Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

How To Make An Upcycled Bookbound Journal and #sewingsanta update!


I am quietly fuming after being (very kindly) informed that someone is selling my Greengate Style Baby Poncho pattern on eBay, even using the original photograph from my blog!

It’s not just the fact that they are making money from my design, but that people are paying for it when it is available for free. Maddening.

Anyway, being the sharing, caring folk that we Crafters are, I have another tutorial for you – a Bookbound Journal.


I made mine using part of a hide of turquoise leather that I had leftover from a previous project, but you could use boiled wool, felt, cardboard – anything really. This was constructed entirely from stuff I had already so was completely free to make, which was essential as it went into my #sewingsanta parcel and I had already reached my spending limit.

So, here we go.

How To Make A Bookbound Journal

You will need: –

16-20 sheets paper (I used a mix of plain, squared, lined, coloured and notelet)

Cover Material which doesn’t fray (Leather, Cardboard, Felt, Boiled wool etc)

Waxed Cotton/Strong Thread

Magnetic Closure

Bradawl/Craft Knife

1. Stack your paper in piles of 4 or 5 and fold in half to make a ‘signature’. I made 4 signatures to go in my book.


2. Using a bradawl or other sharp pointed tool, pierce four holes through the fold at regular intervals making sure you go through all the layers of paper.



I use an old magazine underneath to protect my table.


3. Fold and stack all your signatures neatly together and lay on your chosen cover material. Cut around leaving about half a centimetre all round.

If you want to make a flap to close the journal, you can extend the fabric as shown below.



4. Mark a line about half a centimetre onto the fabric, directly in line with the holes in the signatures.



5. Cut through the fabric at these markings using a craft knife.


6. Thread a needle with a length of waxed cotton (or strong thread) twice the measurement of the spine of your journal.


7. Starting at the bottom, pass the needle through the hole in the first signature and the slit in the cover from the inside to the outside as shown below. Leave a tail of thread about 5cm long.


8. Pass the needle back through the second slit and signature.


10. Continue in this way until you reach the top, then weave your way back down to the bottom in the same way.



11. Tie the ends together and trim for a neat finish.




12. Add all the other signatures in the same way.



13. If you’ve added a flap, now is the time to add a closure of your choice. It can be a simple length of leather knotted at one end, slipped through a slit and wrapped around or a magnetic snap fastening as I have used.


14. Attach following the manufacturers instructions and cover the snap with a decorative feature button or piece of fabric. I made a bespoke needle felted button using three colours.



You could use handmade paper with deckled edges to make it really special, or just stick to printer paper to keep it simple, but I rather like using several different types of paper to make it more interesting.




I can’t show you what it looks like from the top because it is personalized with the recipient’s initial, but you get the idea.


I wrapped it up, popped it in the parcel along with lots of other goodies (blogged about here) and posted it First Class today, so somebody should be getting a big box from #sewingsanta in the post tomorrow! How exciting!

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

32 thoughts on “How To Make An Upcycled Bookbound Journal and #sewingsanta update!

  1. Wow! Your #sewingsanta just keeps getting better and better 🙂 This looks very professional.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are just too clever!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A brilliant tutorial and a wonderful gift too! I sympathise about the ”stealing” aspect as I have had something similar on Etsy with a person making a pattern for my peg bag designs – though not at all of my quality!… though still, they were making money from stealing my idea…It’s so infuriating and even more so for you, as you are ‘giving’ the pattern for free! I love there is no end to your new and informative posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words – I got the pattern removed without having to go down the official route by just threatening to contact eBay. I recognized patterns from other blogs too and if I can remember which ones they are I will let them know.


  4. love this. I saw this for sale on a bookstore in our country though a bit pricey but will do this probably after my German class. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fab tutorial but I outraged on your behalf re the poncho pattern. That is just THEFT.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t even believe someone is trying to make money with your idea!! Is there any way to let people know with a review or something?
    This is a pretty cool notebook idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michelle – I contacted them directly and told them to remove the listing which they did immediately. I guess they’re just after easy money and don’t make a fuss if challenged. It still stinks though:)


  7. Report the seller to ebay and get the listing removed. I think I found the culprit and they’re selling loads of other free patterns. It’s shocking, really

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is amazing!!! What a parcel that #sewingsanta haul is going to be!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the blue of that leather. I keep being amazed at the variety of your crafting!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an amazingly made and beautiful gift! Lucky, lucky recipient! Thanks so much for sharing! Straight out terrible for you to find out people are making money on something you so graciously shared ….. I’m sure ebay is taking care of this! Marianne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love those kind of covers!!! thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What an amazing tutorial, many thanks for sharing it’s defiantly on my to do list.
    I’m outraged that some one would be brazen enough to sell a pattern you so kindly posted for free!!! I downloaded uMark5 a free app to watermark my photo’s, that way my photos are traceable back to my sites, I hope this incident hasn’t left a bitter taste, take care x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, please do have a go, it’s very quick and easy but looks quite impressive as a gift. I do watermark my Day Job photos but, as blogging is for fun not business, I don’t really want to. I rather like to think of bloggers as nice people and nasty, thieving eBayers as the occasional spanner in the works. I’ve decided not to let it upset me and to continue sharing regardless:)

      Liked by 1 person

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