Thursday, February 23, 2012

Handy Dandy Notebook!


This is yet another of those "forgotten posts" - much like Tuesday's, except this one is an actual tutorial.  Well, mostly.  I did forget a few pictures... But it's an easy project, so you can fill in the gaps, I'm sure.  Are you wondering how many posts I've forgotten about over the past two years??  Many more than this, I'm sure, but these are the least embarrassing photo-wise and sewing skill-wise.  Anyway, it isn't news that I'm forgetful, so let's just move on, shall we?
Once upon a time, like two Christmases ago, I drew my sister IL's name and ended up making her one of these dandy's in purple.  (Or maybe it was red.  Huh.  Anyway...)  She's all smart and stuff so I figured she could use it for taking smart notes.  I mentioned that here.  And two years later, I'm finally giving you a tutorial for it!

So.  You've gotta have:
a mini notebook.  Of the composition book variety - not spiral bound.  Got mine at Walmart for something like 30 cents.
Scraps of cute fabric.
a hair elastic.
tape (optional).
straight pins.
a sewing machine.

Ok, so right off the bat we've got some of those missing pictures.  Basically you need to measure, cut, iron the edges and hem around a strip of fabric...

1.  ...so that it is almost exactly the height of the notebook and double the width of the notebook when opened.  I actually used two scraps - my first one the measurements listed above and my second one smaller and just sewn onto the middle of the larger scrap for some added fun.  You can see above how the fabric looks wrapped around the notebook so that it covers the outside and the inside of the front and back covers.

2.  Cut your hair elastic.  Lay it across your notebook to measure how long you'll need it.  You want it to be longer than the notebook so you can tuck the ends in the top and bottom, but not TOO long.

3.  Take a small piece of tape and secure one end to the inside of the back cover so that it is lined up with the paper.  You could just pin it, but I didn't want to mess around with leaving holes in the paper or ripping stuff apart or what have you.
4.  Tuck one end of your hair elastic into the top of the notebook - in between the fabric and the inside of the back cover, about 1/2 inch from the outer edge.  Pin the fabric and the elastic together.
5.  Tuck your other elastic end into the bottom of the notebook - in between the fabric and the inside of the back cover, about 1/2 inch from the outer edge.  Pin the fabric and the elastic together.
6.  Now, make sure the strip of fabric is NOT wrapped around the notebook for this first bit of sewing.  Just pull it out to the side.
7.  Use a straight stitch to sew back and forth across the elastic band, fabric AND notebook cover.  Make sure your stitch length is set at 3 or longer - if you use a shorter length it will perforate your notebook and tear it apart.
8.  Now your band is nice and secure!

9.  Do this to the bottom, too, so your elastic is secured to both the notebook and the fabric on the top and bottom.

10.  Wrap your fabric around your notebook covers.
11.  Sew across the bottom, straight up the spine where the fabric meets the paper (Actually, sew a little IN from that point or you'll rip the paper off) and then across the top.  Make sure to avoid sewing OVER the elastic; just tuck it out of the way.   
12.  You've sandwiched your back notebook cover between the wrapped fabric strip.  You can take that little piece of tape off now.
13.  Fold the edge of the unsewn end of fabric over about an inch and pin at the top and bottom.
14.  Use a straight stitch to sew across the BOTTOM edge of this little fold.  
15.  Stick a bit of tape on the edge of the fabric to secure it to the notebook right by the paper.  Use a straight stitch and sew around the bottom and spine edges of the front cover.  Sew the top of the front cover over to the little fold you created, but do NOT sew across the opening of the fold - you're making a pocket and you don't want to sew the opening shut! Then sew down the inside of the little fold you made, securing the pocket to the cover.

16.  Stick your mini pen inside the little pocket and you're done!

 Of course I forgot to take a picture of this part, but obviously the elastic you sewed to the back of the notebook holds the book shut.  Just close it up and stretch the elastic over the notebook and across the front cover.  Voila.

And that, my friends, is how you can use up some fabric scraps.  And make a tiny notebook look cute.  I mean cuteR.  Everyone knows that everything's cute in miniature.   Exhibit A: Zoe.  I mean mini.  PLUS, have you seen those teeny tiny vaseline jars in the checkout line at Walmart?  I am much more likely to buy that than the big jar.  Even if it isn't efficient.




*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

1 comment:

the momma (aka Shannon) said...

HA! Saw that!
although...I didn't have her pegged as a Zoe.
:)

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