Parents, do you have kids who are learning to sew? If so, I have a fun beginner-friendly project for them. Okay, okay, it’s not totally home decor, but it can make your child’s space at school decorative. This project isn’t only for students as anyone can make use of keeping important notes in a binder. Best of all, there’s an added bonus! This project gives you another use besides a way to make your binders look unique. I’ll demonstrate three styles in which you can make the reversible fabric inserts.
FABRIC USED: Cotton Fabric, Fusible Interfacing in Medium-Weight
TOOLS USED: Sewing machine**, 3 ring binder with clear view pockets, large self-healing cutting mat, 3X18” ruler, fabric chalk, spray water bottle, cotton thread, rotary cutter**, sewing clips, iron**, ironing board
If you do not have a cutting mat or rotary cutter, fabric scissors** work just as well to cut your fabric.
**Children use with adult supervision.
In this method, I purchased a fat quarter bundle* for under $6 at Walmart. For the front cover of the binder, I selected two fabric pieces from the bundle I liked and cut each fabric 11″ wide x 11″ long. Using the extra fabric from the two choices selected, I also cut each fabric 2.5″ wide x 11″ long for the bookmark. In my fabric bundle, I needed to cut away the selvage.
*In the link above, I could not find the exact print available online, but wanted to give you an idea of what I purchased.
After cutting my fabric pieces to size, I also cut the fusible interfacing in the same measurements above for the front cover and bookmark.
The next step is important. You want to make sure you place the wrong side of the fabric facing up and place the interfacing on top. The fusible interfacing usually has a shiny and dull side. I placed the shiny side down so that this part of the interfacing is touching the wrong side as pictured on the bottom left. Then I took my spray water bottle (not pictured) and lightly misted the interfacing to help it adhere to the printed fabric while ironing. If you have a pressing cloth, you can use that to iron over the interfacing. I just used the fabric I am going to use for the reverse side. Complete these steps for both the front cover and bookmark.
Once the fusible interfacing has adhered, I placed the right side of the navy feather printed fabric to the right side of the grey dreamcatcher fabric and clipped in place to prepare to sew. Using the same method as the mug rug project, I placed sewing clips around the perimeter of the square (cover) and rectangle (bookmark) and left a 5″ opening to turn each right side out. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, I sewed along the perimeter of the cover and bookmark until I reached my stopping point before the opening (right picture).
Once the cover and bookmark have been sewn, turn each right side out and iron flat. Then, turn the raw edges of the opening fabric inward and pin closed. You may either hand stitch the opening closed or machine stitch. I opted to use the sewing machine. I topstitched around the perimeter of the cover and bookmark, which also closes the opening.
This is the final look! All you have to do is insert the fabric inside the front binder pocket and go!
Here’s the bonus! You can use the front cover you made as a personal placemat to put your favorite snacks while you study.
I hope you enjoyed this project. Let this be a starting point for your creativity! You can play around with different fabric colors, patterns, and measurements. The possibilities are endless to make your one of a kind notebook!