Take Note: A Scrappy Mini Notebook Cover


I can’t believe I am going to admit this but here goes…I can’t remember when I met Jana! BUT I do know one thing….she is extremely talented. AND every time I look at her blog I fall a little more for her talent. I mean seriously, just look here and here. I am ever so excited about this notebook cover. I need about 100 of these since I am always making notes in about 100 different places. I buy notebooks all the time. I seriously think I might have a problem, but I digress….back to Jana. No, better than that….how about I shut up and let her get busy! Take it away Jana!!!

Hello. I’m Jana from Studio 3 Twelve. I am thrilled and honored and a bit intimidated to be here. I have a gazillion projects that I need to FINISH. But to be honest, I sometimes get a little bored with them. DUH, they are unfinished for a reason. I need to sew a little something different everynow and then. I also make notes all the time. I ALWAYS have a little notebook in my purse. I’ve seen those wonderful composition notebook covers, but who carries a purse that big. (Okay, lately I have been, but most normal people don’t.)

This mini notebook cover is a quick project that will help use us some of those scraps too. I used single pieces of fabric in the tutorial, but you can use a pieced piece too. Ready, set, sew…

This tutorial is for a mini composition notebook that is 4.5 inches by 3.25 inches. I get mine in 3 packs at the Dollar Tree. I feel more likely to jot down whatever comes to mind with this price tag.


Once you have your fabrics cut to size, place wrong sides together and sew them together, leaving a 3-ish inch gap in one of the short sides. I usually backstitch on both sides to prevent any of the stitches from unraveling while I am turning right sides out. But don’t turn it right side out just yet.

Now you can turn it right side out. I use a knitting needle that somehow ended up in my Studio. I don’t knit and no one in my house does either, so I am bewildered as to how it ended up in the house. But it works for poking the corners. So I keep it.


This next part is pretty easy, but very important. You want to make sure you leave enough room on the edges to accomodate the 1/8 inch seam you’ll be sewing all around the entire thing. Fold the ends in about two inches or so. I use my mini comp notebook as a guide. Then I insert the mini comp notebook into the pinned cover and fold it shut to see that it isn’t too tight. Or too loose.

See, I told you it’s important. Learn from my mistake. I am always ripping something out in my projects. I am pretty darn good at seam ripping. If there were competitions in seam ripping, I would be a force to fear. But there isn’t so I am just a ripper.

Now that the test fit is done. It may feel a bit loose, but the seams will take care of that. Sew the seams about 1/8 inch from the edges.

Almost finished. I could probably get away with something a little less cumbersome, but I like the way this looks. I tried to use a zigzag stitch over the elastic on one of my notebooks. It holds just fine, but it looks like crap. Oops, can I say that? I’ve also tried to use the elastic without sewing it down. That didn’t last very long. I lost the first one, and my youngest needed a hair elastic for soccer practice. I didn’t ask for that one back. It’s easier to say no when they are sewn to the notebook cover. And they don’t go flying across the room either. Or down the cereal aisle. Guess how I know that?!?!?!


Place the elastic under the folded fabric and sew into place. Don’t worry about sewing over the elastic. I think it holds better if you do sew over/through the elastic. Just be careful not to sew the flap on the inside shut. Yup, another lesson to learn through me.

You are now finished. Just put your mini composition notebook into the cover and start jotting down those notes.

Here’s a few I have sewn for different swaps. I use the one in the back in my purse everyday. You can make them as simple and sweet, or pieced and embroidered as you want. They would make great stocking stuffers. Or teacher gifts.

I’m offering the mini notebook that I made for the tutorial to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave some love for Rhonda on this post. A random winner will be chosen on 10/13/12.

Thank you for sharing this time with me. I’d love to know if you make one. Leave me a comment on my blog. Anytime.

Many thanks to Rhonda for having me. And for believing that I could do this.


13 Comment

  1. How sweet! Great idea for a cover. I am always buying notbooks and jotting down my notes. The thing is, I should keep only one at a time, but that would never work for me. I have way too many projects going on at the same time. LOL Thank you for sharing the tutorial…Judith, Texas

  2. When your each my age and get very forgetful, you really need a little notebook. And these are so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial, and the chance to win one.

  3. That is really excellent, thanks ladies x

  4. Oh it is great that so many others still use a notebook. I love mine and have at least two in my bag. Maybe that is the only reason I have a bag with me 🙂

  5. Lots of love for Rhonda!

  6. Thanks for a great tutorial Rhonda! these would be fabulous for Christmas pressies!

  7. What a great little post! I think I might make a few of these for Christmas! I need to pick up some hair elastics first.

  8. Sharon Griffith says: Reply

    Wow this is a great idea! I am also taking notes all the time and frankly it would be so much easier to find something with an awesome cover in my purse then look for a plain notebook. Can u tell that I carry allot of stuff in my purse? Thanks so much for the tutorial and an awesome give a way chance…

  9. This is so awesome. I just decided to start carrying a purse again. Weird I know. I just was carrying a wallet because I have horrible shoulders, but I was always without a notebook, a pen, lip gloss (hate lipstick), etc… so this would be fantastic in my new purse!!

  10. Great tutorila – I’ve never used a hair elastic before and this is such a great idea! Pleas enter me in 🙂

  11. I love the notebook. They will make great gifts. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I just finished my third (larger) journal cover last week – and then a sweet blogger sent me a small one this size. They are adorable and so purse friendly. I am beyond excited to have the fabric dimensions. Thank you! The idea of the closure is genuis.

  13. Thank you for a great tutorial. I plan on trying this tonight.

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