Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Covered Notebook

Normally when inspiration hits or I come across a new project to try, I find myself scrambling for a scrap piece of paper... card stock, an envelope... maybe even an old receipt.

So I picked up a little spiral bound notebook to jot down my thoughts and keep all my blog related ideas in one place.

Now this may sound a little strange, but instead of writing in it...
I've been staring at it.  It's your average, everyday, blah looking notebook.
Shouldn't a book that's supposed to contain my inspiration look a little bit more... well... inspirational?

So I've been studying it and trying to figure out how to make it look better.  I've tried a few things, but that spiral binding kept getting in the way and foiling my ideas.

Finally, I've come up with a soloution that I'm happy with and it was actually quite simple to do.

Here's the how to...

Banish that evil spiral! {at least for now}
Carefully remove the spiral binding by unhooking the ends and untwisting it from the pages.

Separate the elements.
Set aside the spiral and the pages for later.  We'll be dealing with the front and back covers.

What inspires you?
Choose a favourite paper... or even fabric... and cut it to fit the covers about an inch larger on all sides.  {I chose the Vintage Tea Dyed Paper that I created earlier this week.}
Glue down the cover and crease the edges.

Glue it.
Glue down the side panels.

Cut & paste.
Clip the corners of the top and bottom panels and glue down.

Let your light shine.
Hold up to a window or light box and pencil in where the holes are.

Punch it.
A standard hole punch goes through those penciled in circles.

Give it a Glaze.
A nice coat of Mod Podge gives the covers some added durability.
{If you're using fabric, there is a fabric version of Mod Podge available.}

Put your notebook back together.  Line up the covers and pages and welcome back the spiral by twisting through the holes and re-hook the ends.

So much nicer than the ordinary cover!  I even made a few fabric flowers to embellish it even more, but I decided that I liked it without them.  What would you use to cover your notebook?

This morning, as I was writing up this post, I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of Oliver.  He was following his pal Roxy all around the house.

And I just love his reaction when we ask him, "Oliver, can you pet your puppy dog?"

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Andrea - I know what you are talking about - I have a little black cheapo spiral bound (at the top) that just says UGH to me. Never ever thought about taking it apart and reassembling! That is so creative! This would make a great gift. Somewhere I saw a post asking for great teacher gift ideas. This would certainly be one! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. That's a great tutorial and such a sweet boy!

    I'm now following your new Facebook page. I would like to invite you to post your crafts, DIY, Recipes, Projects.. what ever you have, and as much as you would like to post. On our Show Off Your Crafty Side blog hop.

    Hope you have a great rest of the day!


  3. Great idea! I love the paper you used on yours. I keep a spiral notebook in my bag, too. I'm definitely going to have to pretty it up some. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is super cute! May be worth thinking about selling them on etsy...

  5. I'm glad you posted this! I have some old books that I've been wanting to cover (but no ideas came to mind) I know what to do! Thanks!

  6. I love this! I might see what artwork my children would like to superimpose on that gorgeous tea-dyed paper!

  7. I like how your spiral notebook turned out. You did an awesome job on it! I don't know if I would have the patience to take out the spiral part and then put it back in, though! :)

  8. Nut-uh! Where were you when i was trying to figure out how to make my own planner without having to sit thru a binder making class?!!! This is ADORABLE! I ended up buying a blank "recycled" style notebook at Target and scrapbooking the front (which is now starting to all come off). I really loved it... until I saw yours! LOL! Another project for the list!! GREAT tutorial. I had no clue I could take those spirals out so easily!! You've opened up a whole new world for me!

  9. I love this! I am going to have to make this for my boy who loves the old looking paper stuff! Thanks for the tutorial on it!

    I would love to have you come and share this at my Fantastic Friday link party.


  10. Andrea, I referenced this in my post about todays PreK Project. Still writing how today went for us- totally thought of you when I had a "lightbulb" moment ;) I love your comments- thank you so much!

  11. So simple, yet makes such a statement. This is a notebook I'd be proud to whip out in a coffee shop and jot my new idea for a best selling novel...or a note to remember to pick up the drycleaning ;)

    Thanks for the follow, I'm def following you back!

  12. Fantastic, I love the vintage paper!
    Thank you for linking with us on Show Off Your Crafty Side Blog Hop!

    Have a great Wednesday!


  13. Your son is so cute. :) Now your ready for some note/idea taking! Now I want to cover up all my boring notepads. :)

    Thanks so much for linking up to Terrific Under Ten!

  14. That looks great! I keep meaning to make a little book to jot down all the funny comments my kids make. Maybe this will give me a boost! :)

  15. I am a sucker for a good notebook, and I've been in the market for a new journal. I love spiral bound notebooks because they lay flat but I hate the boring cover, I never thought to try removing the spiral to glam up the cover!!! Be honest how much of a painwas it to get it all back together, LOL.

    Surely I have a blank spiral journal around here somewhere and Lord knows I have enough scrapbooking paper to keep me crafting for a year even after the Zombie Appocolypse finally comes.

  16. wow what a good idea! I had never thought to do that. I love notebooks and journals. i really may have to give this a shot!

  17. Love this! Your projects are super cute. I'm following you now. :)


  18. Super idea, thanks for sharing....Cutest baby pics must be so proud, he is absolutely adorable..

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Thank you for your thoughts.