We have eleven more weeks until Christmas. Have you made a list and started shopping or making things yet? This week’s project is the second in my 12 weeks of handmade Christmas gifts series. I’ll be sharing a handmade gift idea every Wednesday from now until Christmas. The first few will be more time-consuming, but they will get easier as the deadline gets shorter! Most of them will be projects that almost anyone can do, even if you don’t think you are that crafty. This week, I’m showing how to make a DiY felt notebook cover.
You need only a few supplies and minimal sewing skills. Of course, if you are an embroidery pro, you can make this pretty elaborate. If you keep it small and simple, it makes a cute stocking stuffer. You can also go all-out with a larger notebook and detailed embellishments. There is a lot of room for personalization and creativity, so this gift could work for just about anyone.
12 weeks of Handmade Christmas: week 2
DIY felt notebook cover supplies
- notebook, any size or style
- I found the small 3″ spiral to be much easier to cover than the composition book, but both looked good in the end.
- felt, any colors
- You can buy single 8×10 sheets, a package with several, or felt by the yard. Felt may be synthetic or wool. Wool has a nicer texture, but is more expensive.
- embroidery thread, any colors
These are also sold in singles or a big bag.
- embroidery needle
- ruler (optional)
- iron (optional)
DiY felt notebook cover instructions
Lay the felt out with the notebook on top, open. Cut the felt with about a half-inch margin at the top and one or two inches on either side. I didn’t measure it, but use the ruler if you want to be precise.
Remember covering your textbooks in middle school? Fold the top and bottom of the felt down to be even with the edges of the notebook. Fold the outside flaps in and close the notebook with them inside. I ironed the folds so they would stay, but you don’t have to. If you do iron, make sure you use the right setting for synthetic or wool, depending on what kind of felt you bought.
Take it all back apart and stitch the top and bottom creases in place. I used my machine, but it wouldn’t take too long to do this by hand.
Wrap the cover back around the notebook. Thread the needle with embroidery thread. Don’t forget to knot the end. Using a whip stitch, sew the corner of each flap closed.
To do this, poke the needle through the inside seam and out. Go around and back through, repeatedly, until you reach the end. Poke the needle back through the inside seam and tie a knit. This should hide your beginning and ending tails inside. The pictures might make more sense.
At this point, the notebook is covered. Now you can embellish it however you like. I used a raccoon from one of my favorite embroidery books, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection by Aimee Ray. Transferring patterns onto felt can be tricky since you can just trace. I just printed my pattern on paper, sewed through it, then carefully removed the paper. Tissue paper would work even better since it is thin, but you may have a hard time tracing a pattern onto it. Of course, you can also freehand a design.
More embroidery patterns:
Print text in your favorite font!
Now that I’ve made one (and a half) of these, I have all kinds of ideas for making more. You could…
- use fabric
- add a pocket on the outside
- embellish with buttons, rickrack, zippers, etc.
- attach an elastic loop to hold a pen/pencil
What else would you add?