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How To Sew Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover

Traveler’s journals are hot right now, and they are perfect for creating mini scrapbooks while you are actually on your trip. But did you know that it is surprisingly easy to create your own cover that is themed to your trip? In only a few steps, you can learn how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover!

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How to sew your own traveler's journal cover

Since I was anticipating spending a few days in Paris as part of my trip to Creativeworld in Frankfurt, I decided to make myself a Paris themed journal to record this long-awaited trip. My traveler’s journal cover holds three Midori Traveler’s Notebook refills – just enough to have one for each day in Paris, and one for my time in Frankfurt at the show.

How To Sew Your Own Traveler's Journal Cover

You do not have to be an advanced skill sewist to learn how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover. There are no fancy techniques in this project. It’s about choosing the right materials and tools. If you can use an iron and an eyelet setter, and sew a straight line, you can make your own traveler’s journal cover for your next trip!

DIY Traveler’s Journal Supplies:

How To Sew Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover:

1) To begin, cut your fabric and interfacing to sizes indicated in supply list.

I selected a Paris themed fabric for my journal, to fit my theme, and used the same fabric for the inside and outside of the journal. If you’d like to have different colors or patterns on the inside and outside of your journal, just cut each 10″ x 12″ fabric panel from different fabrics. This project is great for using up leftover fabric!

ByAnnie’s Soft & Stable, if you have never used it, is what is known as “headliner” fabric – an extremely thick sewable interfacing that is perfect for giving structure to projects like bags and totes. Using it adds a whole new level of professionalism to your sewing, and it makes a great shortcut to stiffen this traveler’s journal cover.

2) Following the package instructions, iron a piece of the Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Lite onto one side of each of the pieces of Soft & Stable. Center each of the pieces of Soft & Stable on top of the back side of a piece of the fabric with the Heat’n Bond side down, and iron to adhere.

3) You should now have two pieces of fabric with a piece of Soft & Stable adhered to the center of the back of them, with a half inch of fabric showing all around it.

4) Fold the corners of the seam allowance in diagonally and iron in place. Then fold over the sides and iron in place as well. (By folding the corners in first, this will leave you with nice clean mitred corners!)

5) After trimming it down slightly, iron the remaining sheet of Heat’n Bond Lite onto the back of one of the cover pieces. Then lay the other cover piece back to back with it, make sure they are correctly aligned, and iron to adhere them together with the Heat’n Bond.

6) Sew around the outside edge of the covers with a sewing machine, stitching approximately 1/8″ from the edge. If necessary, pin the two covers together to keep the edges aligned while sewing.

How to sew your own traveler's journal cover

Now you have the structure of a cover, but it needs attachments for the journal books. My finished cover looked like the photo above. It has two loops of elastic cord, anchored in different ways to hold the three journal books.

First, you need to create the eyelets that are the anchors of the whole cord system.

7) Using a tool like a CropADile or a leather punch, make two holes 5/32″ or slightly smaller that are centered 1/4″ in from the edge along the center fold of your traveler’s journal cover.

8) Place the 5/32″ two part eyelets in the holes and firmly set them using the Dritz 2 Part Eyelet Tool.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

9) Cut a piece of round elastic cord that is slightly more than twice the height of your traveler’s journal cover. Thread it snugly through the eyelet holes and knot it at the bottom of the outside of the cover’s spine. Snip off the excess cord and apply Dritz Fray Check to keep the ends from fraying.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

10) For the second cord, cut a piece of cord just slightly longer than the distance between the two eyelets. Fold the cord in half and holding both strands together, tie a half knot to create a loop. Trim the ends and apply Dritz Fray Check to secure them.

11) Thread the loop through the eyelet at the top of the traveler’s journal cover, leaving the knot on the outside of the cover. Pull the loop so that it lays underneath the elastic that is threaded through both eyelets. (See picture after #6 above for reference.)

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

12) Open a journal book to the center staples and slide it under the loop that goes through both eyelets. Close the journal book, capturing the elastic in the center page. This book is now your center of the three journal books.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

13) Insert the center page of a journal book through each of the elastics on either side of the center journal book.

how to sew your own traveler's journal cover

14) To keep your journal closed, cut a piece of round elastic cord that fits snugly around the closed journal and tie it. snip the ends and treat with Dritz Fray Check to protect from fraying.

Your journal is complete! I chose three blank books for my journal, but there are lined, graph, and plenty other types of Midori journal books available. Mix and match to create space for writing and drawing, or whatever else you can imagine!

Once you know how to sew your own traveler’s journal cover, it is easy! You won’t be able to stop making them! I’m already planning my next one!

Review | Clover Pin ‘n Stow Magnetic Wrist Pin Caddy

Clover Pin & Stow Magnetic Pin HolderI recently had a chance to try out the Clover Pin ‘n Stow Magnetic Wrist Pin Caddy, and really like it. I found the Caddy to be a more convenient way than the more traditional pin cushion to hold my pins while pining my sewing project. If I am doing adjustments on my costume while using the mannequin, I prefer to not have to bend down to add a pin to my pin cushion. This product solved that problem!

The Pin ‘n Stow Magnetic Wrist Pin caddy was so easy to use. The green wrist part is adjustable and just slaps onto the wrist. It is also soft and quite comfortable to wear. Continue Reading →

Upcycle a Skirt for Earth Day!

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I decided, in preparation for Earth Day here on Craft Critique, to head out to my local thrift store and see what I could find that could be repurposed or updated to be more useful.

The key to this kind of thrifting is to look at pieces not for what they are, but for what they could be. You’re not looking for pieces that are perfect. You’re looking for pieces that are perfect in their imperfection – meaning that they have solid bones that you can work with.

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Tote Bag Project | Pattern Modifications

One of the reasons to sew is to create an item that is exactly what it is you want or need. Even with the large selection of available patterns, you may find yourself not finding one that is quite perfect for what you want to make. No problem…just find one that is close and modify it!

On the pink and blue tote bag project, I sewed exactly to the pattern. But on the larger black and yellow one, I made a few modifications to tweak it to meet my needs exactly. I wanted to maximize the space to use it as a carry-on for an international trip, and add a few features.

Black Yellow Tote Continue Reading →

Tote Bag Project | Making Color Choices

While many of Craft Critique’s readers are familiar with my papercrafting work from Scrapbook Update, you may not know that I also have been sewing since I was in elementary school. Sewing runs strong through my family. I was taught to sew by my mother, and for a long time my paternal grandmother and aunt owned a quilt shop together in my hometown. I grew up wearing handmade garments and surrounded by fabric and sewing machines.

This week, I’ll be sharing a series of articles detailing my latest sewing projects, a pair of tote bags:

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Review | Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

Clover Jumbo Wonder ClipsThe Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips have proven to be the essential tool for many of my crafting needs. These nifty little clips can be used for so many different crafting, sewing, knitting, and jewelry making activities. I am over the moon with them! When I first was sent the package by our editor Nancy, I thought at first “what the heck do I use these for?” Needless to say, once I started playing with them, I realized their potential! Continue Reading →