Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Several years ago I began using a traveler’s notebook. When I first bought it, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not, but over time I’ve grown to love it! I particularly love the idea of being able to use several different styles of notebooks such as a writing notebook, a sketchbook, and a calendar, and other assorted notepads – all wrapped up neatly in a lovely folder.

The standard size traveler’s notebook is about 4-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and is the perfect size for carrying with me when I go on photography excursions, when I’m traveling, and even for everyday use. I can sketch, take notes and reminders, and capture all my creative ideas wherever I am – all in one place.

Over the years I’ve even designed many of my own “creative” inserts and accessories with lovely imagery and words to keep me inspired.

DIY Creative Artistry Traveler's Notebook

I’m happy to share that I’ve now designed a range of printables that you can use to create your own creative traveler’s notebook. The Creative Artistry range of printables in traveler’s journal size can be found here in my online store, and includes an art journal, inserts including lines, grid and dots, pocket folder, and journal cards – more than enough to make your own beautiful Creative Artistry Traveler’s Journal.

But what good are inserts without a cover! So here’s a free tutorial showing you how I make mine. I hope you enjoy!

The Art of Whimsical LetteringI’ll be using this journal as part of my daily artistic practice during April so I’ll be sharing some tips and techniques as I go along. I particularly want to teach myself some modern lettering techniques and I think this is the perfect journal to work with using this book which I’ve had sitting around for ages.

How to Make Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover

This traveler’s journal cover is made using Peltex which is a rigid heavyweight stabilizer. This stabilizer is perfect for making these types of journal covers plus you can sew through it easily.

This journal cover is very quick to make. I used some of my hand-dyed fabric and I left the edges raw because I like them that way. However you could use any type of fabric at all and turn the edges under if you prefer. Just add a bit more seam allowance when cutting the fabric, then turn it under before sewing.

Supplies

Scroll down to the end of this post for links to the supplies that I’ve used.

  • one piece of double-sided fusible heavyweight Peltex 72 or similar cut 10-1/2″ wide x 8-3/4″ high
  • two pieces of fabric cut 11″ wide x 9-1/4″ high
  • sewing machine
  • eyelet hole punch and setter
  • eyelets
  • elastic cord

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Instructions

Center one piece of fabric on one side of the fusible stabilizer and iron with a hot iron.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Center the other piece of fabric on top of the other side of the fusible stabilizer and iron with a hot iron.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Using a sewing machine, sew all the way around the outer edge of the stabilizer two or three times. Trim the fabric around the edges to 1/8″ then roughen up the fabric a little to fray it.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Measure halfway across the top edge, from one edge of the stabilizer to the other, and put a pin marker at 5-1/4″ which should be the halfway mark. Measure 1/2″ down from the top edge of the stabilizer, and using a sharpie or other type of black marker, make a mark 1/4″ away from the pin marker on both sides. The distance between the marks should be 1/2″. Do the same along the bottom edge. Measure half-way down from the top edge and make one mark along the center.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Using an eyelet punch, punch five holes over the sharpie marks.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

With the right side facing up, use an eyelet punch to attach the eyelets. I made 3/16″ eyelets which are quite large, but this will let me add an extra band of elastic if I want to add extra notebooks.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Cut a length of elastic cord approximately 20″ long. With the inside of the cover facing up, thread the cord through the top right eyelet to the outside, then back inside through the top left eyelet.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Thread the end of the elastic through the bottom left eyelet to the outside, then back inside through the bottom right eyelet. Make sure the elastic is taut but not too tight, then tie off in a knot. Trim the ends. This is what the inside looks like.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

This is what the outside looks like.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Cut another piece of elastic cord 14″. Thread both ends through from the outside to the inside and tie off in a knot. Trim the ends. This is the closure band.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

I threaded a word band through the elastic before I tied it off.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Wrap the closure band around the cover and adjust the elastic bands if necessary.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Attach the inserts

This is very easy to do, but a little difficult to explain, so here goes …

Cut two pieces of elastic cord 17″ long. Tie the ends in a knot to make two circular elastic bands.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

To join two inserts together, open one insert halfway and wrap an elastic band around it.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Open the other insert halfway and slip it through the elastic band at the back of the first insert.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

The two inserts are joined with an elastic band.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Open the cover and slip the second insert underneath the elastic on the left side of the cover.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

To make a three insert notebook, simply open another insert halfway and slip it underneath the elastic band on the right side.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

To make a four insert notebook, join the two inserts with the spare elastic band, and slip the second insert underneath the elastic on the right side of the cover, in the same way as the first two.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Wrap the elastic closure around the notebook and make any final adjustments to the elastic bands. They should be taut without being too tight.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Now I have a complete traveler’s notebook for my creative adventures.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

An art journal with lots of lovely painted pages.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

A writing notebook.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

A folder to hold loose papers.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

A sketch notebook with blank pages.

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Creative Artistry: Traveler's Notebook Cover Tutorial

Phew! That’s it!

I hope you have fun making your very own creative journal!

 

Creative Art'n'Soul Journaling

 


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