Diary Cover Tutorial

Posted by Jodie Pascoe on

A handmade diary/notebook cover is the perfect project to showcase a special fabric, trim or feature one of of our beautiful hand embroidery patterns. It makes a beautiful teachers gift, or something just for you! Use your off cuts for a zero waste, environmentally friendly cover! This tutorial is suitable for any sized notebook.

Check out our new Azalea embroidery pattern that will give your diary a personal touch and make it extra special!



Notebook or diary - any size!


Optional: (If you wish to have a closure) button, leather cord, ribbon or twine

Removable sewing marker

Sewing needles

Iron and ironing board

Pins or clips

Scissors or rotary cutter, mat and ruler






1/ Place the diary on a piece of fabric (wrong side up) and open the front cover out flat. Using a removable sewing marker, trace around the entire diary, being sure to push down in the center to include the spine.


2/ Add a seam allowance of 1/2” (1.3cm) around the entire cover. If you are adding embroidery, place your design on the project and embroider it in the desired position before moving to the next step!



3/ Cut this piece out and use this as a pattern template to cut another piece the same size that will become the lining. You will now have one main cover, and a lining piece. TIP: At this point, add some sweet trim to the cover, ensuring that it is in the correct position on the front cover.



4/ To create the slip cover, trace around the diary once more, this time with the cover closed. Add a seam allowance of 1/2” (1.3cm) around the entire piece.



5/ Cut out and use this piece as a template to cut another. These two pieces will become your slip piece that will hold the cover on to the book.

Fold both slip pieces in half vertically, with wrong sides together. Press and top stitch the folded edge.


6/ Take the slip pieces and place one at either end on the right side of LINING cover piece (with the top stitched sides facing in toward the center) and baste into place on the either side of the lining. 


 7/ If you would like to add a closure, take the main cover piece and on the side that will be the back of the diary, place the optional cord/twine/leather closure where desired and baste into place.



8/ Place and pin/clip the cover lining together with the main, right sides together. The slip pieces will be sandwiched in between. Sew around the entire cover leaving a 2” gap in the bottom center of the cover.



9/ Clip the corners to allow the cover to sit nicely when turned right side out. Turn the diary cover ride side out. Press. Hand stitch the small opening closed and add the optional button closure to the centre front if desired.



Insert the diary/notebook into the slip pieces. Your cover is now complete!

Happy Sewing,

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