Someone recently commented on the Pink Cover I had made for my planner and wanted to know how I did it. I made the Pink cover just over a year ago and used it for my 2014 planner and have reused it again this year for my new one, so this is a quick ‘how to’ showing you how I made it but you could use this for covering books/journals or ring binders like I originally did!
At the time I made my 2014 planner I really wanted a nice 4 ring folder, I prefer 4 rings as I feel it hold the paper in better and doesn’t make them swing about like a 2 ring sometimes does. However it seems all the lovely designs seemed to be on 2 ring folders so I found a plain black one that had 4 rings and decided to customise it by making a cover/sleeve/protector what ever you want to call it! When I originally made it I was kind of winging it, made a few mistakes etc… So this tutorial is for the second cover you see above and has eliminated the silly mistakes I made on the first one.
So lets go:
You will need
Fabric – a non-stretch fabric that isn’t too thin/fine. ( I have used IKEA fabric on both of these as I love the hard-wearing quality)
Scissors ( obviously )
Thread/Cotton (any colour will do matching/contrasting/neon wherever your creative flare takes you!)
An Iron and Ironing board(for pressing seams.. it makes it 10 times easier when sewing!)
And of course a book or folder or whatever you want to make a cover for!
I had bought this lovely new sketchbook, and although I love the yellow by the time I am done painting and doodling in it, it will probably look terribly dirty so I am making a dark cover for it so that it can keep its nice fresh yellowness while I work in it!
Step 1…. Lay out your fabric. You need to draw out the size of the folder and book you are making it for. There are no exact measurements really for this step, as it depends on the size of your book/file and it also depends on the width of the spine.
Step 2… Measure half of the front / back cover then add that to each side of the drawn out template…
These extra bits will end up being the bits where the covers slip into and hold the cover onto the book/folder.
Step 3… Now we need to cut out the template leaving a 1cm gap around 3 of the sides of the template and a 2cm – 1 inch gap on the top edge (Click below image to see in detail…the reason for this will be obvious later so make sure you do it)
Step 4… Pressing…. Now we need to press the edges before we sew.. I can assure you that this makes sewing it up so much easier so try not to skip this step..
On the 3 1cm edges…fold the fabric up and press on the pre-drawn template line.
On the top edge that has a 2cm or 1 inch seam allowance fold the edge down to the drawn line… not on the line.
Step 5… Once all 4 sides have been pressed, you need to get out your sewing machine, hook it all up and run a straight stitch around all 4 sides around a quarter – half a cm in from the edge of the fabric…
Step 6… Creating the pockets for the sleeves… put the book/folder in the middle of you fabric evenly spaced from the top and bottom of the fabric. The excess on the left and right will become the pockets, fold one side over and press firmly to make a bit of a crease. Then sew along the top and bottom to secure it in place
The reason we added an extra cm to the seam allowance in step 3 was to make the height of the fabric 1cm bigger than the folder/book for this stage. This gives us half a cm on the top and bottom to sew this step. On my first attempt of making the cover I didn’t leave an extra bit of seam allowance for this step and really struggled to get the cover on as it was super tight.
There we have it.. slot in your book/folder and away you go!!
I hope that was relatively simple to understand and if you have any comments or questions please post below!!