Turn an inexpensive notebook into a beautiful journal with my free pattern for a fabric covered notebook! The Snappy Composition Book Cover features a snap-closed cover, an elastic bookmark, and inside pockets.
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Is it weird that I get more excited about back-to-school sales than Christmas sales? I get a little giddy piling my shopping cart full of glue sticks and crayons and notebooks. And it’s all for me me ME – I do a another shopping trip for legit school supplies for my daughter.
One of my school supply must-buys is composition books. I found them for 50 cents each this year. So of course I bought a stack of them!
The cheapie composition books aren’t the prettiest things (or even the most sturdy), but that’s okay because I made some really cute fabric covers to dress them up.
AND, I’m sharing the free Snappy Composition Book Cover free pattern and tutorial with you!!
I know it’s obnoxious to brag too much on your own stuff, but I’m seriously in love with these journal covers. I’ve made 4 so far, and I’ve got fabrics picked out to make another 2-3. They’ll go in my Thoughtful Gift Stash for birthday and Christmas gifts. A fabric covered notebook always makes a great gift!
I gave the covers a flap that folds over to the front and snaps shut. This is probably my favorite thing about this cover! There’s just something about the click of the snap when you open up your journal to jot down some notes.
And another favorite feature – the elastic strap down the left notebook pocket. I use it to mark the last page I’ve written on, so I always open right to a fresh page. No flipping through the notebook to find a blank page!
The back notebook pocket has an accent pocket that holds a pencil or pen and a larger pocket to hold a pad of paper or other small items you might need to keep up with.
If you haven’t already loaded up on discount composition books, run out to the store now and get them while they’re cheap! You could also just be a sensible person and buy them as you need them for regular retail price, which is actually not that expensive in the grand scheme of things.
Update: I’ve added a clear vinyl zip pouch option for the back pocket. If you want to include that in your composition book cover, see the tutorial here.
— 10″ x 15.5″
— Flap interfacing (use pattern)
— 11″ x 16.5″ from outside fabric
— Flap from accent fabric (use pattern)
— Flap lining from lining fabric (use pattern)
— 11″ x 16.5″ from lining fabric
— 4 pieces 11″ x 5.5″ each from notebook pocket fabric
— 10″ x 5.5″ from accent pocket fabric
Size 20 plastic snaps and plastic snap setter (Dritz Babyville or KAM snaps are two common brands)
11″ of fold over elastic. ½” regular elastic will also work.
How to make the Snappy Composition Notebook Cover:
Seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated.
1. Fuse the fusible fleece to the back of the outside piece and the outside flap.
2. Make the left notebook pocket:
Take one of the notebook pocket pieces and mark the centers of each of the short sides.
Using those marks as a guide, place the fold over elastic down the center of the notebook pocket piece and baste at the top and the bottom ¼” from edge.
Then, place another notebook pocket piece on top of the one with the fold over elastic, right sides together. Sew down the right side.
Turn right side out, then press.
3. Make the right notebook pocket:
Fold the accent pocket piece in half the short way.
Place the accent pocket piece across the bottom of a notebook pocket piece, raw edges touching.
Baste in place around the sides and bottom, ¼” from edge.
Mark a line on the accent pocket 1.5″ from the right edge. Sew on the line, backstitching at the top of the pocket to reinforce.
Place the last notebook pocket piece on top of the one with the accent pocket, right sides together. Sew down the left side.
Turn right side out, then press.
4. Baste the notebook pockets on either side of the lining, raw edges matching, with ¼” seam allowance.
5. Sew the flap lining to the right side of the lining, right sides together. Then press the seam open.
6. Use snap socket placement guide to mark where the snaps should be installed on the outside piece:
Line the side marked “right side” with the right edge of the outside piece, and one of the “top/bottom” sides with the top edge of the outside piece. Make a mark on the fabric at the corner of the placement guide. Repeat, this time with the placement guide lined up with the bottom edge.
7. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to set the snaps. (Here is a good tutorial.) The socket pieces should be face up on the front of the fabric.
8. Sew outside flap to the left edge of the outside piece (the side opposite the one with the snaps),right sides together. Press the seam open.
9. Place the full outside piece on top of the full inside piece. Sew around all sides, leaving a 3.5″ hole on the short straight edge to turn.
10. Clip corners and curves. Turn right side out. Press.
11. Use a ladder stitch to close the hole.
12. Use the snap stud placement guide to mark where the snaps should be installed on the flap:
Match the curved edge of the snap stud placement guide with the top curve of the flap. Make a mark on the fabric at the corner of the placement guide. Repeat, this time with the placement guide matched with the bottom curve of the flap.
13. Finally, follow manufacturer’s instructions to set the snaps. The smooth side of the snap should be face up on the front of the flap, while the stud side of the snap should be on the lining.
