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Handmade Hardcover Notebook

Hey, its’ so good to see you back! I hope you are having a great week and are managing to fit in some creativity. This week I am showing you how to make a hardcover notebook. You can use this to cover your signature of paper and decorate it to you taste. To find out how to make one of those, check out this post HERE. However, you don’t need to include the patterned card cover in your signature when making the paper block insert for this notebook. 

I have really started to enjoy making my own notebooks, and at the moment I am keeping the outside fairly simple so I can focus and practice getting the structure right. Once I am completely happy with the book itself, I plan on making interesting and textural covers that are eye catching, using a variety of mix media techniques. So keep an eye on the blog for those coming up in the future!

Materials required for Hardcover notebook:

  • Thick card – ideally chipboard or mount board. For this project, I used mount board as my chipboard hadn’t arrived yet and I was too eager to start. This mount board measures at a thickness of 1mm and I used an A3 piece of card.
  • Large patterned paper – the paper I used was A3 in size and I trimmed this down once I had applied the glue. This paper came from a pack I got when I was in France from a shop called Cultra.
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Ruler and pencil
  • PVA glue
  • Brush and bowl
  • Bone folder or thin credit card like a loyalty store card
  • 2 sheets of decorative paper for the inside covers


  • Washi Tape
  • Thicker stickers to embellish with – or if you prefer a die cut. The Thicker stickers I used in this project are from docrafts from their Papermania Modern Lustre range. 

Hardcover Notebook details:

Cutting out your cover:

First of all you need to measure the width of your signature (bound paper pad insert you created) and add “1/8 to the measurement.. Secondly, measure the height and add “1/4. This gives you the size you need to cut the hard covers out at. Draw these onto your mount board side by side. Take you signature and line this edge of the cover with the spine touching the card. Draw along the other side – this gives you the width of your spine. Make sure you check all your measurements are correct, and if you are happy cut these out with a craft knife.

 Following this, place your signature along side your markings, with the spine touching the card. Draw a line down the other side and this gives you the width of the spine. Make sure all your measurements are right, if so cut this out all the pieces individually with a craft night. 

Assembling the cover:

Firstly, place you cover paper patterned side down. Then take one cover card and cover with PVA glue (sometimes adding a little water to the glue makes the following steps easier). Place the cover down on the paper, keeping it fairly straight. Turn this over and smooth out any bubbles with a bone folder. Next you need to adhere the spine cover, but this needs to be adhered “1/4 plus the thickness of your card away from the edge of the cover- for me this was “1/16 added. Make sure you glue this down and the top and bottom are level with the front cover you have already attached. 

Lastly, place the back cover card again “1/4 plus the thickness of your board away from the sine piece, level with the top and bottom. Again, turn the whole cover over and smooth out any bubbles. When you are happy with the appearance of the front, trim down you paper leaving 1” border around the edge. At each corner, cut a small triangle notch out – this will help produce a nice neat mitered corner when folded over. When ready, apply glue to the edges of the paper, and smooth over adhering to the back of the board. You can use your bone folder to help get a clean crisp edge. 

Hopefully you should now have a hard cover like the once pictured above, showing the inside of the cover. 

Inserting your signature

To attach your signature into the cover casing, you need to attach two paper cover inserts to either end. Take two sheets of decorative paper, and measure it to the height of you signature, and twice the width. When trimmed to the correct size, fold this in half.

To adhere these to your signature, apply a small line of glue against the spine “1/4 on the front page. Place the insert cover on top and keep in place to dry. Repeat this for the back of your signature once dried. 

When you signature, with its cover inserts are dry, it’s time to start adhering the signature into your cover. Apply a layer of glue to the inside of the front cover, with up to an “1/8 border. Position the front cover insert over the inside cover and smooth out with a bone folder. Repeat this with the back cover and allow your book to dry. If you have a book press you can place it in here to prevent the board from warping as it dries. 

Lastly, to finish off your hardcover notebook you can embellish the front with any item you wish. Here, I used some washi tape and wrapped this all the way around. It strategically helped cover up a small fold that I could not smooth over when I applied the cover the paper. I used docrafts thicker stickers with PVA glue to embellish the notebook. 

Well that is all for today. I hope you enjoyed this post and found this project interesting. It is a really easy method for creating your own hardcover notebook and you can go to town on how decorative your’s is!

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Till next time,

About Me

Hi, I am Verity and I live in the UK.  I love to create beautiful projects whenever I can. My main passion lies with Papercrafting, however, I will always turn my hand to a new project or craft any chance I get.


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