That title is probably a tad optimistic, but I'm not being overly wishful when I point out that this project is going to save paper that I've had to turn into misguided scratch pads or, in a fit of annoyance based on having yet another thing sitting around, I have straight-up wasted. What, you may wonder, has turned me into the paper world's version of the cookie monster? My printer. Yes, if I need something printed, it is A-Okay, no problem. But whoops! I pressed the wrong button and now an 1100 page book is going to print out? Well guess what: I better just let that thing print because if I try to cancel the job, it will then print 1100 pages of nonsense, like it's been possessed by the wingding font family. I understand why of course: it can smell my fear. But just to taunt me a little further, the whole page is not covered, just the tops and bottoms, leaving me with a sheet of paper that is generally good for nothing. But today I seek revenge in my mad scientist laboratory! I've taken those sheets of paper, trimmed off the junk, trimmed them down into pages and now made a reusable cover for them so I can carry them in my purse! Mwahahahahahaha!
Are you ready to reclaim your paper? Oh, you don't have this problem? Ok, are you ready to see the basics of making a felt notebook slipcover for all your refillable needs? Yes! Raise your fist in the air and prepare to taste triumph!
- a thumbtack
- needle and thread
- felt for the cover (and some scrap felt)
- scissors or rotary cutter and ruler
- hot glue
First things first, if you're saving the scraps of the world, decide what size sheets would work best for you and trim your paper into that size. Since the tops and bottoms were always ruined on my paper, I decided that it would be best to just trim the sheet into 3 sections of 8.5" x 3". Trim two pages down so you have 6 smaller sheets, a good size for a homemade signature (that's what your completed sewn stack of paper will be called). Stack all the sheets together and fold short end to short end and crease thoroughly. Open the pages back up to the center. Now grab your thumbtack and your scrap felt and lay the open crease on top of the felt. Jab a hole right in the center of that crease (eyeball it). Jab another a little ways in from the top. Now jab a hole halfway between those two. Now jab another a little ways in from the bottom, with a final one halfway between that hole and the first one you made (the center one).
You will note that I have labeled these holes. You are going to sew through them in a particular pattern so thread your needle and knot the end. Bring it up through hole 1 (the center), then down through hole 2. Now bring it up through hole 3 and back down through hole 2. Bring it up through hole 1, then down through hole 4. Finally, bring it up through hole 5 and back down through hole 4. Congratulations! You have just sewn a signature!
Knot it off in the center on the outside. This will be hidden by the felt.
Now it's time to get to the felt slipcover. If you are not going the "save the world by using your scraps" route (no judgment), you will need to adjust the measurements to fit the book you do have planned. This will still give you the gist. Since my scraps are 8.5" across, it works out perfectly that your average sheet of craft felt is about 12". I trimmed it into a 12" x 3.5" rectangle. Now what isn't perfect is how floppy it is (That's what she said. Sorry! Couldn't help myself!). To solve this, you should first fold the felt short end to short end, crease lightly, open back up, and put a thin line of hot glue along that fold. Close it back up and let it set. This ends up giving you a spine of sorts.
Now you simply hem the short sides by folding each of them in enough to securely hold the pages in place. I found my ideal width was 1.25" on each side. A tiny line of hot glue along the top and bottom edge forms the pocket you need to hold the paper in place.
The last step is sliding the paper in! I found if I slid one whole side into the pocket then just slipped out all but the very front or back page, it was really easy to load.
Unassuming, but serviceable
Stay tuned! I still have a lot of ideas and I'm already thinking about some other things I can do with this slipcover! You can still leap right into Felt February, too. Your name gets added to a special blog roll. Participation through Twitter and Instagram is really simple, too. Just be sure to add #feltfeb to your description!