diy fabric covered notebook

diy notebook

*scroll down for video and printable instructions*

A notebook is an essential part of life is you want to be organized. Organize your day, your thoughts, even your ideas. You could just skip this whole process and buy one from the bookstore, but if you’re reading this, it means you like adding your own personal touch to things.

I love giving handmade gifts for no reason at all (reason to make friends with me lol) and these were perfect for that. Each had a different feel and they were very easy to make. It took a total of 30 minutes to make one book, minus drying time


40 sheets A4 paper- you can use any type of paper, plain, square-ruled or colored and they can be found in most supermarkets and stationery stores

Strawboard (A5) / Cardboard- this comes as a big A0 board, with prices ranging from Kes 40 to Kes 150 per board. I got mine from Text Book Centre Kijabe Street and I asked them to cut the board down to A5 size

Needle & Thread –regular cotton thread is fine for this project

Awl/ Thumbtack / Pin- just anything to get holes on the signatures

Book Binding Glue –I got mine from Seal Honey in Nairobi CBD for Kes 100

Small Paint Brush



Fold each sheet of paper into half to form an A5 size paper. Take your time with this because you need everything to be symmetrical

Stack 4 sheets of your A5 paper to form Signatures. A signature is made up of 4-10 papers stacked.

Use one of your A5 sheets of paper to mark out where the sewing holes are going to go. You could decide whichever dimensions as long as the first and the last one are close to the edge. I went with 4.2 cm spacing.

Transfer these marking to the signatures by use of a ruler

Use your pin or awl to make holes where you’ve marked. Also take your time with this step so that everything lines up perfectly

Now sew your case block from the lowest signature to the one on top, using a kettle stitch (watch video to understand this)

At the sewed edge, glue a small piece of fabric that will form flaps on either side of the block. This is what you will use to attach the block to the cover

Make your cover by gluing the straw board to fabric or paper and let it dry flat. I used the book binding glue for this and it worked fine

Glue the case block to the cover using the flaps you left and let that dry. You may want to support the block as you wait for the flaps to dry


**Download DIY Fabric covered notebook**