Snappy Composition Book Cover – FREE PATTERN

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 separate 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 pattern and tutorial with you!!

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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.

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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 as you open up your journal to jot down some notes.

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!

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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.

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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.

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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. 

Materials:

Fusible  fleece

— 10” x 15.5”

— Flap interfacing (use pattern)

Fabrics

— 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

Plastic snaps and plastic snap setter (Dritz Babyville or KAM snaps are two common brands)

11” fold over elastic.  ½” regular elastic will also work.

FREE PATTERN

 

How to make the Snappy Composition Book 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.compbookcoverillustration_1

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.
composition book cover illustrations-02
Place another notebook pocket piece on top of the one with the fold over elastic, right sides together.  Sew down the right side.
composition book cover illustrations-03

Turn right side out & press.
composition book cover illustrations-04

3.  Make the right notebook pocket:

Fold the accent pocket piece in half the short way.
composition book cover illustrations-05

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.
composition book cover illustrations-06

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.
composition book cover illustrations-07

Place the last notebook pocket piece on top of the one with the accent pocket, right sides together. Sew down the left side. 

composition book cover illustrations-08

Turn right side out & press.
composition book cover illustrations-09

4.  Baste the notebook pockets on either side of the lining, raw edges matching, with ¼” seam allowance.
composition book cover illustrations-10

5.  Sew the flap lining to the right side of the lining, right sides together. Press the seam open.

composition book cover illustrations-11

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.
composition book cover illustrations-12

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.
composition book cover illustrations-13

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.
composition book cover illustrations-14

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.
compbookcoverillustration_15

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.
composition book cover illustrations-16

13.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to set the snaps.  The smooth side of the snap should be face up on the front of the flap.  The stud side of the snap should be on the lining.
composition book cover illustrations-17

You’re done!  Slide your cheapie composition book inside your cover and you’ve got a fancy journal!

Free pattern for making a Snappy Composition Book Cover!

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18 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Snappy Composition Book Cover – Sewing

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  3. Debby August 19, 2016 at 7:03 am

    These are really cute!

    Reply
  4. Gwen Tooke August 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    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 ?

    Reply
    1. Orange Bettie August 22, 2016 at 12:31 am

      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

      Reply
  5. Danelle August 28, 2016 at 6:06 am

    What size composition books are you using?

    Reply
    1. Orange Bettie September 12, 2016 at 12:32 am

      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

      Reply
  6. Trish October 20, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    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?

    Reply
    1. Orange Bettie October 20, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      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

      Reply
  7. Debra Rhodes October 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    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!!

    Reply
  8. Debra Rhodes October 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    woops!! just seen someone told ya already, lol!!

    Reply
  9. Marcia Gilbreath November 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    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!

    Reply
    1. sharon March 14, 2017 at 4:24 am

      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

      sjspok60@aol.com

      Reply
  10. jo December 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

    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. 🙂

    Reply
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  13. maddie February 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    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.

    Reply
    1. Orange Bettie March 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      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

      Reply

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