Create a custom mod podge notebook cover in no time from a basic composition notebook using a few basic crafting supplies!

A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

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If you are anything like me, you like notebooks.  Big, small, patterned, solid.  I’ve got them scattered around my house and at least three in my diaper bag.  You never know when you’re going to need to make a note or a list.  I’m also one of those people who really likes to write things down and I still have a daily planner.  (My husband buys me a new one every year at Christmas.)

And while deep down I know the purpose of a notebook is just to write things down, another part of me just loves pretty notebook covers.  However, I don’t like spending an extra couple dollars just to have a pretty print or a cute quote on the front.  Do you feel the same?

So to make my notebooks cuter, I take advantage of my scrapbook paper fetish and use up some of it on an inexpensive notebook.  I’m sure you’ve seen the composition notebooks at the store.  I found mine at the local dollar store (Dollar Tree).  The front isn’t all that cute and they have these formulas and all sorts of random information on the inside covers that I don’t find useful or pretty.  So I just cover them up and personalize them.

To make your own Mod Podge notebook cover, you will need the following:

The first step is to find the scrapbook paper you want to use.  If you’re doing this with a big group, I’d recommend either having everyone bring their own paper or to buy a big pad of 12×12 paper that has coordinating patterns and colors to take some of the guesswork out of it.  (I generally stick to 2-3 pieces of patterned paper.)  Decide which paper you want to use for your main pattern and which will be your accent for the binding.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Cut the main paper in half so you have (2) 6×12 pieces.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Lay the paper on the front of the notebook so there is about 1/2″ overhang on the far right side.  Crease the top and sides so you can see about where to place the paper once you get the mod podge on the notebook cover.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Using a foam brush, spread the mod podge out on the notebook cover only covering the area that the 6×12 will cover.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Place the 6×12 paper on top of the notebook.  Be sure to smooth out the bubbles, working from the middle outward.  I have a little plastic tool I use, but you could also use a credit card/gift card to smooth it out.

From here you can do one of two things: 1) cut off the extra paper around the edges, or 2) fold the extra paper around the sides and mod podge it to the inside of the notebook.  I prefer the second option because I think it gives a cleaner look.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Once the front is finished, repeat on the back cover of the notebook.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

For the binding, you will need to take the second paper you chose and fold it around the binding, making sure to overlap the main paper by about 1/4-1/2″.  Crease or mark the paper, then trim it to size.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Brush the mod podge on the back of the notebook binding and the notebook cover.  Then place the binding of the notebook on the paper first, then roll it onto the front.  This will help you center it.  Then mod podge the back of the notebook and fold the paper onto the back.  Again, make sure to press out the bubbles.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Trim the overhanging paper on the top and bottom of the binding using scissors.  It’s easier to trim it if you open up the notebook.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

If the inside of your notebook has random formulas and grammar rules like mine did, you can cover those up by mod podging some plain white (or coordinating) card stock onto the inside.  Easy peasy.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

From here, you can be done if you like how it looks, or you can add more embellishments. I thought the notebook cover looked a little plain so I just cut out a couple of words from vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo and I think it added just the right touch.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

These would make great gifts for family or friends to use as journal or to-do list notebooks.  Another cute idea is to use it as a notebook to pass back and forth between you and your child, writing letters or notes to each other.  You could make these for a craft night with your friends or local church group or even a girls camp craft.  Super easy and super inexpensive.

What would you use your notebook for? What would you mod podge on your notebook cover?

18 Comments

  1. I use mine as a prayer journal. Also, I am working on a series of menu plans for two and making a journal for this. It has not only menu plans, but recipes, side, decor ideas and suggestions for each meal. (I got the idea from Giada on Food Network).A friend uses her to take sermon notes at church and another carries hers with her and uses it for ideas and jots down notes, makes lists..sort of an unorganized planner. So many ideas…..

  2. Wow! What a neat trick. I would have never thought to do that. I have so many notebooks and this would be the perfect addition to dress them up. Thank you for the suggestion that’s awesome!! 🙂

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      Thank you Cassie, I’m glad you like it! This is the easiest way I’ve found to personalize a notebook.

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      Right?? Sometimes I just don’t want to pay the price for a cute cover that I can make myself.

  3. These look so good. I thought they were shop bought when I first saw your pictures! I’ll definitely have to have a go at making some of my notebooks look nicer 🙂

    Louise x

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      Thank you Louise! That’s such a great compliment. If you end up making some, please tag me on Instagram @sunshineandmunchkins so I can see how they turn out.

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      Haha, me too! Although I’d like to think these are a step up from the paper sack covers I used to put on my textbooks. 😉

  4. My kids will love this activity! I can’t wait to do it with them

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      It is a great activity to do together! My kids love having their own notebook to do what they want with.

  5. So cute. Did you mod podge over the front cover also ?
    Thank you
    Nanci

    • Shani Ogden Reply

      Thanks Nanci! No, I did not Mod Podge the front cover of the notebook. I just made sure to get the back really well so it would stick down. But if you wanted to make double sure, you definitely could Mod Podge the front of the notebook. Just keep in mind that it will add a little bit of texture from the brush strokes. I prefer to use a matte finish on most of my projects to minimize the shine. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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