This is a really stylish way to pretty up a plain paper journal. I love to use linen or heavy cotton fabrics, stitch the edges and decorate with buttons, ribbon, twine or string. These journals don’t need to be feminine; a strong, graphic print or a simple colour combination works really well for a unisex or more masculine design.


1. Open your journal up and place it on top of the pretty fabric and calico. Trace a shape roughly 1 cm (½ in) larger than the journal, with 3 cm (1¼ in) extra on the left and right sides to form flaps.

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2. Sandwich the iron-on adhesive between the two fabrics, pin and trim to the same size. Follow the instructions of the iron-on adhesive to fuse the fabrics together.

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3. Measure and mark out the width and height of the spine, front and back of the journal, as well as the flaps. Align each part of the journal on the fabric to ensure it all fits. (This is crucial!)

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4. Trim to size, making sure you leave 1 cm (½ in) at the top and bottom of the journal cover to prevent frayed edges. Iron down the flaps and the excess at the top and bottom.

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5. Wrap around the journal, making sure everything fits snugly.

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6. Hem the top and bottom edges of the journal cover with a needle and thread. Stitch a button to the front of the journal and wrap twine or ribbon around it to secure and finish.

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For more ideas on thoughtful gifts and gestures make sure you check out Michelle Mackintosh’s new book Care Packages.

Text taken from Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh. Published by Hardie Grant Books and available now where all good books are sold.