sewing Becky  

Vinyl Notebook Cover Tutorial

I have been working on some extra little presents here and there and thought i would tell you all about the vinyl notebook cover!  They turn out cute and are sort of cheap and really don’t take much time to make. Perfect for a quick and useful/reusable present all year long.

First lets talk vinyl. I got mine at Joannes.  They were around $6.00/yard. That is a bit much, but you only need a 12″ cut. They come in 50-60″ wide too so you get a lot for a little bit of purchase.  After sewing a few different kinds of vinyl I will say that the semi-thick ones are the best.  They have just a bit of padding on the backside making them a bit stiffer. They hold their stiffness better and won’t bunch when sewing as much as the thin ones do.

So now we have the background, let’s sew shall we?!

Materials needed for 1 book cover {these measurements are for composition books}:
* 10 1/2″ X 16 1/2″  background for the cover
* 10 1/2″ X 6″   inside sleeves
* misc. colored pieces for the picture you are putting on the front cover
* pinking shears or rotary cutter with pinking edge

* I would recommend using a larger stitch with these. Around a 3-4 or so. It feeds it a lot easier.

1) Cut all the materials needed for the book cover background and inside sleeves {in this pic below it shows all the edges are pink sheared. I did this for the first one, but it was too hard to keep lined up. I recommend waiting until the cover is sewn together and then pink shear them. Cut cut them straight with a rotary. Works perfect.
—-you do need to pink shear one long edge of the inside sleeves as you won’t beable to after it is sewn to the cover.

This is the pinking rotary cutter. Love it. Use it on the edge of fleece fabric for blankets and such. quick easy, wonderful!

2)  Find your pattern and copy/trace or make your own.  I used the discovery cards from the shape game–you know– have a bunch of hard foam shapes, but them inside the card shapes and make what is on the card. They are very simple and straight forward. You can tell what they are. Perfect patterns.

3) Cut the shapes out of the vinyl.

4)  Place the larges piece on the front cover away from all edges and sew into place.

I sewed 1/8th inch from the edge. Now if they are thinner vinyl then they do have a tendancy to shift/pucker a bit…see the moon? and the smoke? Makes things interesting. live and learn.

5) Lay one inside panel on the backside of the front cover piece. Wrong sides should be together. Sew all the way around the edge- lining up the outside edge.  Continue around slipping the other inside panel in when you get to that point.  no pic on this, but it is easy. No turning out, trimming or anything! the outside raw egde is finished. You can trim this edge with the pinking shears and rotary at this point so they are cute.
6) Slip book inside the cover. You will need to bend it back a bit to get it in. Will fit just perfectly snug.

I made a total of 4. Here are the covers i did:

They are so not perfect! see the crooked cupcake, the lumpy moon and the sort of puckered truck? Well, that stuff is shifty and a bit sticky to the feet. So it does take some getting used to.

I homeschool and the kids use composition books for their handwriting, spelling and anything written. They can go through them so it will be nice to have a re-usable cover that they can just put onto their new book!

42 thoughts on “Vinyl Notebook Cover Tutorial

  1. Isa

    Great tutorial, thank you!

  2. SandyQuilts

    What a nice idea … thanks for the tutorial.
    Merry Christmas

  3. Jingle

    These are so cute! I really love the designs you created! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  4. Kerry

    Neat-o! 🙂

  5. carmel

    looks super super cool!
    i love the idea

  6. Melissa

    That's too fun! I've never thought of sewing with vinyl, but it sure looks cute!

  7. Ingrid

    Really cute tutorial!

  8. Joanna

    I'll take all the imperfect ones, because they are too cute.

  9. Nancy

    Oh, what a great idea… I have bookmarked this for next Christmas….cause I'm already too far behind to start this year…

  10. CMEH

    I honestly love this! I have become a bit obsessed with journal/notebook covers but I have not tried one yet…. I really like these and I think it would be achievable! Thanks so much… and thanks for the chance to join patchwork posse.. that looks interesting!

  11. Sharon

    Oh I really enjoyed this tutorial..I am making journal covers as we speak with batiks and never thoguht of using vinyl but now I will try one out and let you know. Thanks so much.

    Sharon G

  12. Amy

    cute notebooks! I bet if you glued down your shapes before you sew them that would help!

