Thursday, March 26, 2015

Notebooks with Style

I don't know about you, but I am forever going into Target and drooling over notebooks that are way overpriced just because they have some absolutely gorgeous designs on the cover. Occasionally I even buy one.

But what am I to do with all the other notebooks, especially the ones I got for free like this:

It's actually a pretty high quality notebook... it's just not pretty.

I decided to see how professional I could make a cover out of scrapbook paper.

I cut a piece of paper a bit larger than the cover and folded it around and taped it down. This one is smaller than it should be, due to the design.

Go at least a half inch larger on all sides or more as you can see on the second notebook above.

You could also glue it, but honestly tape worked just fine and I didn't have to wait for it to dry or press it to keep it from springing back up.

I did use a glue stick to stick the first page down over the tape and edges to cover them up and make it all look neat.

I repeated the process in the back, although due to the way the wire was bound, I couldn't just flip a page over, I had to cut it out of the book, as you can see above.

I worried that the scrapbook paper would not be a super durable cover, so I decided to coat it with some varnish (you can find at your local craft store). It did cause the paper to bubble a little bit, but most of the bubbles subsided as it dried.

I still had two edges and some spiral wire sticking out that looked kind of cheap, so I grabbed my box of leather scraps, found a piece that coordinated, and glued it down with tacky glue.

(You should be able to get a bag of leather scraps for craft projects at your local craft store)

I wanted to get a really tight smooth edge, so after pressing it down,..

 ...I used a ruler to keep the edge nice and straight and a heavy book to press it down tightly while it dried. I waited for one side to dry completely before doing the other, because I needed to close the book before gluing down the other side to ensure the leather wrapped all the way around.

They turned out even better than I expected! I'm actually rather bummed because I can't handwrite myself at the moment due to muscle problems... but these will make lovely gifts if I don't' just horde them for years...

All in all, a really cheap up-fashion for a freebie (or ugly) notebook. And with scrapbooking paper coming in every design imaginable, the possibilities are endless!

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