1 standard size composition book
Vinyl in the color of your choice cut in 5 pieces in the following sizes:
Cover 10 1/4″ x 15 1/2″
Inside cover edges (cut 2) 10 1/4″ by 3 1/2″
Pencil/pen holder 2 1/2″ x 1 1/”2
Tie for wrapping 1/4″ x ” 10″
1 shank button
leather machine needle (or jean needle)
Vinyl is not forgiving of any holes that you place into it. Pin pieces together sparingly, but be certain to carefully pin the inside cover edges, or else they will slip.
Pin together pieces as shown in the picture above (however, I would strongly recommend using more pins than I did!):
Put the cover wrong side up. On the left side, put the inside cover edge on top, lining up edges.
On the right side, put the cover edge also right side up, lining up edges, but do not pin.
Fold the pencil/pen holder in half, wrong sides together. Place between the two cover pieces, with 1/2″ under the cover edge. The top of the pencil holder is 2 inches from the top. Pin in place. (Note: this allows room for a thicker pen. If you want it tighter for a standard-size pencil, you can place 5/8″ between the covers).
Place tie in the very center of the right hand side (5″ down from the top), between cover edges, wrong side up. Pin in place. Now pin the rest of the cover down, carefully matching edges.
Set your sewing machine to stitch at the longest stitch length. As you sew together two layers on vinyl or more, the machine will want to make miniscule stitches. Sew slowly, and carefully use your left hand to guide (and pull) the vinyl through the machine and over the feed dog. I found it neccessary to stitch this together by manually turning my machine wheel, or else it wanted to go back to making tiny stitches and not moving at all.
The seam allowance for this project is a mere 1/8″.
Start sewing together at the back, right before where the cover edges come together. Sew all the way around the cover, and backstitch a little when you come around to the end.
Mark a place for the shank button on the front cover, 1 1/2″ from the edge, exactly in the middle of the right-hand side. Using a strong needle (heavy) and thread, sew button to the front cover. You will need to start from the inside, being careful to only go through the front cover and not the inside flap. As the vinyl is thick, it takes some effort to get through it each time. Sew several stitches to secure the shank button.
Insert composition book into cover.
Wrap the tie around the button two times to secure the cover.
Notes: I get composition books on sale at the back-to school sales in the summer. You can get vinyl anytime from a fabric store; it comes on a roll back with the home decor fabrics. Around Halloween, the stores have more leather-looking choices in the costume fabrics (and these will be on clearance after Halloween). I used leftover vinyl from covering our chair seats. My button is a vintage button that has been in a button jar for many years, that was given to me. You can also buy buttons on 50% off sales at Joann’s.