplesauce says:

    Love this!

  7. Great project! This will be perfect for the activity day girls and their journals for Faith in God!

  8. [email protected] says:

    Those are so cute! I'm loving these projects that make such great group activities. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  9. Kristin @ wRIte iT DOwN says:

    Char – thanks so much! I used this tutorial to create one last night using an embroidery project and some selvages.

    http://kheaney-writeitdown.blogspot.com/2010/09/embroidered-selvage-notebook.html

  10. Bunny Wilson says:

    Just wanted to let you know that our kid's ministry "Child 2 Child" used your tutorial to make this craft tonight. The instructions were clear/concise and that made it easy for us. Thanks so much! Here's a link to some pictures: http://henleythegreatdane.blogspot.com/2010/09/kids-crafts.html

  11. someone pls tell me where the comp books are on sale right now?!

  12. Bunny Wilson says:

    I found mine at a local Dollar Tree where everything is just $1

  13. Thanks Bunny!

  14. Thanks for tutorial…it definitely comes in handy at this time of year! (Got here via TCB.)

  15. Did your Mod Podge dry clear and not show through the fabric? Mine I just did about an hour ago and I it is still showing through :( Should I use Fabric Mod Podge or should it dry so you can’t see it at all?

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  4. […] Valentine’s Day theme.  I used my favorite tutorial on this type of project, from Char (Crap I’ve Made) and I used the AccuQuilt GO! Hearts die to decorate several composition books.  Very easy […]

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