Tutorial: Sew An A5 Notebook Cover In 30 Minutes

There is something so appealing about new stationery; even in an ever increasingly digital age, the perfect notebook still holds its own.

With this in mind we thought a makeover was in order; a cover will level up an already essential item for a lucky recipient.

A Sewing Project For Beginners

You Will Learn:

  • How to draft a fabric book covering
  • How to use Decovil

You Will Need:

Note: this should be enough to cover most A5 notebooks, if in doubt, draft the pattern 1st to check the size.


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How To Draft A Notebook Cover Pattern

1. Cut a length of paper, greaseproof is ideal, large enough to wrap around the cover of the book and fold in either side of the cover to the halfway point (like a book’s dust cover).

Close the book to check sizing before cutting; the cover of the closed book spans a greater distance than when it is open.

The paper needs to be at least 4cm taller than the notebook too.

2. Open out the paper and draw a line 2cm up from the bottom edge.

3. Fold the paper in half bringing the 2 short sides together to find the centre point.

4. Place the spine of the book along the central fold and wrap the paper round the cover.

5. Line up the bottom edge of the notebook along the drawn line.

6. Mark a line on the paper along the top edge of the book and down the 2 edges of the cover.

7. Open the paper out and draw a line 2cm above the marked line at the top.

8. Check the pattern has right angled corners and straighten up any uneven lines, cut it out and label it “Cover”.

9. Measure the total height of the pattern and write it on the pattern (for example, 25cm).

10. Cover the pattern with a second piece of paper and trace out the large rectangle that has formed in the centre, label it “Decovil” and cut it out.


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Cut The Fabrics:

11. Cut the following:

  • 1 x outer cover fabric using your “Cover” pattern
  • 1 x lining cover fabric using your “Cover” pattern
  • 1 5x8cm fabric pen tab from your outer fabric
  • 1 x Decovil using your “Decovil” pattern
  • 1 length pattern height elastic (step 9.)
  • 6cm elastic pen loop

How To Apply Decovil

12. Spread a smooth surfaced tea towel/ spare length of cotton over an ironing board.

13. Place the outer fabric right side down.

14. Using the markings on the cover pattern piece, position the Decovil shiny side down.

15. Lay a smooth surfaced tea towel/ spare length of cotton over the top.

16. Dampen the cover fabric using the iron’s spray setting and press for roughly 6 seconds, heat setting 2.

17. Allow the adhesive to cool and cure for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Grab a cheeky 10% discount on your next Decovil purchase with DECOVIL10. One time use per customer.


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Assemble The Pen Tab

18. Fold in 1cm along the long edges of the pen tab and press.

19. Fold and press 1cm of fabric along the short edges and press.

20. Fold the tab in half, encasing the raw edges and press.

21. Fold the elastic pen loop in half and tuck 1cm of the raw edges into the pen tab. Pin to secure.

22. Turn the outer cover right side up and where the design on your fabric is directional ensure it is right way up.

23.  Find the line where the Decovil stops on the right and make a mark in the centre of that line.

24. Position the pen tab at that mark, with the tab to the right and the elastic loop overlapping the Decovil to the left.

25. Sew around the 4 sides of the pen tab, tight to the edge to secure.

Position The Bookmark

26. On the left hand side of the outer cover, place the bookmark elastic in parallel, 3cm to the left of the line where the Decovil stops and pin

Assemble The Notebook Cover

27. Align the outer and lining fabrics right sides together.

28. Pin and sew the short edges together only.

Form The Flap Pleats

29. Find the edge of the Decovil on each side, then fold over and press the overhanging fabric.

30. On both sides press the fabric along the seam line to concertina back towards the edge of the Decovil.

31. On both sides fold and press the lining fabric in line with the edge of the Decovil, forming the flaps for the cover.

32. Pin and sew along the top and bottom edges of the cover, leaving a 10cm opening in the bottom edge.

33. Turn the cover out the right way, ensuring the flaps overlap the lining.

34. Hand or machine sew the opening closed.

35. To insert the notebook, Open the cover on one side and insert it under the corresponding flap. Repeat on the other side.

And you’re finished, well done!


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We hope you found this tutorial useful! Let us know how you get along in the comments below.

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