Seasonal Notebook Tutorial

board-928378_960_720Back to school season is so exciting! Sure the weather is cooling off, the pretty clothes are in, tea is finally a “must”, and my favorite season is coming soon for me to obsess over. (And I don’t have to do school anymore.) But the real reason I love the switch from summer to autumn?

Notebooks. 20 cents each. One subject. Any color.

Last year, I bought myself a dollar’s worth and stowed them away for later use. I forgot about them until last week when I decided it was time for a new notebook. (I always get more inspired this time of year.) News flash: they were ugly.

My beautiful red, purple, and green one-subjects were stained with dust. Notebooks eventually get ugly, but only with love and use.

Fortunately, I know how to cover them thanks to my older sister’s teaching years ago. Hooray for notebook remedies!

Here’s how you can re-cover yours too. (Please excuse my picture quality. I’m a Hobbit, so all angles and lighting are products of a short person in a dark room.) 😉


You will need:

Ugly notebooks

Pretty paper

Lots of glue

Pliers (ideally needle-nose)


Sewing pin

Twist tie or string



Start by unbending both ends of your notebook’s spiral so it’s straight like mine.


Begin to gently rotate your spiral to unscrew it from the holes. It will need some help, but be very gentle. You don’t want to undo the spiral, just remove it.


When you reach halfway, put a twist tie through the middle hole. This is to hold the pages and back cover together. Make sure you don’t include the front cover since you are going to decorate that separately.


You should have a stack of twist-tied pages, an intact spiral, and your cover.


Next–glue! If you are doing this on the coffee table like I did, you’ll probably want scrap paper underneath your cover. 😉 You are going to glue everything all the way to edges and over the holes! (Be sure to smooth out all glue lumps.)


Position your glue-y cover ugly side down on the back of your decorative paper and press really, really hard. Smooth it out. Get it just the way yout want then cut around it. #scissorshadow


Take your straight pin and poke through the center of the old notebook holes. Just be careful not to rip the holes any bigger than the pin size. The white backside of the paper will show on the front, and we want these notebooks pretty! If you are going to scrapbook the cover, now’s the time.


Time to spin again! You’re going to reverse what you did to take the spiral off. Just be  gentle with the spiral as you punch it through the holes in your new cover. (And remove the twist tie. That doesn’t quite count as decoration.) 😉


Bend the end! (I’m in love with pumpkin paper close-ups. Can’t you tell?)


Now decorate however you want! I left my black winter notebook plain because I love the paper just the way it is; but spring and fall got ribbons, burlap, and buttons. If you make the same mistake I did and put glue on the wrong side of your cover, cover the inside as well! (I used ripped up music paper on the inside of my spring one.) And you’re done!

These notebooks cost me 50 cents each (not including glue or decoration cost), and now I have a gorgeous receptor for each upcoming season’s inspiration!

(And guess what–Dad brought home more notebooks for us, so my younger sisters and I are gonna have another gluing session!) 😉

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and I will do my best to help you make your ugly notebook beautiful.

This post was brought to you by glue stick. 😛

9 thoughts on “Seasonal Notebook Tutorial

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