Personalizing Notebook Covers

I saw this project on Pinterest (of course) and really loved the idea of creating your own notebook covers. As a person who loves picking her own designs and patterns, it can be very inhibiting to have a selection of binders that are all in primary colors.

Because of a coupon and sale, I was able to get these two composition tablets for 20 cents each at Kroger. Crazy, huh? They cost less than the paper and embellishments I covered mine with.

My sister loves creating things as much as I do, so we made these together. Hers is the black and silver and mine is, naturally, the other.

I neglected to consult the tutorial and thus my sister and I ran into a few snags. I would definitely recommend following the tutorial from Emily at 52 Mantels, her step-by-step pictures are very helpful and her tutorial easy to understand, but you might be able to pick up a few tips from our experience. (Like making sure you read instructions before attempting a project.)

She recommends you lay the sheet of paper under the first flap to get a good template whereas I laid the tablet onto the paper and traced the tablet. The result was not so beneficial but eventually it did the trick.

My first design idea was to use the travel subject scrapbook papers and center the passport design on the front. Only I had previously decided upon using Francena H. Arnold’s writing tips on the front or back and I just didn’t feel like the travel topic melded well with the writing topic. So I threw out the passport, so to speak, and went digging through my other possibilities.

I ended up using some of the most recent scrapbook buys I had mentioned in my post, Craft Store Buys, Driving a Tractor, and Hauling Branches. I chose to use the green for the front and the red for the back. Here is another instance where if I read Emily’s post I would have thought ahead and bought enough of one color to cover both front and back as well as inside.

Emily used a glue stick (now I know) to glue the paper to the cover but I used Mod Podge per advice of another blogger that I cannot remember. I am fairly new to Mod Podge so I thought: they say it’s good for everything. I should have used the glue stick. Technically I just did my usual “pick and choose” and pulled from others projects, which in this case, was not a good idea.

The Mod Podge leaked over the edges and despite our care in wiping it away, it glued the tops together. The result is a not so pretty bunch of ripped pages where we tried to carefully pull them apart. Yeah, I’m not happy about that. Plus, despite my efforts, I ended up with wrinkles in the back paper. Thankfully, they worked themselves out over time. (Something that usually doesn’t happen with glue and paper).

I printed a poem on writing by Agatha Christie and Francena’s writing tips on beige paper, then I put the poem on the front and the writing tips on the back. At this point I didn’t have any washi tape to border it with so our projects went on hold for a few days.

When we finally found some washi tape we liked we resumed. I wrapped mine in gold and even wrapped the binding. I saw later that Emily leaves hers black, but in this case, I don’t mind mine being gold, just so long as the washi tape doesn’t come up when the tablet is used.

I read these tips by Francena H. Arnold on The Buttry Diary blog after reading my first book of hers, Not My Will. (I reviewed it here if you want to check it out).

Her tips are right to the point and just what I need to hear. And remember. I figured they would be perfect to have on a tablet I used for writing so that I could refer to them often.

I added little pearl embellishments (that I also speak of in a previous post) and a few flower stickers to the front. I really wanted to use my hedgehog and mushroom stickers but I felt they weren’t suited to this design. Unfortunately.

And there you are, two lovely personalized tablets. I still haven’t put mine to use yet (I have to find the perfect thing to use it for) but if I ever do it again, here are a few things I plan to do differently.

  1. Cut out template by sliding paper under cover
  2. Use a glue stick instead of Mod Podge
  3. Buy enough of the same paper
  4. Leave binding uncovered
  5. Embellish written pieces with fancy templates
What do you think? Have you learned anything from our experiences? I hope so! Don’t forget to check out Emily’s post at 52 Mantels.
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