Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to Cover a Composition Notebook

Now that it's officially 2013 it's resolution time! I'm not a huge fan of extremely specific, time sensitive resolutions. They work for some people; they don't work at all for this girl. I just end up in a sad heap of failure. I like the broad resolutions.

My resolution for this year: lose some weight... preferably before my wedding in May.

I also want to be a calmer more patient person, but that has been going for years so I can't really call that a resolution. 

My mom is jumping on the weight loss bandwagon for this year. She asked me to make a notebook pretty for her so she could journal her eating habits.   This brings us to today's tutorial...

I'm going to show you how I make composition notebooks a bit prettier and more personal.

Here is what you'll need:

- A composition notebook (this tutorial shows you how to cover a standard and a 5'' x 7'' notebook)
- 12" x 12" scrapbooking paper (make sure it is the thin paper and not thick cardstock)
                 - You will need two sheets for the standard size.
                 - You will only need one sheet for the 5x7
-  Matte finish Mod Podge
-  A junk paintbrush (Don't use your best paintbrush for this)
- Full page shipping labels
                 -  You'll need 2 for the standard size
                 -  You'll need 1 for the 5x7
- Scissors


- First, take the standard sized notebook and grab your Mod Podge.

If you squint really hard you can see Michael Jackson

-  Now you are going to paint a pretty generous layer of Mod Podge all over the colored part of the cover. You want to get right up to the little black binding edge.  Don't worry if you get some on the binding. The beauty of Mod Podge is that it dries clear. In fact, I think it's better to get a little on the binding than to not get it all the way up to the edge.

-  Now you are going to take one of your full sheets of scrapbook paper and line up one edge with the binding edge. Then you are going to press down just along the seam.

-  Now you are going to hold the edge you just secured with one hand and smooth out the rest of the paper with your other hand. Start from the secured edge and smooth outward. You do this to prevent air bubbles.

-  Give it a couple of minutes to dry a bit, and then you are going to flip it over and open up the cover.

- You are going to trim the excess so there is about an inch or so (doesn't have to be exact) all the way around.  Then you are going to trim off the corners of the paper as pictured above.

-  Next you are going to Mod Podge all of the edges down onto the inside cover and then paint a layer over it all to seal it all up. Let that dry until it is completely dry to the touch. You don't want the pages to stick to it.

- Now you can do all of that to the back cover on the same notebook.

-  Once all of that is dry you can move onto making the inside cover a bit prettier.

-  Trim a shipping label to fit just about 1/2 an inch or so from the edge of the inside cover. Make sure it doesn't go all the way into where it starts bending into the binding. The opening and closing will cause the paper to come unstuck.  Now just take the backing off the label and carefully put it into place. Do it again for the other inside cover and you are done!

For the 5" x 7" composition notebooks:

-  The tutorial for the smaller notebooks is the almost the exact same as the larger ones except you only use one sheet of scrapbook paper.

- You'll want to fold the paper in half and cut it down the center so you have two identical halves. Now you'll just want to follow the same steps to cover the smaller notebooks. You'll also want to make sure when you are ready to put the paper on, that you put the straight/non cut edge against the binding edge.

- If you want the inside covers to be a bit more colorful you can Mod Podge on little pieces of scrapbook paper instead of the shipping labels.  Just be sure to put a layer of mod podge all over it to seal it on.

There you have it!  It is actually pretty easy to spice up a boring old composition notebook.

Do you guys have any resolutions for the new year? I'd love to hear them!

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