DIY Felt Notebooks
Aug 06, 2020 10:54AM
By The Hood Magazine
By: Ashley Thompson
These DIY felt notebooks with lots of fun pockets can change that.
Not only will it be fun for them to fill these books with memories, but it will save you from having to sift through a mess of “treasures” when they come home.
(OPTIONAL INSERT PHOTOS: DIY Felt Notebook with Pockets A, DIY Felt Notebook with Pockets B)
This DIY felt organizer is made from only 3 pieces of felt and there are no sewing machines required!
• 3 pieces of 9x12 inch felt
• 1 button
• Needle and thread for sewing (I used 3 strands of embroidery thread in a contrasting color because I wanted my stitching to stand out. You could also easily sew this on a machine or even use hot glue!)
• Yarn, a yarn needle and something to punch through your felt (a leather punch, a small scissors or an EXACTO knife will all work)
• Paper (I used 15 pieces of regular printer paper in each notebook)
• Letter stamps/stencil & fabric paint/sharpie marker/iron-on letters - whatever you want to use to personalize your notebook
Step 1: Cut Out the Pieces
Take the two pieces of felt that you are using for the interior lining/pockets and cut 1.5 inches off the short side of each piece.
Take one of your 1.5-inch strips and cut the length down to 4 inches. This will be the strap used to fasten the notebook.
You can cut your interior pockets into any size or shape you want. Go ahead and get creative!
For the notebook I am making for my son, I am going to take one of my interior felt pieces and fold it in half so that the short sides meet. Then I am going to draw a line two inches from the top for the opening of my first pocket as a cutting guide. This will make one long pocket on the front of the inside flap but will also create a side pocket between the orange piece of felt and the cover.
I am not going to cut all the way through my fabric. I am only cutting through the top layer and I am going to only cut the middle section so that the edge of my felt stays intact.
Now I am going to take a 2-inch section of one of my left-over strips of felt and sew it down to the top side of this interior pocket to make a pen holder.
I am going to make my back pocket a little different by cutting the opening in the middle of top piece of felt to create a pocket above and below my opening.
Step 2: Sewing Your Felt Notebook Together
Before you sew your interior pockets in you need to sew the closure strap to the back of the cover and the button to the front of the cover. This way your stitches will be hidden by the interior pockets in your finished product. I sewed mine in using my favorite embroidery stitch - the backDstitch.
To see my hand sewing tips and top three stitches, check out this tutorial.
Once you have all the exterior pieces sewn on you can sew your interior pockets to the cover. You could easily sew these by machine…or if you really hate to sew, you could hot glue the pieces together.
But if you want to easily hand sew this notebook together…do I have the tip for you!
Take a ruler and mark your finger at the increments that you want to sew your stitches. In this case, because I am mearly piecing these felt pieces together and they don’t need to hold any weight or be laundered, I am going to mark my finger in half inch increments and then use you the markings as my sewing guide.
Sew all the way around the outside of the cover, sewing in the edges of both pockets as you go.
Step 3: Binding the Pages
This is way easier than it sounds. I promise.
First, cut a piece of yarn about a foot and a half long (this is more than you need but you will cut the excess off at the end).
I used a grey piece of yarn, so it would blend into my cover, but it would also be fun to use a contrasting color and you could even add beads for a fun accent!
Now you need to poke a hole through the cover piece of felt about an inch from the top and an inch form the bottom along the back fold. I used a leather punch because I have one, but you can also use a small sharp scissors, an EXACTO knife or a large needle.
Now pull your yarn though each hole from the outside so that the open ends of your yarn are on the inside of your notebook.
For the pages, I just took plain white printer paper and folded it in half. Along the fold line cut a slit about an inch long from both the top and bottom. This is where you will insert the yarn to hold the pages.
Place the pages in the book laying open. Pull the yarn through the slits you cut from both the top and the bottom, tie the yarn together and cut the extra pieces off.
Step 4: Personalization
I love to use letter stamps to personalize my felt projects. You can get letter stamps at most craft stores or on amazon.
To set the ink into your fabric, run a hot iron over the words after the ink dries.
If you don’t have letter stamps, you can also simply write on the felt with a Sharpie (set that with an iron too), use fabric paints and stencils or use iron-on letters.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Drop a comment below and tag me on instagram @alloplum to show me your finished products!
Supplementary Tutorials Related to This Project:
5 Tips, Tools and Measuring Hacks for Creating Your Own DIY Projects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9f4Fpbmg5Y&t=1s
How to Embroider a Backstitch, Chain Stitch and French Knot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFOiX5NI1cY
Embroidery Art, My 5 Best Tips for Beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfdVfnnhTLg
DIY an Easy Wall Mail Organizer (that costs less than $2 to make): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfdVfnnhTLg
3 Easy Tips to Keep Any Project from Becoming a Pinterest Fail
1) Use regular household items to perfect your measurements. Bowls, cups, bottle caps etc are great items to trace to make circles and laying a book down against a straight line gives you a perfect right angle to extend a measurement all the way across a piece of fabric. You will basically have created your own engineer’s square! Check out my 5 top measuring tips and hacks that I have borrowed from design professionals here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9f4Fpbmg5Y&t=1s
2) Create consistency and symmetry in your projects by making templates and patterns. Use tracing paper to create a pattern for pieces of your project that you need multiple pieces of so that you can use it over and over without measuring each time (which creates more room for error). And use tricks like marking measurements on your fingers so that you have an easy guide to even spacing.3) Don’t be intimidated by things that look hard. Chances are that it is easier than it seems. And when in doubt there are probably 10 great YouTube tutorials out there. When you “dumb down” a project or skip a step that looks too hard, your whole project will end up looking amateurish when chances are if you had just tried - you would have been able to accomplish even the most daunting tasks.