Art Notebooks

posted on October 8, 2010 by  |  posted under Crafting, Family Time, Fun With Kids  |  20 Comments

Art Notebooks

Hi HowDoesShe Gals!

I am so excited about this week’s guest poster AND her awesome project. Meet Erin from Sutton Grace. Her blog is BURSTING with creative inspiration. I could spend hours browsing there. We were THRILLED when she agreed to do a guest post for us, and she came through with this amazing project, an adorable (and functional) art notebook. This idea is SO SMART! Perfect for our amazing readers. My oldest daughter is always trying to find paper to create her masterpieces on, and this is such a sassy and stylish solution. So, let’s give Erin some love! Take it away, Erin!

Thanks for having me here at HowDoesShe?. My name is Erin. I am a mother to three kids and am expecting #4 in January. I love to create. Whether it is sewing, baking, decorating or trying to banish the 1970’s from my little house I am always in the middle of a project!

Art Notebook

I am so excited to share this tutorial with you. I created these art notebooks for my kids a couple of years ago before a cross country plane ride. Since then I have made many notebook covers and have been able to perfect the pattern. In addition to plane rides the notebooks are great for car trips, church and doctors appointments. Basically anytime you need to encourage some quiet play. There are several steps but if you take them one at a time I know you can make one too! After you have made one and understand how it all goes together you can even adjust the dimensions and make covers for other size notebooks. They make great gifts! Now let’s get started!

Art Notebooks
You will need:
-8.5″x11″ spiral bound Mead sketch book (I bought mine at Wal-mart for about $4)
-1 yard fabric
-1/4 yard contrasting pocket fabric (this is optional- you can omit the pockets completely or use the main fabric for pockets)
-1 yard 22″ wide fusible interfacing
-matching thread
-1.5″x2.25″ piece of sew on Velcro
-Sewing basics, i.e.- scissors, measuring tape, pins, sewing machine, marking pen.

Step 1: Cut out pieces

Main fabric-
Cut two 21″x13″ for outside and lining of cover
Cut two 17″x13″ for front and back sleeves
Cut two 12.5″x2″ for straps
Cut one 9″x3″ for tab

Contrasting fabric-
Cut one 8″x7″ for sticker pocket
Cut one 12″x7″ for marker pocket

Art NotebooksStep 2: Cut and apply fusible interfacing for each piece except the lining (one of the 21″x13″ pieces) and the contrasting pocket pieces.

Art Notebooks
Step 3: Make tab. Iron the tab in half. Sew the loop piece of Velcro just beneath the fold. Fold the tab again (right sides together) enclosing the Velcro. Sew each side leaving the bottom open. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

Art Notebooks
Step 4: Make the straps. Fold and press the strap in half lengthwise. Open. Fold and press each raw edge toward the center. Sew down the length of each side of the strap.

Art Notebooks
Step 5: Make the marker pocket.
-Grab the 12″x7″ piece of contrasting fabric. Press the raw edges under 1/4″. Turn and press the top (12″ side) under another 1/4″ and sew (top edge only).
-Fold and press one sleeve piece (17″x13″) in half (wrong sides together). With the fold on the right side, pin the marker pocket 1/2″ from the folded edge and 2″ from the bottom. Sew right of pocket side only.
-Place one marker under the pocket material next to the seam. Line up the straight edge with the left side of the marker (don’t make it too tight- leave a little ease so the marker will be able to slide in and out easily). Mark with water soluble ink or chalk.
-Pin and sew leaving the bottom edge open. Repeat until you run out of fabric. The number of marker slots will vary based on the size of your markers. I have nine marker slots.
-Sew the bottom edge of the slots.
-Your front sleeve is now complete!

Step 6: Make the sticker pocket
-With the other contrasting pocket piece (8″x7″), press the raw edges under 1/4″. Turn and press the top (7″ side) under another 1/4″ and sew.
-Fold and press the other sleeve piece (17″x13″) in half (wrong sides together). With the fold on the left side, pin the sticker pocket 1″ from the folded edge and about 1.5″ from the bottom.
-Sew each side and the bottom of pocket leaving the top open.
-Your back sleeve is now complete!

Step 7: Attach straps and tab
-On the raw side of the back sleeve, pin one end of the strap at 3.25″ from top. Pin the other end of the strap at 9.75″ from the top. Sew about 1/4″ from raw edge. Repeat for other strap on the front flap.
-On the back sleeve center the tab (Velcro side down), 6.5″ from top, pin and sew 1/4″ from raw edge.

Step 8: Attach hook Velcro piece:
-Center (6.5″ from top edge) the hook Velcro piece on the front right side of the cover (the 21″x13″ piece with the interfacing) and pin 1.5″ from the raw edge.
-Sew around the perimeter of Velcro piece.

