Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Designer School Supplies Tutorial 1: Notebooks and Folders

My oldest is starting kindergarten in a few weeks! Where has the time gone??? I was so excited to buy school supplies and then I saw how much they cost. The generic notebooks and folders were super cheap, but anything with Disney characters was ridiculous! I decided to stock up on the cheap supplies and buy fabric to cover the notebooks and folders myself. I'm so glad I did! I saved a ton of money, had a fun little project to keep me occupied, and I honestly think mine look so much better than the pre-made ones.

Materials needed:
fabric of your choice
hot glue
heat bonding strips

To cover the folders:
Covering the folders was a bit of a pain, but totally worth it in the end.
First, take the folder apart so it can be laid flat.

Place the folder onto your fabric and trace around it leaving a half inch extra on all sides.
Cut out the fabric.
You can use heat bonding strips and an iron to adhere the fabric to the outside of the folder or you can cover the outside with Mod Podge and lay the fabric over it. I Mod Podged the first folder and it came out perfect.
Next, fold the remaining fabric over the edges of the folds and glue them in place.
Ignore the hideous table top!
Put the folds back in place starting with the top and the pocket. Next, hot glue the side folds back in place. This will secure the top fold (I recommend hot gluing that as well) and the pocket in place.

Voila'! A perfect designer folder!

If you are OCD like me you can stencil your child's initials with fabric paint.

To cover a spiral notebook:
This was more difficult than covering a composition book because  the spirals cannot be covered, but it still turned out really cute.
Measure the front cover of your notebook and add a half inch to an inch all around.
Fold and iron the edge that will be against the metal spiral.
Apply the heat bonding strips to the back of the fabric and iron according to the directions.

Remove the paper backing of the heat bond strips and line up the fabric with the notebook cover making sure that the extra inch is evenly over the remaining 3 sides. Iron the fabric to the cover.
**You can also choose to Mod Podge the fabric to the cover**
Fold the edges of the fabric over the inside of the notebook cover and adhere in place with glue or heat bonding strips.

The frayed edges will be visible, so cover them with some pretty ribbon.
Congratulations! You just turned a boring notebook and folder into something all the kids will be envious of!

Next, I'll show you how to cover a boring pencil case and even glamify your pencils!

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  1. These are so much fun. We homeschool so I won't be sending my boys off with new school supplies in the fall, but I think this would make great gifts though. Stock up on the clearance stuff after school starts and you could make some great custom gifts for the holidays super cheap. Plus I think the fabric will help the folders make it through the school year instead of falling apart after two weeks. Thanks for the awesome idea!

  2. These look great! I used to love covering my books and folders for school, might have to cover my note book instead.

  3. so cool!! If you use a hole punch for the holes and then put fray check on the fabric you would even be able to put it in a 3 ring binder. Off to find some fabric that my girls will like!!

  4. I absolutely luv this idea! I'll be sharing this idea with a few of my friends...craft party anyone? Thanks for sharing!

  5. What an adorable DIY project! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Happy Monday!

  6. This is perfect timing! I love how it looks put together, and I agree with the other comments, perhaps the folders will be sturdy enough to last all year. Off to shop for fabric! :)

  7. Love this craft-brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

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