Here are a variety of ways you can make notebooks, paperbacks and books of all kinds a little more special. Some are permanent, decorative options while others are slipcovers or wraps that can be reused over and over. Many involve sewing but there are a couple crafty solutions as well. At the bottom you’ll find a vintage tutorial for making a custom-fit with oil cloth using two different methods: Glue (permanent) and Pocket (replaceable).
Mini: Made with scraps of material, tab & velcro closure. Inner pockets to replace items as needed, easy to make custom size.
With Inner Pockets: You can switch out items as needed with this project, has a button and elastic band closure.
For Paperbacks: A side is a pocket, and the other side closes with a cotton tape.
Quick: Lined with flannel, inner pockets to switch out items easily. Button & elastic closure (can hold a pen if desired).
Patchwork: Replaceable. Made with charm pack squares, material and fusible web or iron-on adhesive.
Scripture: Nice! Features inner pockets to slide the Bible into, handles for carrying and a button & loop closure.
Felt Blankets: Features an outer pocket to hold a small notepad and a loop along the spine to hold a pen.
Planner: Ruffled strip across the front while inside features inside pockets to hold a pen and supplies.
Woven Maps: Cut 1/2″ strips from an old map or atlas pages, weave together then apply woven sheets with double sided tape.
Here’s an idea: Keep your cookbooks (or other items) clean by covering them with oil cloth. You can either glue the cloth directly on top or make a pocket cover. These two methods are outlined below (including diagrams).
Make a pattern by laying the book, opened at center, on paper and tracing around it. Allow about two inches at top, bottom and both ends to fold under. Cut away the corners from the part that folds under, and also cut away a V-shaped piece from the middle at top and bottom–to allow the cloth to fold under without buckling. See diagram below.
Cut the cloth from the pattern, fit it over, and glue the part that turns under to the inside.
If you do not want to paste or glue the cloth to the outside, a straight strip of cloth may be used, making pockets at each end to slip into.
Cut the cloth longer than the measurement when the book is open. Draw pencil lines on reverse side at both ends. Allow about 1/8″ extra width top and bottom. Fold at pencil lines, and bind top and bottom to for pockets at each end. See diagram above.
Can use oil cloth, fabric or heavy paper.
Adapted From: How To Make good looking-inexpensive Things For the Home With Blenback Oil Cloth (1920’s/1930’s).