    By the way, I think your patchwork posse is a very fun idea! I am excited for you!

    And, did you do well at Art Market?
    I hung out there a bit more than I have in the past and everytime I was there I checked out your booth and there was always a few empty spaces and I would fill them up for you. It seemed like you sold quite a bit!

  13. free indeed

    Thanks for the little talk on vinyl. I find I pick up so many tips from other people's experiences that help make my projects go so much more smoothly.

  14. Ruthie

    Great designs. Thanks so much. I'm really interested in the bags that you are stuffing?

  15. Rose.W.

    What a great tutorial, now i want to go get some vinyl to make some myself lol.

    I too am curious as to whats in the bags, can you please share once the party is over :)Just because I'm a sticky beak.

  16. Catherine

    My son would LOVE one of these…I know I have vinyl here, just have to find it. 😉


  17. cindi

    I can't wait to tyr this tutorial. I hope I win the giveaway too.

  18. Christine

    Thanks for a great tutorial. Please include me in your giveaway draw. Thanks Chris

  19. Katie

    These are so charming! And what a great way to keep those little notebooks from getting all scuffed up. Please include me in your giveaway too. Thanks!

  20. Anne @ Floralshowers Crafts

    These are too cute! I love how easy they looked!!!

  21. MissLindsay

    These are just to adorable! I love the little cupcake! Thanks so much for the chance to win such a great giveaway!

  22. stampsinblue

    Just wondering if some temporary spray adhesive would help eliminate the puckering problem. I don't know. Great tutorial, though! I can't wait to try this out for my kids! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Jennifer

    What a wonderful tute! Thanks so much for sharing.

  24. casserole

    Oooooh, CUTE!!! Now I need to find some vinyl to start hoarding!

    I featured your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  25. CMEH

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried it with the vinyl, there was some on clearance at Joanns this weekend… but I could not do it anywhere near as well as you did…. so I then used the tutorial with wool and it came out great…. Wishing I had the patience for the vinyl. Do you have any recommendations? I Still have lots left over!

  26. keep sewing!

    I've never worked with vinyl, though I've bought some to try with bags. Thanks for the tutorial!

  27. Lia

    what a wonderful idea 🙂 I will definitely try it 🙂

  28. Katie

    Thanks so much! This inspired me to write my own tutorial for a similar project. You can see it here:

    I of course linked back to your tutorial here for others to enjoy as well. Thanks!

  29. Chacoy

    These are adorable, I think I am going to give them a go! Thank you for sharing;}

  30. whosies

    you must share a picture if you do! thanks!

  31. whosies

    you must share a picture if you do! thanks!

  32. Jackie Ethington

    Hi Becky
    I logged onto your blog. You have a lot of cute stuff on it. You are going to be realy successful with this.
    Good luck and keep quilting.
    Jackie Ethington

  33. whosies

    thanks jackie — and hi!


  34. Andrea

    Great tutorial. I had wondered if it would work to make these with vinyl without finishing the edges first with a folded hem. I'm making one for myself! I also thought of using clear, heavy gauge vinyl for the inside pieces, because I have stuff written on the inside covers of my composition books that I want to be able to see.

  35. whosies

    clear insides would be awesome! if you end up making one–let me know so i can
    share it.


  36. Cindy Sprehe

    You could make these with oil cloth also. Thanks!

  37. posse boss

    what a spec-tac idea! i will most definitly try that out.

  38. Rita Falgoust

    I like this idea, but I will use faux suede instead of vinyl.

  39. posse boss

    that would be totally fun! the colors {i think} might be a little restrictive– but very good for a guy theme. thanks for the idea!

  40. Sumita

    Lovely ideas and explained with such simplicity…Thank you!

  41. Fatima

    Thanks for the tutorial. I sew but have NEVER used vinyl…also liked the FYI about the pinking rotary! Need pinking sheers but think will invest in this OVER scissors 🙂 I do A LOT of beading and this will definitely help me with my design journals….
    Think my teen girls will enjoy sewing these up also–bet it’s do-able for even smaller type memo composition books for purses.
    Thanks again! Love your ideas!!!!

  42. kathy

    Love this idea. Can’t wait to try this with some leather samples that i have on hand.

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