Flex your craft IQ and get ready for back to school with your kiddos by helping them make this adorable notebook for their new favorite teacher. This project is easy to customize for the age set you are working with — use fabric glue and felt for younger hands or switch it up to fabric, cotton batting and a hot glue gun for the older kids. Either way, this project comes together in a snap. You favorite teacher will be so pleased to receive something they will actually use — that’s not another apple candy jar.
To make one fabric-covered composition notebook, as shown, you will need:
- 1 composition book, measuring 9-3/4 inches by 7-1/2 inches — be sure to purchase a book that has a sturdy cover
- Cotton fabric, cut to 12 inches by 18 inches (substitute this with a piece of wool or craft felt if you are working with younger kids)
- Coordinating fabric for front pocket, cut to 5-1/2 inches by 7 inches
- Low-loft cotton rolled batting, cut to 12 inches by 18 inches (omit if you are using felt in place of fabric)
- 2 pieces of felt, each cut to 7-1/4 inches by 9 inches
- Decorative elastic, 19 inches long
- 1/8 inch satin ribbon, 4 pieces cut to 16-inch lengths
- Fray Check (optional)
- Buttons or other decorative items, optional
- Glue gun and glue sticks or fast-drying fabric glue, permanent
- Scissors, measuring tape, straight edge
- Iron and ironing board
- Water-soluble marking pen
Glue one end of the satin ribbons to the spine of the composition notebook, as shown. Seal the ends of the ribbons using a dot of Fray Check and allow to dry completely. Then tuck the ribbons into the inside of the book so that they stay out of the way while you complete the rest of the project.
Layer your rolled batting and fabric together, lining up edges. Fold in half and iron to mark the center — or measure and mark the center seam as shown. Cut out a notch, on both the top and the bottom, that measures 1-1/4 inches wide by 1/2 inches deep. Glue notch tab to batting side of cover. If you are using felt, cut out notch and discard — then skip the gluing step.
Line up the spine of the notebook with the notches on the fabric. Fold the fabric over the front and back cover and glue both layers into place on both the front and back covers. Then repeat with the top edges. For the corners, trim excess fabric and then fold and glue into place.
Glue the felt into place inside the front and back covers, concealing the fabric and batting or felt edges.
Loop the decorative elastic around the book, as shown, and overlap/glue the edges on the back near the bottom edge of the book. Glue a button on top to conceal the overlap.
Prepare the pocket by turning each edge under by 1 inch and ironing. Glue the top hem into place. Then glue the remaining three sides to the front of the composition book to create a pocket. Embellish as desired.
Your kiddo’s teacher will fall in love with this simple — but oh-so-cute — back to school craft that they can actually use. Plus, you — and your child — will surely get an A+ in crafty-aptitude.