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. I love book cover art and I think it’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing. It’s much nicer to look at a cool design or elegant print than to look at a dull book cover.
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!