Reversible Journal Cover

Today’s gift idea is a journal/book cover. It’s a great way to personalize an everyday ordinary object. Give them to kids of any age for their school notebooks, keep one for yourself as a special one-of-a-kind diary, or gift one to your coworkers. An obsessive list-maker, I covet my notebooks that I use for work and my personal to-do lists and am happy to dress them up! The good news is that they’re fast and easy to make. Here we go:

You’ll need:

  • 1 fat quarter for the outside
  • Approx. 18” x 10” lining fabric
  • Approx. 18” x 10” batting
  • composition journal (9-3/4” x 7-1/2”)

First, trim off the selvage from your fat quarter and lining fabric. Next, cut the fat quarter through the middle to get two pieces of fabric approximately 18” x 10”. Set one piece aside (this will be used for the front cover). Cut the remaining piece of fabric in half again so that you have two pieces approximately 9” x 10”.

Cut Fabric
Fold these two pieces in half hot-dog style with wrong sides together so that you have two folded pieces approximately 4-1/2” x 10”. Press. These are the inside pockets.

Open the composition journal to the middle of the book and place on the wrong side of the front cover fabric.  Trace around the journal with a pencil or fabric marker (or in my case, a yellow crayola…)


Who needs fancy quilting pens?

Since you want to account for the thickness of the book (my first attempt fit perfectly over my wide-open journal….so perfectly tight I couldn’t even close it!) Measure how thick the book is when it’s closed flat. For smaller composition books, this should be less than half an inch. Draw a new line, adding this measurement to one side of your sewing line (the shorter side.)

Next, place the lining fabric and front cover fabric with right sides together and cut ½” bigger than the drawn line. Do the same with your batting piece.

Then, stack your fabric in the following order:


  • Batting
  • Lining fabric (right side up)
  • Inside pockets (raw edges on the outside)
  • Front cover fabric (wrong side up)

Pin all layers and stitch on the drawn line leaving a 3” opening. TIP: Don’t leave your opening in a place where the short edge of an inside pocket is. It makes it really difficult to stitch up later. Guess how I know this…Also, do not sew inside the drawn line — it is better to make the cover a little bigger than your journal.

Clip corners and trim seam allowance, leaving a ¼” of seam. Turn your journal inside out through your 3” opening and slip-stitch the opening closed. Insert journal cover into the inside pockets and enjoy your new journal!

Through the hole

All done

I can't wait to use it!

No time to make one? Westminster Fabrics has made it easy for you to get in on the fun. Check out the Westminster Fibers Fabric Journal, for sale on our online store.

— Posted by Stacy



2 responses to “Reversible Journal Cover

  1. This did not fit my 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 book. Th was too short at the top and too long on the sided. If the book is 7 1/2 wide time 2 and maybe 1/2 for seams that would make it 16 1/2, not 18″

  2. Hi Leesie, It sounds like you might have skipped the step where you trace the book onto the fabric for size. Don’t forget to add a little extra for the width of the journal.

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