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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!

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links to Amazon.com that pay this site a commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase after clicking.]

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

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Clover Pin & Stow Magnetic Pin Holder

I 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.

Clover Pin 'n Stow Pin Holder side view

To use it is very simple. All you do is drop pins onto the light green surface on the top, and the magnet holds onto them until you need them.

Clover Pin n Stow Pin Holder

One really nice feature of the Pin Caddy is that it has a center grove that makes it really easy to pick up the pins to use them.

This is just convenient – it’s safe as well. I find it is a better idea to store my pins in a plastic case when I am not using them than leaving them on a pin cushion where my kids might access them. In the past, that was a bit of a pain whenever I was done with a sewing project because I would have to remove the pins from the cushion and put them in their plastic case. Now, I just sweep them off of the Magnetic Wrist Caddy and they drop right into the  box. It’s a more efficient way for me to work. And if I drop a few pins on the floor, I just sweep the caddy over the top of them to pick them back up. No more surprise stabbings because I missed one!

This is a great sewing accessory and exhibits the usual great quality of Clover products.

Pros:

  • Easy to pick up dropped pins.
  • The band is slightly adjustable since it just slaps on.
  • Easy to put on your wrist.

Cons:

  • It could be slightly bulky if you have really small wrist.
  • If you have small wrists, it may move around a bit.  It would be great if they offered two sizes.
  • It is a magnet so use with care if you have issues with magnets.

The Clover Pin ‘n Stow Magnetic Wrist Pin Caddy is currently available for about $13 on Amazon.com.

Review | Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Disclosure: This site is a member of the Amazon.com affiliate program and some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.

Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

The 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!

Clover Jumbo Wonderclips

Let’s start with some details about the clips:

  • The clips open to hold layers (about 3/4 of an inch) of material.
  • There is a texture on the clip end to grip material better.
  • Clips are light weight, made from plastic with a metal insert clip.
  • One side is flat – great when you have to set the project down on a flat surface to work, and for keeping a project flat while feeding into your sewing machine.
  • Flat side has 1/4″ markings, perfect for sewing.
  • Clips are easy to both attach and remove, unlike sharp pins.
  • For people with grip or motor issues, Wonder Clips are an easy to grasp alternative to pins.

All those facts are great, but seeing them in action is the best way to understand their possibilities. I used them while working on my Clover Basket Frame project.

Clover Wonderclips on Paper Basket Frame project.

They are perfect for Kumihimo projects.  I used to use a metal ring to add weight to the bottom of my braid but I found that these clips worked so much better.

Weight Metal

I started with one clip then just added more clips to increase the tension on the braid.

Clover Wonderclip to create tension for Kumihimo projects.

I also used Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips as a weight while knitting a scarf project. They came in handy for my watercolor painting class when the clip on my board broke – I just used these instead!

One thing to keep in mind when using them is that the clips will indent fabric or material from the pressure of the metal hinge of the clip, so remember that when putting aside a project for a few hours. Remove them if you are using fragile material before you put the project aside if possible. Otherwise, these are great for use in holding material during the construction of garments, multi-media projects, and more.

Pros:

  • Great for sewing, the flat clear back will not catch as you feed the fabric while sewing.
  • Affordable
  • Great for quilting and other sewing projects.
  • Plastic is easy to clean, so you can use it for any craft.
  • Easy to clean
  • Works with paper, fabric, etc. as long as the thickness is less than 3/4″

Cons:

  • If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or anything similar then these might be a bit challenging to use.
  • You will be hooked and be tempted to buy the other sizes available.
  • These are plastic so they will break if stepped on or run over by a car (don’t ask).

Have you tried Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips? What did you use them for?