Ric rac and paint decorate a canvas cover for a spiral bound journal. Hand made memory books are common this time of year. This particular one is a Gratitude Journal. This journal cover protects the spiral binding so that I can toss my book into my bag and not worry about it getting caught on things. It also gives me one more surface to embellish!
Step 1 Measure the width of the journal and the length from page tip to page tip.
This should be done with the journal closed. I used a bit of trim that was the same thickness as the material I planned on using to cover my journal. The length of fabric needed to cover an item will vary depending on the fabrics thickness. I stretched my trim from cover to cover and over the spiral binding then laid this on a yardstick for the final measurement.
Step 2 Add 1 inch to the width and 3 inches to the length. Cut fabric to size.
I was using scraps of canvas so I didn't have one the correct length. I knew I would have to piece my cover together. I choose two pieces the right width and an inch more than the right length when added together.
Step 3 Sew a basting stitch 1/2 an inch from either edge down the length of the fabric.
Although this step is not strictly necessary, I have discovered that my rolled hems are not very even when I just eye-ball them. If I give myself a folding line the rolled hem turns out much better. A basting stitch is a long loose stitch that is easy to remove.
Step 4 Sew a rolled hem on either side of the fabrics length.
The purpose of a rolled hem is to trap the raw edge so it doesn't ravel out. To do this, fold the fabric twice so that the raw edge is hidden in the second fold. Fold the fabric in 1/4" increments with the right side down and the wrong side up. When you have folded it correctly the basting line will run straight down the outside edge of the fabric. The right side is the outside with any decoration. The wrong side is the inside, with the seam edges and hidden stitching. After you have sewn your seams pull the basting stitch free.
Step 5 Turn the ends of the fabric under 1/2 an inch and sew a seam 1/4 inch from the folded edge. We will not be making a rolled hem on the ends because the thicknesses of fabric increases with each roll and the needle has difficulty piercing all the layers. This end is rolled under when the pocket is formed and the raw edge will be protected.
Step 6 Make a pocket to slip over the journal cover at each end. Fold 1 inch of the fabric over (wrong sides together) so that the raw edge from Step 5 is hidden. Use a blind stitch along the overlap at each end to hold the pocket in place.
The blind stitch is one of my favorite hand sewing techniques. When this stitch is done properly the thread is completely invisible. It makes me feel like a MAGICIAN! Side a and side b are both hemmed leaving a 1/4" space along the edges to be joined. I used red thread for contrast, a thread that blends with your fabric is preferable for this stitch.
Step 1 The stitch begins on side b. Pull the needle through, anchoring the knot inside the hem space. Insert the needle in side a, directly across from where the thread emerged in side b. Slide needle in the hem space for 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch, exit the hem space still on side a.
Step 2 Insert the needle in side b, directly across from where the thread emerged in side a. Slide needle in the hem space for 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch, exit the hem space still on side b.
Step 3 Continue this pattern for the length of the seam, alternating sides.
Step 4 Pull the thread snug so that the edges match up exactly, but not so tight they pucker, and knot off thread.
Decorating Tips For The Journal Cover
To give my journal cover the look of a bound book I added strips of ric rac trim where it bent around the spiral binding. The finished length of my cover is 16 inches, from edge to edge. The ric rac trim that curves around the binding is in 4" lengths.
I chose felt trim because the ends do not ravel out. I sewed the pieces that run the width of my cover onto the fabric, then snipped the ends so they were the exact length I wanted.
I added the flourish design to the front of the cover using Tattered Angels High Impact Paint and a stencil. I tend to get too much paint on my brush when stenciling which results in a smeared design. Instead, I prefer to use a cotton round (the sort for make-up removal) to apply the paint through the stencil.
My final step was adding the Beaded Rose Ornament. A couple of quick stitches hold it in place, but a good fabric glue would do the same.
Canvas Scraps and Burlap Flower:Canvas Corp
Red Paint:Tattered Angels
Red Paint:Tattered Angels
Felt Ric Rac:Little Yellow Bicycle
I decorated the Burlap Flower using the Beaded Rose Ornament tutorial.