You’re done! Slide your cheapie composition book inside your cover and you’ve got a fancy journal!
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These are really cute!
Hi. Lovely idea and great tutorial. I have not been able to download the free pattern. Clicked on on the appropriate words but nothing happened. Any suggestions as to what Ican do ?
I’m so sorry the pattern isn’t opening for you! The link should open a PDF on Google drive. I have no idea why it’s not working for you. I’ve double checked the link and the sharing settings and everything seems to be in order. I’m not sure what else to check. –Anne
What size composition books are you using?
I’m using a standard composition book. I think they’re all mostly the same size, but I took measurements of mine. It’s 7.5″ wide x 9.75″ tall. –Anne
Thanks so much for this pattern. Listed under materials
Fusible Fleece – 10″ x 5.5″…… it that right or should it be 10″ x 15.5?
You’re right – it’s supposed to be 10″ x 15.5″. Thanks so much for pointing that out!! The other would have been waaaay too small, lol! I’ve updated the post with the correction. –Anne
On the materials list above it says Fusible Fleece:10″ x 5.5″ & on the printable pattern it says, 10″ x 15.5″. Thanks for this wonderful scrap buster idea to beautify those ugly composition books!!
woops!! just seen someone told ya already, lol!!
When I have printed out the pattern, cut the pattern pieces out and taped them together, what should be the length of the flap and the flap interfacing? Please respond by e-mail. Thanks!
When I have printed out the pattern, cut the pattern pieces out and taped them together, what should be the length of the flap and the flap interfacing? Please respond by e-mail. Thanks
Very cute! My college-aged daughter loves to keep journals, and this would be a perfect gift for her. Now if I can get it all done before Christmas. 🙂
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I’d like to make one of these for a smaller book that I use for daily mass. It’s about 4.5x 6.5. Do you have any suggestions on how to modify the dimensions? I really love the snaps and pockets and would love to use this pattern.
When I modify dimensions, I start with the size I need it to be. In your case, lay out your book and see how big the cover needs to be when opened up. Then, add seam allowance and adjust the side pockets and flap to that size. Hope it works!! –Anne
Love this! Here’s a link to my first one that I finished tonight: http://imgur.com/a/q4eix
This is going to be my go-to gift for the foreseeable future.
Oh pretty!! I bet your mom will love it! –Anne
Made this for a friend and myself recently. Mine has a sewing themed fabric and I use it for planned projects and am planning to put pictures of those made items too. Putting tabs along the top to make it easier to find sections. Also I left out the elastic page holder and put in another pocket. I love this project.
OMG! Perfect for me to make my nieces and nephews in school, they are going to love them!! Thank You!!
This is adorable! Thank you SO much for sharing.
Today is Christmas 2017. Last January I started hand embroidering pillowcases for all my family. Ended up stitching 40 pillowcases. I want to do another embroidery project for all family members and thought composition book journal covers would be perfect. When I saw your’s I knew this was the one I wanted to make for my people! I’ve printed out the pattern and I think I will make one first before I do any embroidery work so I know how well I like it. I’ll keep you posted!
That sounds like a lovely project!! Please keep me posted!! –Anne
Fun project, will make one (or seven) this weekend! When you say fusible fleece – is this double sided fusible or single?
It’s just single sided fusible fleece. So glad you’re gonna make some! –Anne
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Hello, I came across your tutorial while looking through Pinterest Boards (something I just love to do). I came across your link and followed it. Your project tutorial is wonderful and although I will not be using it right now, I am in the middle of creating a scrappy quilt. I have saved it in several of my Pinterest Boards to create Christmas presents for several of my family members who use notebooks and purchase them like you do at back to school savings time. All of them will be thrilled with the snap closures, such a spectacular added bonus! So thank you so very much for sharing your marvelous tutorial with us! Have a fantastic day!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment!! So happy to know you like my project! The composition book covers make a great Christmas gift. –Anne
Totally confused with layong the two pocket pieces on. Picture shows laying those on wrong side of fabric. Two pressed with right sides out are sowed on to wrong side of lining. Is that correct?
That was an error in my illustration. It should show the pockets being sewn on to the RIGHT side of the lining. I’ll make a correction to the illustrations. Thank you for pointing that out! –Anne
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I made two of these today. They are super cute. My flat doesn’t lay flat when its closed, I think I messed up the snap placement.
Thank you for sharing this pattern
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I just came across this tutorial and love it! Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to make it! I have one question. There is no 1″ square to check the scaling when we print so I want to make sure mine printed correctly. The easiest thing to measure is the snap socket placement guide…I get 2 3/4″ x 1 3/4″…is that correct?
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I left out the 1″ square!! THANK YOU for letting me know! I’ve updated the pattern to fix that. Your measurements for the snap socket placement guide are correct. 🙂 –Anne
This is the nicest and most practical composition cover pattern I’ve ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing!
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