Step 9: Put it all together
-Layout the outer piece right side up.
-With the strap and tab tucked in, place the back sleeve (the one with the sticker pocket) face down on the left side of outer piece lining up raw edges.
-With the strap tucked in, place the front sleeve (the one with the marker pocket) face down on the right side of outer piece lining up raw edges.
-Place the lining piece (21″x13″ piece without interfacing) on top right side down. Pin.
-Sew around the perimeter leaving about a 4-6″ gap along the bottom center. To reinforce the seam at the straps and tab sew over it and back-stitch 2-3 times.

Art NotebooksStep 10: Finishing
-Clip the corners and turn right side out. I use a chopstick to push out the corners. Press.
-Sew around the perimeter about 1/8″ from the edge making sure to close the gap at the bottom.

Art Notebooks
Art Notebooks
Now your little one can quietly play while you go make more notebook covers! :)

Art Notebooks

favorite projects:

Shabby Apple Knock Off

(Now, if only I looked as adorable as this girl does!)

Repurposed Entertainment Center

(Hello, how cute is this???)

Ruffle Collar Shirt

(Me likey. Me likey a LOT!)

Aren’t her projects so chic and snazzy? (Yes, I got out my thesaurus for that one).

I love how she can take something ordinary and make it totally one of a kind. Hop on over to Sutton Grace and say a big ‘hello’ to Erin for me!

And if you love the project, leave some comment love. It makes the blogging world go round :)

Art Notebooks

    1. October 8th, 2010 at 6:48 am
      Alison says:
      Love these! They would make great Christmas gifts for my nieces!
    2. October 8th, 2010 at 6:48 am
      Michelle says:
      Fabulous ideas!! LOVE the notebook I know how I can use up some extra fabric this weekend. THANKS ladies!!
      .-= Michelle´s last blog ..learning the hard way… =-.
    3. October 8th, 2010 at 7:45 am
      Leslie says:
      I am going to try my first sewing project on my own. Is this something a newbie can do?? love it!!
      .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Easiest Chicken Pot Pie =-.
      • October 8th, 2010 at 5:36 pm
        Erin says:
        Hi Leslie-
        If you have basic sewing skills you can definitely make this. Just take it one step at a time! Good luck!
    4. October 8th, 2010 at 10:23 am
      Monica says:
      These are awesome!!!
      .-= Monica´s last blog ..Halloween Decorations! =-.
    5. October 8th, 2010 at 11:36 am
      Jennifer Blamy says:
      I've known Erin for a few years now, but just recently found all her projects on her blog. I was already a fan of howdoesshe, so when I found out she was going to be here, I was thrilled. Congrats, Erin!
      • October 8th, 2010 at 5:37 pm
        Erin says:
        Thanks Jen!!
    6. October 8th, 2010 at 1:23 pm
      Cynthia says:
      Such great ideas!! I currently have a favorite ETSY shop with the most beautiful lace and appliques and millinery flowers but not enough ideas on what to do with them. Any ideas????
      • October 8th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
        Erin says:
        Thanks for pointing out that shop! They have beautiful stuff! I would love to dress up a t-shirt with this:
    7. October 12th, 2010 at 12:48 am
      Jenn-Lee @ Moments says:
      So cute! I love this! Thanks Erin for the tutorial. Great job!
      .-= Jenn-Lee @ Moments´s last blog ..She won! She won! =-.
    8. October 12th, 2010 at 4:14 pm
      Iris T. says:
      Erin, what fabric did you use & where did you get it?
    9. October 14th, 2010 at 7:07 am
      Crozbean says:
      I started doing art journals with my girls about 6 months ago and they love them!! We have just been decorating composition notebooks with specialty papers and do-dads but they will love these cloth covered ones! Thanks for the detail on how to make these so cute!
    10. January 4th, 2011 at 8:32 am
      carla says:
      I was looking for something like this, thanks!
      I would like to know how to put a ziper...
      I await your response
    11. January 24th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
      Kelly B says:
      What a clever thing you are. That note book is absolutely adorable! Now, if only I had a sewing machine...
    12. February 24th, 2011 at 7:20 pm
      Kiera says:
      I love the Art bag. My son writes in a journal and this would be a great way for him to take it with us when we go somewhere. I want to make one! Just as soon as I get a sewing machine...and learn how to sew...
    13. November 24th, 2012 at 7:55 am
      heather says:
      I'm trying to make these for my niece and nephew for their Christmas gifts and have a question as I am relatively new to sewing.....would this be a 1/2" seam allowance? Thanks so much and I'm pretty excited to try this project.
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