Composition Notebook Cover Tutorial

Fabric Notebook Cover Tutorial for standard composition notebooks

After the Back-To-School sales every year, it seems like stores have an abundance of those standard composition notebooks in stock still.  And every year, they get discounted pretty deep; like a dime each.  I am one of those ladies who buys 30 notebooks just because I love a bargain and I love having fresh, clean pages to look at whenever I want and fill with quilt ideas, blog projects, notes, or whatever.  That, and my husband starts a notebook for everything (stories, doodles, product ideas, journals, etc.) and I like to have a secret stash on hand for when he steals mine from me!

Composition Notebook Fabric Cover

Well, as much as I love that clean interior, the boring black and white exterior is just so… blah.  Non-exciting.  No inspiration coming from that any time soon.  So, I set out to make a notebook cover that I could take off a fully-used book and switch it to a fresh one whenever I needed. And I think something a little more girly would deter my husband from taking mine :)

Journal Cover Materials

To begin, you’ll need:

  • Exterior fabric, 16” x 10 1/4”
  • Batting, 16” x 10 1/4”
  • Lining fabric, 16” x 10 1/4”
  • Cover pocket fabric, TWO @ 7” x 10 1/4”
  • Extra pocket fabric, TWO @ 7” x 7 1/2”
  • Optional but nice: 1/4” elastic, 1/2” elastic or decorative elastic


Notebook Cover Tutorial 1

If you desire, quilt the exterior fabric to the batting before beginning.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 2

First, sew a double 1/4” hem on one of your extra pocket pieces along one of the 7” sides.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 3

Lay the hemmed piece on top of the cover pocket piece, both right sides up.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 4

Stitch along the 10 1/4” side, about 1/4” away from the edge to hold the layers together.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 5

Use the stitched guide to help you create a double 1/4” hem along the side.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 6

Repeat with the other pocket pieces, except make sure you hem the opposite side as the first.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 7

If you want an elastic closure for your notebook, stitch it to the pocket pieces now, about 1 1/2” from the outer edge.  I totally forgot this step so I am reminding you here!

Notebook Cover Tutorial 8

For a pencil or pen holder, cut two pieces of 1/4” elastic to 1 1/4”.  Loop them in half, and pin them to one of the sides of the exterior fabric about 2” apart.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 9

Now lay your exterior fabric right side up, and your pocket pieces right sides down on top of your exterior fabric.  Make sure all your outer raw edges line up.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 10

Now, lay your lining piece right side down on top of your other layers.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 11

If you want, you can mark the curve of the composition notebook corners on your fabric as a guide.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 12

Pin around the entire cover, leaving a hole for turning in between the pocket pieces.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 13

Sew around the cover, and then trim the corners near your stitching lines.  Don’t cut too close!  This was a tad close for my taste, I went ahead and re-sewed a little to reinforce it.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 14

Turn your cover right side out, and get your corners all nice and pretty using a dull pencil or a chop stick.

Notebook Cover Tutorial 15

Press the cover, and hand-stitch the opening closed.  Slide the covers of your notebook into the pockets, and you are done!

Notebook Cover Tutorial 16

If you remembered to insert your elastic beforehand, skip this step… (doh!)… but if not, wrap a piece of elastic around the notebook, cut it to size, and stitch the ends together.  I wrapped my stitching in ribbon so it would be prettier.  Gotta hide those mistakes in a classy way, right??

Notebook cover interior

Enjoy!  Just don’t insert the notebook upside-down, like I did (to be fair, I was doing this in between taking care of my kids and their 5 million needs they had that day… but it is a little embarrassing because I gifted this one upside-down)!  The pockets are for whatever you feel like putting in there, I was imagining notes from my kids, the ideas I jot onto backs of receipts because my notebook is at home, etc.  It could get fun!

Notebook cover for standard composition notebooks

I think I need to make a few more of these!  I do have 29 more notebooks, remember 😉

Have a super day!

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