Thursday, August 23, 2012

Removable Binder Cover

After a few months of dabbling in blogging, I realized I needed a notebook to keep up with ideas, projects, and plans.

I pulled out this old notebook that was once my mom's (and perhaps had been my grandfather's at some point?  I think it was something that he had used while he was in the Army) that I covered with bug wrapping paper when I was about ten years old.  




Pretty snazzy
I discovered this text as I removed the bug paper.
I decided it was perfect - not as big as a full-sized binder but large enough to serve my purposes.  After much deliberation about whether I should re-cover it with Mod Podge as I have several other full-sized notebooks, I decided I couldn't bear to ruin the cover of the old notebook!


So I decided to sew a completely removeable cover and preserve the neat old thing.

I began by removing the bug paper, being careful to rip the inside cover of the notebook as little as possible. :-)

I then spread out my fabric, put the notebook in the center, and cut it to size by folding it over on the sides to measure the amount I needed.  The fabric should reach the rings and cover the entire inside of the front and back covers.  

Center the notebook on your fabric; press in ~1/4" on each side and stitch
I left about 1/4" extra to finish with a stitch and hide the raw edges.  
I meant to use a straight stitch but forgot to change it back after my last project :)
For the tops and bottoms, I left an inch or two above and below the edges of the notebook, and pressed it.

Next, I turned the fabric over (wrong side up) and pinned the bottom edge, leaving plenty of excess fabric.   Before stitching the bottom edge,

1.  I centered the notebook again

2.  I closed the notebook to make sure I'd left enough ease for it to close all the way
Then, I took it over to the machine and stitched it up. 


Stop at the end of one flap, then repeat on the second flap.
Next, it was time to turn the cover right-side out and press.  I then inserted the notebook to mark the line for the remaining (top) seam.

Leaving the raw edge folded over caused it to be hidden when I slid the notebook into place.
With the notebook in the cover, I used a pin to mark the line where
the stitch needed to be made, then removed the notebook.



I then pinned the open end and stitched along the line the pin was marking.

Once the top and bottom edges were sewn, I cut the excess fabric off on top and bottom and wound up with this as my finished project (inside out):

I snipped the corners here so they would lie flat when I turned it in right-side out.
I then turned it right-side out...



And slid the notebook in, starting with one flap and beginning with the second flap when the first one was about halfway on.

I wound up with a custom-made, completely removeable and interchangeable fabric cover for my binder!  This can be adapted to fit any book, notebook, etc. and can be changed out when the fabric gets tattered or when you're ready for something new! 
Finished project!

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