Who needs boring old notebooks! With these guides, you’ll find plenty of ways to spruce up old notepads and give them a new lease of life with these amazing embroidered notebook tutorials.
The first tutorial is this lovely paper embroidered notebook tutorial by Meredith Crawford, where she’ll take you through step-by-step to decorate your paper notebooks with cute embroidered patterns, there are three to choose from but we are showing you the ‘things to create’ design.
Our second tutorial is for a fabric notebook cover designed by Miriam Polak for Love Embroidery issue 2. You can embellish a treasured notebook or journal with a chic motif stitched on calico using a trio of simple stitches.
Project 1 – For the paper embroidered notebook:
You will need:
• A plain card/paper notebook
• Embroidery thread in a variety of colours
• Embroidery needle
• A pencil
• Drawing paper
How to make paper embroidered notebook
Pick a notebook with a sturdy cover that’s strong enough to support a needle and thread. The cover should be blank so you can add your own design.
Practice doodling your cover design on a separate piece of paper until you’re ready to draw it on the cover. Experiment with different sizes of type, and doodles with basic shapes so you can embroider along the outline with ease.
Using a pencil, draw your design on the notebook cover. Cleanly erase any smudges before you begin embroidering.
Take the needle and poke holes through the cover that are evenly spaced around the outline of your design.
Select your embroidery thread colours for the design.
Get a length of embroidery thread and tie a knot at the end. I typically use two or three strands of the standard six-strand embroidery thread. Change the thickness to suit your design.
Embroider your design using a backstitch. Bring the needle up through the first hole and down through the second. Bring the needle up through the third and back down through the second. Repeat this process all the way around.
When you change colours, weave in the ends by running the needle and thread under a few stitches. Tie a little knot for extra security. Use the scissors to cut the excess thread.
Continue embroidering your design being careful not to rip the cover.
Project 2 – For the fabric notebook cover:
You will need:
- Calico: 44x24cm
- Stranded cotton: 1 skein each of light blue, dark blue, light brown, dark brown, chestnut, cream, pink
- A5 notebook
- Basic embroidery kit
Download the free notebook cover template
Download free notebook cover template.
How to make the fabric notebook cover
Fold fabric around notebook. Decide where you want the centre of design to be, and mark this point. Mount fabric in a hoop with the marked point in the centre. Transfer the design from the template onto the fabric using your preferred method, ensuring the centre of the design sits over the marked point. We used a heat-erasable pen.
Work arms and legs in Long and Short Stitch in one strand of light brown. Work face, neck and tummy in Satin Stitch in one strand of light brown. Embroider skirt in Long and Short Stitch in three strands of chestnut, T-shirt in Long and Short Stitch in three strands of cream, and shoes in Satin Stitch
in two strands of cream.
Use Stem Stitch to fill in hair and bun using three strands of dark brown.
From top of pile down, stitch books as follows: Book 1: Satin Stitch using two strands of light blue. Book 2: cover in Stem Stitch using two strands of pink, pages in Long and Short Stitch using one strand of cream. Book 3: cover in Stem Stitch using two strands of chestnut, pages in Long and Short Stitch using one strand of cream. Book 4: Satin Stitch using two strands of pink. Book 5: Satin Stitch using two strands of dark blue. Book 6: cover in Stem Stitch in two strands of light blue, pages in Long and Short Stitch in one strand of cream. Book 7: Satin Stitch in two strands of chestnut. Book 8: cover in Stem Stitch in two strands of dark blue, pages in Long and Short Stitch in one strand of cream.
Work plant in dark blue. Work stem in Stem Stitch in one strand and leaves in Satin Stitch in two strands. Work one vertical half of leaf at a time. Work plant pot in Stem Stitch in two strands of light brown.
Turn raw edges of fabric under by 1.5cm to WS and press. Hem fabric in Running Stitch in two strands of cream. Fold fabric around notebook ensuring it’s centred, then fold and pin short edges around front and back covers to form slip pockets. Remove notebook, press, then slip stitch the pockets into place at the top and bottom of the notebook cover.
That’s it! Now you’ve successfully jazzed up your old notebooks or diaries with our embroidered notebook ideas, get inspired with lots of other free embroidery patterns right here on Gathered. Try our lovely flower embroidery pattern, perfect for upcycling old clothes. Or if you are looking for a way to make a special gift for someone and want to use your embroidery skills, check out this embroidered shoes article, we even have a tutorial on how to make placemats, which are also another great stocking filler. If you prefer not to hand stitch and want to learn more about machine embroidery, we also have a fab guide to the best embroidery machine on the market to get you started.