Tag Archives | Dritz

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!

Dritz Disappearing Ink Pen

Reported by Erin Schlosser

One pen that is has been a staple in my craft stash is the Dritz Purple Fine Point Disappearing Ink Pen. I’ve used this pen since design school when I had to label all my construction drawings with perfect hand lettering. The only way to do it well, was to have guidelines to letter with. I used the disappearing ink pen to make my guidelines, then by the time I had to turn in the assignment the guidelines were gone, and all that was left was my neatly lettered architectural writing. Most of my plans are done on the computer now but I still use this pen plenty for my crafting.

For a recent project I used it to make a patterned background with the candy border from the Schlosser Designs stamp set: Hey Cupcake.

I used the pen and marked some straight lines where I’d like the border to be stamped on my bag topper.

Tip: See how the 2nd and 3rd line are heavier than the rest? The heavier the line, the longer it will take to dry. I usually just draw the line as light as I can, as long as I can see it enough to use it for lining things up.

Here’s a close up of the completed bag topper after stamping and embossing:

I’ve used this plenty for stitching monograms on tea towels for wedding and hostess gifts. It’s great for lining up all those single alphabet stamps for scrapbooking too! It doesn’t matter if your first sketch is off, just keep drawing until you get it right. It will all disappear by the time the gift is given! If you have thicker lines, expect it to take about 24 hours to disappear completely.

Where can you find it? Most large craft retailers will carry it. It’s usually found near the sewing supplies by the tracing paper and other tracing pens. Lately, I’ve also seen a few local scrapbook stores pick it up too.

This pen will only set you back $4.99 (Or half that on Amazon—-> Dritz Fine Point Disappearing Ink Pen Purple)


  • Works great on light colored paper, fabric, and canvas
  • Gives a nice crisp line


  • Doesn’t work on medium- to dark-colored materials.
  • Doesn’t work on slick surfaces (metal, glass, etc.)
  • Doesn’t let you leave a project and come back days later to complete it. The ink will have disappeared by then.
  • Doesn’t allow you to make a birthday card just hours before the party. The ink might not be quite gone by then!

Do you have tools made for one kind of craft that you use for another? Cross-over tools? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Disclosure Schlosser Designs Stamps

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Curved Safety Pins

Reported by Susie Ziegler

“Why are they selling these broken pins? Don’t they have quality control?” This was the question my Mom asked when we were together recently at the fabric store. Those are Curved Safety Pins and they are really useful! Thus it occurred to me that many people don’t know about these unique little pins and why they are a great tool for quilting.

Of course these pins aren’t broken, they are curved so that it is easier to pin them through your quilt top, batting, and backing layers when basting a quilt in order to quilt it into a usable blanket. These little pins are found under various brands such as Fons and Porter by Prym, Dritz, and Quilt in a Day. You can find them hanging with all the pins and needles at the notions department at your local sewing and crafting store. They are also called Bent Safety Pins, or Basting Pins.

They cost about twice as much as regular safety pins, which are already not particularly expensive. I’ve been using the same package of pins since I first learned to quilt about 15 years ago. Prior to using the pins, I used long lengths of thread to baste my quilt layers together for hand quilting, but I saw these being used on a television quilt show and I quickly switched my method. Click HERE to see a tutorial on basting your quilt layers. Hers is exactly the method I use, although I tape my backing to the carpeted living room floor instead.

Take a look in my photos. On top is a typical straight safety pin. You can see that the fabric surface is puckered around the pin. Below it is the curved safety pin and the fabric lays flat. This becomes important when you are sewing your layers through your sewing machine, trying to avoid bunching and puckering:

Next is a different angle. You will be putting these pins in by hand. Notice how the ends of the curved safety pin stick up from the surface of the fabric? That makes them so much easier to open and close and puts less stress on your quilt fabric when manipulating them, a real advantage over the regular pins.

These pins are nickel plated to protect the metal from oxidation. You really aren’t supposed to leave pins in your work for very extended periods of time, because if the metal corrodes at all, you will have an impossible-to-remove stain on your quilt. However, I had this red quilt pin basted for at least 3 years before I ever got around to quilting it and I had no problems with marks. I’ve also had my set of safety pins for more than a decade and they still are like new.


  • Prevents puckering on your quilt surface
  • Sturdier than thread basting
  • Easy to insert through quilt layers
  • Easy to find, durable product, relatively inexpensive, virtually lasts forever

Cons: (So many pros… hmm..)

  • Metal can eventually corrode if you live by the salty seashore?
  • Uh… maybe you prefer thread basting, basting gun, or basting spray
  • Thread basting is preferable if you are planning to hand quilt your project. The pins will get in the way of your hoop.

I hope that you give quilting a try! It is so very satisfying to play with fabric, and your project can by loved and used for generations.

A variety of Curved Safety pins are available at… HERE

Disclosure Statement

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!