Who doesn’t love notebooks? Jotting down brilliant, creative, mind blowing ideas… drawing a super quick sketch of something inspiring that you just saw… Writing big plans and endless To-do lists … or just simply keeping a diary…. It sounds amazing and having a cute little notebook with an inspiring, appealing cover sounds even more amazing. But there’s a down side: what happens when you finish your notebook but you love the cover? You replace it, of course!
Therefore, this time I’m bringing you a new DIY-handmade-crafty project: a slip-on hardcover for your notebook. So now, when you finish your handmade text block you can make a new one and keep the cover! Bonus: it’s a really easy step-by-step DIY that can be done by anybody and it doesn’t take that much to finish it either. Also, you can customize it as you wish! Doesn’t it sound like a plan? Let’s get to work!
To begin, gather all your tools and materials. You basically need a cutting mat, scissors, an X-acto blade, a pencil, PVA glue, sponges and a brush. As for materials, go for a piece of board (depends on the size of the text block you make … for mine, which is made of A5 pieces of paper, resulting an A6 notebook, I used the back of a sketchpad, which was enough), a 15 x 11 inches (also depends on the size of your text block) piece of watercolor paper… or any type of paper/cardstock/even cloth, whatever you want to be on the cover of your notebook. I used watercolor paper so I could paint a custom design on it. Finally, you’ll need a text block. To learn how to make the text block, check out this amazing tutorial, made by SeaLemon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGQ5P8QVHSg .
Moving on to the next step, take your text block and the board piece. Place the text block, aligning it to the margins of the board. Start tracing around it, adding 1/4 ” on the top and right side, so the cover will hang over. Double that, and don’t forget to trace the spine, adding 1/4″ at the top, to align it to the covers. Afterwards, trace all that with a ruler.
After this, start cutting out the pieces of board, using a ruler and the X-acto blade. Make sure you use a cutting mat so you won’t scratch your desk.
Now take the covers and the spine you just cut and arrange them on your piece of watercolor paper (or cloth/printed paper etc) leaving about 1″ around them and 1/4″ between the covers and the spine. Cut the paper so it’s easier to complete the next steps.
Start applying glue to the pieces of board and glue them to the piece of paper.Make sure to align them so they are straight. Otherwise it’s kiiinda not gonna end that good. Use the guidance from the above step. Let it dry putting something heavy over it to press it.
After it’s completely dried, take the scissors and cut the corners at an angle just like in the photo. Make sure you leave a little gap right beside the corner tip like this:
After you’re done it should look like this:
Now glue on the flaps you just made. I usually start with the sides and than move on to top and bottom… but I don’t really think it matters that much. Once again let it dry completey.
Yaaay! You are really close to getting this project done!
It’s time to do the inside cover :). Cut a 9 x 5 3/4 ” piece of the same material you used for the cover. Now depending on the size of your notebook, this may vary but the point is to cover the inside board and the flaps. Basically, I left about 1/2 ” from the margins (sides, top and bottom). Also you’ll need 2 long strips of paper. I cut two 8 x 1 1/2″ pieces of the same material I used on the cover (but you can use whatever material you want… there are no rules with this… just let your creativity do the work haha). Once again, the measurements depend on the size of your thingie so basically make sure the strips are 2″ longer than the text block’s height.
Now bend the strips, 1″ from the top and bottom just like this:
Glue on the strips to the inside cover (the piece of paper you just cut), leaving about 2″ from the side of the cover. In the end the whole thing should look like this:
Now take the inside cover and glue it to the hardcover. Align it and BAM! the cover it’s almost done. Go on and press it open using some heavy books. TIP: place the hardcover between 2 pieces of scrap paper to soak up the excess water from the glue. Now let it dry for about 1 or 2 hours to make sure it’s fully dried.
This step is optional, depending on the material you used for the cover. Because I used watercolor paper, I decided to paint it. Once again, it’s totally your choice. You can do whatever you like on it, be creative. I painted it like this because it’s gonna be a birthday gift for a friend.
Last step, yaaay! All you have to do now is assemble the whole thingie. Put the text block into the hardcover and BOOM! you have an amazing custom hardcover notebook. AWESOME!
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect from the start, just keep going and practice this. I promise you that you’ll get the hang of it and it’s gonna get super easy and fun! If you have any type of questions, don’t hesitate to ask me leaving a comment bellow. Keep up the good work!
Have an amazing week,