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Make Your Own Notebook

Learn how to make your own notebook with this fantastic step-by-step tutorial from The Crafty Beggars’ Julie Peasgood! This fabric-covered notebook would make an ideal Mother’s Day Gift… perfect for list-loving mums!

  • Papercraft
  • < 1 hour
  • Beginner

You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • A length of thin ribbon
  • Pinflair’s Bookbinding Glue
  • Paper for your book (pages inside)
  • Cardboard
  • Shirting tape


  1. Lay out your materials, and place your fabric face side down. It should measure 13x8inches. The cardboard (for the book cover) measures 3ins by just under 4ins, and your spacer is also just under 4ins by 0.75ins. Your pages should be 3.5 ins by 3ins.

  2. The secret to making a successful book is to use as little glue as possible - you apply it and then you scrape nearly all of it off! You do need to use bookbinding glue too - it might seem just the same as PVA glue, but it’s not. PVA is cheaper, but it contains a lot of water, so it can stain the material you’re using. Bookbinding glue may be a bit more expensive, but it has a drying agent built within it, so it’s stronger and won’t mark your material.

  3. After laying everything out, take your pages and group them together. Next, apply a thick layer of bookbinding glue to the top edge (this is the ONLY time you use the bookbinding glue quite thickly!) Place the shirting on the top of the pages (measure a strip of it – 3.25ins) and press down to seal. Glue the sides down too, but wait until everything is dry to neaten it up and to chop off any stray edges.

    Handmade Notebook step 3
  4. At this point you could disguise the shirting with some material (so the shirting doesn’t show when the book is opened) but depending on your choice of material, it can sometimes make the book rather thick to close.

  5. The next step is to position your cardboard pieces and the spacer on your material (which you have placed face side down). There doesn’t need to be lots of material around the edges of the cardboard; 0.25ins is enough to create a good overlap.

    Handmade Notebook step 5
  6. Glue both the thicker cardboard rectangles onto the material (but DON’T glue the spacer!) and turn them over to gently smooth out any creases.

  7. Next, cut around each of the thin cardboard rectangles - again leaving 0.25ins all round. Cut the corners off (to avoid build-up of material) and as the corners are likely to be messy, just dab a tiny bit of glue on them (with your spatula) to smooth them back.

    Handmade Notebook step 7
  8. Now cut the two thicker cardboard pieces all together (the thinner cardboard pieces are cut separately, but the thicker cardboard forms the outside of the book and therefore needs to be all one piece). Cut the corners again and turn the material over the edges, and then glue on the thin cardboard pieces.

  9. Glue the ribbon across the centre of the book (again face side down). Then take the pages and glue them where the spacer was - and hold the book together with the elastic band until it’s dry.

  10. If desired, glue the first pages at the front and back to the inside cover to make it all look neat and tidy!

    Handmade Notebook step 10
  11. Finished Notebook

    Finished Handmade Notebook

What You Need