Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places, like a virtual grade school classroom! Today, Benzie Design Maker Team Member Tara Curtis of @weftyneedle shows us how to make a kid friendly felt monogrammed notebook that's sure to make any e-learning kid proud. This notebook isn't just for kids though - make one for yourself too! A handmade notebook is an excellent place to write down all your crafting ideas!
I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, okay? I got this idea from my kids’ virtual online learning program! My kids’ teachers are doing an amazing job of putting together lessons, projects, and interactive activities for the kids during this bonkers time. One of the lessons I’ve enjoyed (along with my kids) is on book binding. I’ll show how I made mine here. My kids, ages 8 and 6, are also making one. While I monogrammed mine with a cursive letter “T,” my littles are going to decorate theirs with stars, hearts, and “Lots and lots of all kinds of letters.” I’m glad I’ve been saving all my felt scraps!
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 2-3 hours total work time (but you’ll be letting glue dry overnight in between work sessions)
1 sheet of 9 x 12 inch felt for the cover
1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock for the inside of the cover
8 sheets 8.5 x 11 inch copy paper
Scraps of felt for the monogram or other decorations
Glue and a wide brush
Ruler and pen
Awl and hammer
Embroidery floss in any color
Sharp darning needle
1. Fold the card stock and copy paper in half lengthwise. The crisper the fold the better, so you may want to use a seam roller or bone folder to really make the fold sharp. Open the card stock.
2. Fold the sheet of felt in half lengthwise and press carefully with an iron, creating a crease. Open.
3. Lightly brush an even layer of glue over the card stock, then center it over the felt lining up the creases. Press. Leave under a book overnight to dry.
4. Open and layer all the folded copy paper. Using the ruler and pen, mark dots where you will be sewing. I marked my dots a half inch apart. My youngest marked just a few. Mind you, you will be hammering holes through all the paper and covers, so only mark as many holes as you want to deal with later!
5. Hammer the awl into each dot, through all layers of paper. Do this from the other side as well, using the exit holes as guides. You want to make the hole something big enough to sew through, so don’t hold back.
6. Layer one or more copy papers over the inside cover and using the holes you just created, do the same to make holes in the cover.
7. Leaving a tail out the top hole on the cover side, sew using the darning needle and all 8 strands of embroidery floss. You will sew in both directions, down the inside and then back up. This way you can create a cute bow at the top.
8. I clipped each corner of felt, then folded the extra border of felt down into a miter and top stitched around all the sides.
9. Once you’re happy with how your book looks, add your embellishments using a light, even layer of glue on the wrong side of your embellishment.
10. I left my book under a pile of books overnight to get nice and flat.
Congratulations! You’ve made a beautiful sketchbook to keep or give as a gift. I am thinking about using mine to dream up quilt designs.