SEWING PROJECT: It’s Fashionable, Washable, Reversible & Quite Useful

SEW YOUR OWN: Book or Notebook Cover

This is a weekend project made as a gift for each of my daughter’s friends as they head into kindergarten graduation. We used an owl print to go with our education theme. But you can apply this technique and style to any book or notebook you’d like. Just change the size to fit. Here are the directions for the project we made.

– One 8”wx10-1/2”h composition notebook (we got ours at Target for $.94)
– Two coordinating fabrics you like, each one measuring: 25”wx12”h
– One piece of solid white fabric, measuring 25”wx12”h (this will be your lining)
– Additional coordinating fabric scraps to make the flower
– Two flat coordinating buttons, about 1/2″ in diameter
– Thread in a coordinating color
– Basic hand and machine sewing skills



1/ Place your fashion fabrics with right sides together. Place the white fabric on top of the wrong side of one of those fabrics. Pin everything neatly together along the edges.

2/ Starting anywhere, sew around the perimeter of the fabric using a QUARTER-INCH seam allowance. Stop when you are about four inches away from your starting point. Backstitch to lock your stitches down. Snip your corners on the diagonal, being careful not to clip too close to your stitches.

3/ Slip your hand between the two fashion fabrics through the open space between your stitching and turn the project inside out. The white fabric should now be sandwiched between your two coordinating fabrics.

4/ Pin your edges again in preparation for top-stitching. Make sure you’ve poked your corners out so that they form clean points.

5/ Topstitch around all edges using a ONE-EIGHTH-INCH seam allowance. This time, you’ll finish your stitching on top of where you started.

6/ Now lay your sewn fabric in front of you horizontally. Center your notebook on it and fold the fabric over the book, matching corners. Using the notebook as a guide, fold the short edges of the fabric around the front and back covers to form pockets that they will slip into when your project is complete. Use pins to secure the fabric in place.

7/ Carefully remove the notebook so you can return to your sewing machine and stitch across the top (using your topstitching as a guide) to hold down the pocket flaps. Once you’ve completed all four corners, you’re done.


1/ Cut out five or six or seven (however many you like) circles in a variety of fabrics you like, which also happen to coordinate with the fabric you chose for your notebook cover. Make sure each circle is a good 1/4″ smaller than the one before it.

2/ Lay the circles on top of each other, from largest to smallest. Add your button to the middle. Hand-stitch all of your layers together.

3/ You can leave your flower as-is, or make it a bit fluffier by snipping the petal layers about 1/4″ all the way around. When you’re done. Scrunch up the flower to make those little snips you made stand up. If you’d like a more puckered look, from the back of the flower, you can make a gathering stitch and pull your petals tighter around the button.

4/ Find a place for your flower on the face of your notebook cover. Again, hand-stitch the flower onto the cover, being sure to sew through all layers. At this point, you will also add the second button to the inside of the notebook cover. This not only hides your stitching, but if you choose to reverse the cover, it will still have a small decorative element to it.

Now it’s time for you to take note(s). And hopefully others will do the same!

Your thoughts? Anyone, anyone....

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