I loves me some of those old-school composition books. Last August, our local Fred Meyer had them on sale for 25 cents apiece for back-to-school, and K and I laid in a stock to get us well into our old age.
I’ve been noodling with ways to make them look prettier. There are tons of tutorials on the web for mixed-media treatments, or removable patchwork covers. But I wanted something a little more simple and durable – after all, my notebooks take abuse.
I don’t know why it took me so long to arrive at this dead-simple idea, but here you go.
So first, you’ll need a piece of fabric that’s roughly 1? larger on all sides than your opened-flat composition book.
This project works best with a woven cotton that’s a little on the thicker side and tightly woven. Quilting cottons are ideal. Do take a moment and see whether the black-and-white composition book cover will show through the fabric – this can happen with light colors especially.
Next, get a sheet of fusible web that’s slightly smaller on all sides than the fabric. You’ll notice that I haven’t gone to too much trouble to cut anything perfectly straight. This tutorial was shot on a Sunday morning. There’s no need to get too exacting about anything on a Sunday morning.
Place the fabric on an ironing board wrong side up. Place the fusible web over the fabric, with the web side facing down.
Your iron should be on high heat with no steam (No steam is really important here.) Pass the hot iron over the paper backing of the fusible web. Keep the iron moving, and make sure you iron over all of the paper – especially out to the edges.
When you’re done ironing, let the fabric and paper cool for a moment.
…And it’s done! Don’t you love this 70?s fabric? I’m only going to use this notebook to write about my dates with Keith Partridge.
Of course, since you’re playing with fusible web, you could also fuse a solid fabric to the cover and then fuse some cut-outs from other fabrics over that. There are a million and one possibilities.
OOh -and since we’re here, I’ll show you another idea that didn’t pan out so well. I thought it would be cool to cover a notebook with duct tape. Since I spend a lot of time at marshy bus stops, it seemed like a nice waterproof option. But, I overlapped the strips of tape, and I don’t love the look of that after all.
(I cut those flower shapes out of more duct tape with an Xacto knife. As you might imagine, it ended up being decidedly not fun.)
Anyway. Happy New Week, everyone!