Make a Custom Bookcover for a Spiral Notebook

I picked up this spiral notebook the other day and wanted to stiffen the covers and customize it for gift-giving.  It took me about an hour to put together once I had all of my materials.

empty cereal boxes (2)
spray glue
rubber cement
fancy paper
spiral bound notebook (flexible cover)

To make, cut out four pieces of cardboard (cereal boxes) the size of the cover PLUS a 1/2 inch or so to extend over the spiral, and two cardboard pieces for the spine – as wide as the spiral diameter. Glue the two spine pieces together to make one sturdy spine strip. 

Use spray glue to affix the 2-ply spine and only two of the cardboard covers to your chosen fabric or paper. Use a medium to heavy weight fabric and spray the glue in a light even coat over the cardboard (ventilation is important too). If you spray too much it may bleed through the fabric/paper (see a few pictures down to see how I ran into this problem and how I improvised around it). 

*NOTE* As in the image below, notice I cut another strip of fabric and glued it over the spine piece before affixing the book to the cardboard cover.

I used rubber cement to glue the front notebook cover to the cardboard. Spray glue would suffice, too, but I opted for the rubber cement for better control (no over spray). Make sure not to get glue on the spiral. 
Press together making sure to match up the outer edges. The cardboard will overlap the spiral on the opposite edge. 
Miter the corners of the fabric and glue it inward around the the inside cover (on both the front and back covers). 
Partially close the book and place glue inside the spine and tuck in the remaining raw edges. Allowing the rubber cement a few moments to become tacky before pressing together helps avoid frustration.  It’s okay to get glue on the spiral at this stage, but be careful to confine it only to where the spiral meets the spine and not near the the area needed for free turning of the pages when the book is in use. 
Notice the glue stain on the front cover, due to my overzealous attack with the spray glue.  I sewed up a long rectangle of textured fabric and affixed it over the stain and made like it was meant to be. 
Next, cut approximately 1/4 inch from one (long) side of each piece of the remaining cardboard pieces.
Choose your contrasting paper or fabric (I chose this lovely paper – take care to notice the direction of the pattern – as you can see above, I forgot to and had to re-cut).
Miter the corners and glue the edges to the inside of the cardboard. 
Glue the the freshly paper-covered cardboard onto the inside of the front and the back covers, taking care to avoid getting glue on the spiral. The inner cardboard will jut out past the outer cover a slight bit, giving a lovely contrast , as seen below.

Enjoy for yourself or give this thoughtful gift to someone you care about. 
Also, you can make a book from scratch!  See my post on my first go at it, including the tutorial I used (and rather enjoyed). 

More about Julie Prescesky

Julie spends much of her time paying attention to what's happening around her. At Design Inkarnation, she's head designer, illustrator, writer and creative problem solver.

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