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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Free Journal Cover Tutorial

I have been using a journal to help me keep track of design ideas for a while, and decided a pretty cover was in order!  I made journal covers for teacher gifts a couple of years ago and remembered how much fun it was!  I had just enough of this fabric combo (one of my favorites from a dress I made my daughter). 

So here's a Free DIY fabric journal cover! Let's get started! 


  • Standard Composition Notebook (9 3/4" x 7 1/2")
  • Woven Fabric (1/3 yard for the main fabric and 1/3 for the lining).
  • Elastic (I used FOE - fold over elastic, but 1/4" to 1/2" would be fine).
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  •  Cutting Mat if using Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
*Our seam allowance will be 3/8" for this project.

Cutting Chart:

 Journal Pieces
Cut 1 of each
(length x width)
11” x 10”
11” x 10”
11” x 4.75”
4” x 10”
Pocket Trim
4” x 10”
11” x 22.5”


Step 1: Fold the Pocket Trim wrong sides together, keeping the width of the fabric. Press with your iron. Place the raw edge of the pocket trim to the top raw edge of the pocket as shown below.  Pin and sew. 

Step 2: Flip the Trim up and press the seam allowance toward the bottom of the pocket.  Top stitch this seam. 

 Step 3: Place the wrong side of the pocket to the right side of the main front cover. Pin the bottom raw edges together and baste in place (using a long stitch length).

Step 4: Place the Spine piece right sides together with the main back journal piece with the spine on the right hand side of the back piece.  Pin and sew.
Step 5: Place the front piece right sides together with the other side of the spine piece. Pin and sew. 

Step 6: You can top stitch these seams.

Step 7: Take your elastic piece and pin it in place with the wrong side of the elastic to the right side of fabric, 2" from the edge of the back journal piece.  Baste it in place at the top and bottom.

Step 8: Place the journal lining right sides together with the main journal fabric.  Pin and sew around the rectangle, leaving a 3-4" opening to turn it right sides out. Clip the corners of the rectangle. Turn the journal cover right sides out.

Step 9: Press the journal well. Now you can optionally sew pen holders for the inside of your journal.  Skip this step if you do not want them.  Use a marking tool to mark 1" from the edge of the front cover.  Mark another line 1" from the first line.  Sew down these lines to create a little pocket holder for your pen. 

Step 10: Fold the front and back edges of the cover to the inside 3" as shown here.  Pin in place.

Step 11: We can now top stitch around the entire journal, or just where it is folded over if you prefer. When you get to the elastic, lift it out of the way as shown here. (See the next two pictures). 

Step 12: Now we can slide our journal into the cover!  

And we are done!  Whether you are making a gift, or brightening your own day with a personalized journal cover, share your creations with us!  We love to see what you are making!  

We cannot wait to see what you create! Please share your beauties with us in our Facebook Group or on Instagram @CKCPatterns.

SEW Inspired ~ Emily

Here's some more inspiration from our amazing and talented testers! 

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had done something like this when I was going to school.