Flashback Friday! ~Sewing Pattern Tissue & Washi Tape Sketchbook ~A Tutorial~

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Today for a special Flashback Friday, I’m bringing back a tutorial I did for covering composition books. This would be perfect for those back to school composition books we buy for the kids, right?!?!  I made mine for my bag sketches, but the options are limitless.

Sewing Tissue & Washi Sketch BookA

Back in my heavy scrapbooking days, I tended to cover all kinds of office supplies and storage containers with mod-podge and the latest pattern paper.  I often made custom recipe binders, little books for the kids or made an old cardboard box look brand new.  And although I don’t do much scrapbooking these days, I still love getting crafty!  The tutorial I am sharing with you today came about from my need to re-use a composition notebook my son had and turn it into a sketchbook I can use for my bag ideas.  It’s super simple and can be customized easily.

Let’s get started!


You will need:

1 composition notebook  *I’m using a Primary Journal because the top is blank, and has a lined bottom*

1 bottle Mod-Podge

1 foam brush

1 roll of your favorite Washi Tape

A few sheets of sewing pattern tissue and/or sewing pattern direction sheets

Scissors (Exacto knife is a good idea but be careful if you are doing this with kids!)


With your foam brush, apply a nice even layer of mod-podge over front cover.  You don’t need gobs of the stuff, but enough to coat the top. Do not apply over black edge binding.

Step3Gently place a piece of your sewing tissue paper over part of the cover.  It can be any size or shape. You are going to be layering it so as long as the front is covered completely you are okay (we will trim excess off in a few steps).  As you lay the tissue down, start from one end and gently rub it until you reach the top. Expect crinkles and a few bubbles. Heck, you may want bubbles….that’s fine too!

Step5Let first layer completely dry.  You will repeat the last step until you have covered the writing from the composition notebook.  I used about 4 layers of tissue. You may need more or less. It’s all up to you!

Step7Once all your layers are completely dry, take a ruler and your scissors/xacto knife and carefully trim the excess paper away from all the edges. When you hit the binding, use your xacto knife with less pressure as you trim right next to the binding.

Step8With all front edges trimmed, repeat the same process you just completed for the other side of the notebook.  When both sides are completely dried take out your Washi tape and scissors.

Step10Using the black binding line as a guide, add your first strip of Washi tape. Leave an inch or so of excess on each side to fold over to the inside or trim flush at each end. Repeat with the next strip and again until all binding is covered.

Ta-Da!! All done!

Pretty easy, huh?  Here’s another version I made.  Instead of using the tissue paper, I used the instructions.  Same directions but just three steps:  One layer glue over cover page, press down instruction sheet, one layer glue to seal. Done.

Step9Now I have this cute little sewing sketchbook to keep handy when I have a new bag idea!  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and keep it in mind when you are looking to re-use an old binder or comp book. Enjoy!


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