DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Sometimes experiments go a little wrong and a cover-up operation is in order. I decided to use a vintage ledger book I found at an estate sale for a gardening journal project, using handmade stamp I created as an example for a tip for transferring images over at Document Life Workshop.

I experimented, but I sort of ruined the cover. I knew the project was a gamble: stamping on rough canvas with a linoleum block probably wasn’t the best idea. But sometimes the cover up is better than the original idea: the fabric-covered journal was born!

Read on to learn how you can cover a book or journal with fabric to make an awesome custom piece with NO SEWING SKILLS!

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

You will need:

  • Journal or notebook
  • Fabric, at least a half inch larger in width and height than the area you’d like to cover on your notebook
  • Adhesive (I recommend 1/4 inch Scor-Tape)
  • Fabric Scissors or a Rotary Cutter
  • Marker (optional)
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Decorative elements (optional)

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Measure the length of fabric you’ll need. I cheated a bit: I knew that I needed an extra quarter inch on each side of the notebook so I had enough fabric for the hem. Instead of measuring, I added my Scor-Tape to one edge of the wrong side (back) of the fabric, aligned the notebook against the tape, and then added another strip of adhesive to the other side of the notebook.

Cut your fabric to the correct length. I just cut a line right after the second strip of adhesive!

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Create your no-sew hems. Remove the backing from your tape and carefully fold the fabric over. You can use your tape as a guide so you can fold the fabric exactly a quarter of an inch over!

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Add a no-sew hem to the third side. Use the same technique as in the step above.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Attach the hemed side to your book. Using the tape, attach your fabric to your book. Then use additional adhesive to secure the fabric further: I added a frame of tape to each of the remaining sides of the front cover. Remember to keep your fabric stretched and tight as you adhere it to prevent unwanted folds or bubbles.

Note: You may want your fabric to wrap around to the inside cover instead. In that case, I would recommend measuring a few inches in, drawing a straight line with a ruler, and aligning your tape and fabric to that line. You’d then repeat this step when you get to the back cover.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Attach fabric to the spine. The spine of my notebook was thin, so one strip of tape did it. if you have a wider spine, frame the spine in tape like you did for the front cover.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Hem the final side of your fabric. I could have measured the width of fabric I needed and cut ahead (and you can too), but I opted for a no-measuring route. I stretched the fabric to the spot I wanted it to end on the back cover, folded it over, and marked the edge with a bit of tape. I then used a ruler and extended the tape in a straight line down the length of the fabric. I cut off the excess and hemmed the final edge as I did with the previous three. Then I put a frame of tape down on the back cover and adhered the last bit of fabric down.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Voila! I now have a beautiful fabric cover for my book (and have covered up my mistake!).

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

Last, using my Scor-Tape, I attached a card I made with my handmade stamp with a reverse transferred image.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

I got a little fancy with embossing powder and glitter glue. (If you want to learn how to heat emboss, check out this tutorial).

I’ll probably go over the card with some Matte Mod Podge later to seal the letters on a little better.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

I’m using this book as a gardening journal. Barbara Kingsolver mentioned keeping a gardening journal in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I think that keeping track of what I’m planting, when I plant it, and what works or doesn’t work is a great idea! I’ve become a crazy plant lady, so it make sense to document my gardening journey. I can also use it the journal as a resource next year to decide on what to plant.

DIY No-Sew Fabric Covered Journal

On the inside, I’ve had fun documenting my gardening adventures! This is a just-words project to keep track of things. And to maybe vent about the bird that stole my first two ripe strawberries. I might have to take a page out of Elise Blaha Cripe’s book and do a photo journal about it when the season’s through too!

If you make a gardening journal or fabric covered journal, leave me a link! I’d love to see it.

Supplies Used: Paper: Studio Calico Project Life Grab Bag; Embellishments: ; Wet Materials: Maya Mist, Teal Zing! Embossing Powder; Adhesive: Scor-Tape; Tools: Rotary Cutter, embroidery needle; Other: Estate Sale Ledger, Fabric (unknown source), embroidery floss.

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