Sunday, 29 September 2013

How to cover a spiral bound notebook.

When I first started covering spiral bound notebooks I used to butt the paper up by the binding. This works fine but you do see a bit of the original cover were the spiral binding is which can spoil the look sometimes. I scanned you tube and the web to find a way to cover in-between the spirals, this little tutorial is not original and is an amalgamation of tutorials, I can't remember which ones, but if one of them was yours please contact me so that I can give you credit and link to your tutorial.
  • Hardback Spiral Bound Notebook
  • Two 12” x 12” sheets of DSP
  • A4 card for inside lining
  • Sticky strip and tombo or glue stick
  • Pencil, ruler, trimmer, bone folder, post it notes
  • Crop-a-dile or 1/8” hole punch
  • Papers, card, ribbon stamp sets, punches etc to decorate.


  • Tear a page out of the notebook to use as a template for hole spaces.
  • Measure the length and width  of your notebook cover.
  • Cut your DSP so it is 2” longer and 1” wider. (If the pattern on your DSP has a direction to it, e.g. stripes or flowers, make sure it is facing the way you want it before you cut it!)
  • My notebook was 6” x 8 ½” so I cut two sheets of DSP to measure 7” x 10 ½”
  • Turn DSP so the pattern you want showing is face down on the table.
  • Place your page template on the DSP so that the side with the holes is on the edge of your DSP and you have a 1" gap at the other side, bottom and top.
  • Use a pencil to draw inside the holes, remove template.
  • Now place your other sheet of DSP underneath the sheet with the holes marked, (the ‘front’ patterns should both be on the inside) secure together with some post it notes.
  • Punch out the holes using crop–a-dile or whole punch then make a diagonal cut from the edge of the page to the hole.  
  • If you open up your book you will see that the closure of the spine is at the back of the book, keep this in mind when you are covering your book!
  • I find it easier to put the paper on the cover if I open the book up. Use a bone folder to push the paper between the rings of the spine and glue to the front of the book using tombo or glue stick.
  • (If you haven’t got a 1/8” hole punch or you are in a hurry you could cut the width of your DSP about a ¼” shorter and but it up to the edge of the binding so the edge of the book under the spine will remain uncovered.)

  • Open your cover to the inside. Fold the edges of your paper over, reinforce the fold using a bone folder then unfold. Snip a little rectangle off  above the spine so that the paper will lay flat when you stick it down, (you can see it in the corner of picture).

  • To mitre the corners, fold the corners up so that the score lines from your previous fold remain vertical and horizontal, unfold. Using this fold line as a guide use a pencil and ruler to draw a line leaving about 1/8” between the corner edge of book and your line. Cut corner off.

  • Fold the edges back down and check the join at the corner is neat, (if not trim), then stick down using sticky strip.
  • Cover the front and back of the notebook.
  • Decorate the front cover of your notebook as desired.
  • Optional - I used the stretchy ruffle ribbon as a closure/decorative feature. Use sticky strip to secure the edges of the ribbon to the inside of the back cover. This will be covered by your lining.

  • To line the inside of the covers cut your card stock or DSP slightly smaller than the size of your cover. I Cut mine   8 ¼” x 5 ½” and stick on the inside of covers.
  • You can jazz it up as much as you like, I made a little pocket for the inside front of mine

Here is my finished notebook:

These notebooks make great gifts, use them for recipes, journals. idea books, the list is endless and you can let your creativity go wild. Enjoy!


  1. Thankyou for posting this! I found it on pinterest when I was looking for some way to pretty-up unappealing book covers and think I might give it a go :)

  2. Please let me know if you give it a go, I'd love to see what you come up with. They are fun and make great personal gifts.