Turn a small, spiral-bound notebook into a carry-along piece of art when you stitch up a new cover. Fabrics are from the Timber collection by Jessica Levitt for Windham Fabrics.
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Designer: Jessica Levitt


  • 1/8 yard total of assorted blue prints (unit, strips)
  • Scrap of blue floral (unit)
  • 6x7-1/2" square pink print (foundation)
  • Decoupage medium
  • Waxed paper
  • Foam brush
  • Purchased 5-1/8x7" wire spiral-bound notebook
  • 4-3/4x7" piece cardstock
  • Glue stick
  • Spray adhesive

Finished notebook: 5-1/8x7"

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Prepare Fabrics

To use decoupage medium to prevent fabric from stretching or fraying when sewing to notebook cover, complete the following steps.

1. Lay all fabric pieces wrong sides up on waxed paper. With a foam brush, spread a thin layer of decoupage medium on wrong side of each piece. Let dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

2. Lightly press right sides of dry fabrics. (Throughout this project, press only right sides of prepared fabric pieces to avoid getting decoupage medium on the iron soleplate.)

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted blue prints, cut:

  • 2--2-3/8x4" rectangles
  • 2--5/8x5-1/4" strips

From blue floral, fussy-cut:

  • 2-3/8x2-1/2" rectangle

From pink print, cut:

  • 5-1/2x7" rectangle

Embellish Notebook

1. Pry open spiral binding and remove front cover from notebook.

2. Referring to Piecing Diagram, sew together assorted blue print 2-3/8x4" rectangles to opposite edges of blue floral 2-3/8x2-1/2" rectangle to make pieced unit. Press seams open. Press seams under 1/4" along long edges of unit. Pieced unit should be 1-7/8x9-1/2" including seam allowances.

Small Notebook

3. Position pink print 5-1/2x7" rectangle on notebook cover, avoiding spiral-binding holes to make appliqué foundation; adhere rectangle in place with glue stick. Trim excess fabric along notebook cover edge.

4. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram for placement, position Step 2 pieced unit diagonally across appliqué foundation. Zigzag or topstitch 1/8" from edges of long sides to attach unit to cover; trim excess fabric along cover's edge. To stitch through the cardboard cover, use a size 100/16, heavy-duty denim needle; increase your stitch length; and stitch slowly.

Small Notebook

5. Referring to Appliqué Assembly Diagram for placement, align assorted blue print 5/8x5-1/4" strips on foundation; adhere with glue stick. Zigzag-stitch long edges of strips to attach to cover; trim excess fabric at ends of strips even with foundation.

6. Zigzag-stitch around outer edges of cover.

7. Apply a coat of spray adhesive to back of 4-3/4x7" cardstock. Adhere cardstock to reverse side of cover to conceal stitching. Reassemble notebook, bending wires back into place to complete project.