DIY recycled fabric covered notebooks

diy recycled fabric notebooks | almost makes perfectdiy recycled fabric notebooks |  almost makes perfect

i make so many to-do lists. like daily ones, weekly ones, i have them scattered all over the place and even when i barely check off anything, i find myself feeling so much less stressed when i’m writing down everything i need to do, whether i do it or not. otherwise i’ll wake up in the middle of the night worrying about calling sirius radio before the renew my subscription at the un-discounted price.

another thing i have all over the house is bags full of clothes to donate. we have one so large in our bathroom that we can barely open the door, so i decided to scour a bag and use some of the retired old t-shirts to give them new life! don’t worry, there’s still plenty to donate. so with back to school time, i thought lining some notebooks in fabric would be fun for me, and be fun for you too. win win.

diy recycled fabric covered notebooks | almost makes perfectdiy fabric notebooks | almost makes perfect

if you’ve ever bought one of those burnout tees, you probably know they don’t last after a dozen washes, so they’re perfect. i also used a dress i spilled on and a chambray shirt i wore so often the armpits got yellow.


01. cut your shirts / fabrics to fit your notebooks. if they’re super wrinkly from being jammed into a garbage bag like mine and you don’t feel like ironing like i didn’t, you can spray them with some water and flatten out before using.

02. squeeze a generous amount of fabric glue to one side of your notebook (use more glue for thicker fabric), and spread with the foam brush. spread your fabric firmly over the cover and smooth out. repeat on the other side.

diy fabric notebooks | almost makes perfectdiy recycled fabric notebooks | almost makes perfect

03. cut out the corners from between the spine and the corner edges, and apply more glue to the inside so that you can then fold over the ends. rub firmly to secure.

you might notice the photos are backwards to the steps, because i realized afterwards.

diy fabric notebooks | almost makes perfectdiy recycled fabric notebooks  |  almost makes perfect

super easy, quick and basically free!

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  1. Cheryl from Seattle says:

    I’m wondering, would this work on spiral notebooks? I just love notebooks, they are so inexpensive and I use them to keep many different things together such as phone conversations, notes at Drs offices, calls to school, etc. I’ve been personalizing them with paper but I also have such a large supply of fabric. Personalizing allows the notebook to be identified at a glance. I don’t mind the time it takes, it’s fun. I just am not sure how the spiral binder would be affected

    1. i definitely think they could work on spirals, but it’d be way harder probably!

  2. Shivangli says:

    are the books miniature or are those paperclips just huge…

    1. the paperclips are HUGE.

  3. Sarah Donawerth says:

    I absolutely love this idea! I never would have thought to cover a notebook with a thrifted t-shirt. This could be really great for my college scrapbook. I have a bunch of old t-shirts from school events that I could use to add that extra something to this scrapbook. If the notebook is the right size, I could also cover it with other school memorabilia, like postcards, pictures, etc. as a collage. I wonder if I could even make a decoupaged cover with drafts of my senior thesis. Possibilities are endless!