How to make a Paper Patchwork Notebook Cover!

Paper patchwork

It’s time to finally write this tutorial about how you can turn any ordinary notebook you’ve got into a colorful patchwork with any papers you’ve got at home! It was my mom who got me started, and that is quite unusual as she will knit or sew anything but almost never do any papercrafting. But when she started covering her newly bought notebooks I was inspired and had to do one of the two she gave me too!

Paper patchwork

The notebooks we used are similar to Moleskine plain notebooks, but much cheaper! Yay to that! All you need is a notebook with a cover you don’t enjoy, a glue stick, some varnish (decoupage glue, glossy medium or similar) and your stack of colorful papers! All set?

Let’s get started!

Paper patchwork
♥ Spread out your papers and pick only the ones that you really love love love! This will ensure that your notebook will get a cover that is inspiring and special to you. You can use any papers that you fancy. We used mulberry papers, wrapping paper, my own decorated papers, scrapbook sheets, gift bags etc.

Paper patchwork
One of my favorite gift wrap papers is sky blue with white dots. I collect beautiful papers at birthday parties and other events but also buy a roll or two when I find one I particularly love.

Paper patchwork
Start with the edges and cut squares and rectangles as big as you want them. I chose to only use soft papers for the edges because these were easy to bend around to the inside of the cover. Scrapbooking paper is a bit too hard for that, but wrapping paper and Japanese prints are great. Glue each piece a bit overlapping the next one and bend a few centimeters around the edge!

Paper patchwork
Keep cutting and gluing down papers! Cover the back entierly with glue (I use a glue stick but acrylic medium will work fine too) and press out the air bubbles when you adhere it to the books cover. It might bubble again later but once dry it should smooth out.

Paper patchwork

Mom paper craftingThe spine is covered by one long strip of the softer kind of paper. The spine piece should cover up the patchworks edge on the front and back and make the book look rather professional! Cut off the strip close to the spine’s top and bottom and then varnish the whole cover one or two times (depending on how much you need to protect it from usage)!

Leave to dry before you close it or start using it.

Mom’s book turned out lovely and has that summer feeling to it. We had a great crafting day with paper, glue, coffee and each other!

Paper patchwork

What to do on the inside of the cover?

Paper patchwork
You can leave the inside as it is or glue a big piece of paper there for decoration. Mom put a magazine image on the inside of her notebook cover.

Paper patchwork

Paper patchwork

Paper patchwork

If your notebooks will be put in your handbag or be handled a lot I think it’s a good idea to use that varnish and add one or two coats of it on top the paper patchwork. This will protect the papers as well as make them stick better.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!?

I think the paper patchwork look is lots of fun. I was inspired to do a few of my daily art cards covered with these paper squares, and you can use this technique on canvas, on photo albums, boxes, inside your art journal or to make a big collage for the wall! Imagine a postcard with paper patchwork? I’ve seen furniture and doors covered in beautiful papers – it’s magic and very cool.

Let me know what you do, I’d love to see your results!

I will show some more photos of our patchwork notebooks tomorrow for your inspiration – this post is full!

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58 Responses to How to make a Paper Patchwork Notebook Cover!

  1. Irene says:

    Hi, Hanna! I want to say, that this technique is very original and impressive. Useful for russian scrapers. Best regards!

  2. Chris says:

    Oh, Hanna, I can’t wait to work on this tomorrow. Your mom is groovy, too!

  3. Pingback: Journaling Interview: Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna | Journaling Saves

  4. vicki cook says:

    soooo simple ~ and soooo pretty!
    When you mentioned that thinner papers work best, it reminded me that I made a handful of handmade papers that would work GREAT!
    And I discovered the cheapest and BEST paper to use: newsprint! Many artists simply paint old newspapers, lol, so you’ve probably done that yourself! I used a pad of BLANK newsprint I found at a tag sale, for $1.
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    – vicki xo

  5. criss says:

    Verry btiful!!!!A nice, intresting ideea.

  6. Jessica says:

    WOO! So nice!

  7. Pingback: Yummy book covers | iHanna's Blog

  8. Chris says:

    Oh, I remember this now! I remember pulling out all my papers and sorting them. There were thick papers, thin, cardstock, papers that have surfacing agents on them, papers with glitter embedded, patterned paper, plain paper, pink paper, black paper, and even paper with holes in it. Because I LOVE paper and tend to buy too much. So, I remember sitting down with these and sorting them all out. I put them in separate sections of my paper file. And now I realize I completely forgot to cover one of my hardback journals with them!

    I know this long story may be boring, but sometimes I honestly can’t believe how easily I forget things or get distracted! Luckily, I have a long weekend again, and can play with papers all day tomorrow. (and sew them together)

    Have a great weekend, Hanna!

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