How to Make a Coffee-Table-Worthy Scrapbook

comments (2) December 1st, 2015     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Transform any three-ring binder into a stylish scrapbook.
Cut and stitch a rectangle.
Steam your stitching.
Transform any three-ring binder into a stylish scrapbook.

Transform any three-ring binder into a stylish scrapbook.

Photo: Sloan Howard

Scrapbooking is hot, but nothing makes it sizzle more than combining paper arts with fabric. For all of your precious memories, you can design a totally unique, totally stylish scrapbook cover. Select a fabric for the cover that complements your décor or special event, and then shirr it with a specialty thread that shrinks when you steam it. Add coordinating pages embellished with fabric collage, vintage lace or trim, novelty buttons, sewing-room finds, and machine stitches. You can transform any three-ring binder into a stylish scrapbook for your home or to give as a gift. Believe me, you wouldn't dream of hiding this one on a shelf.

What You'll Need
Three-ring binder
Pattern paper
Chizimi thread (
Sewing machine
Optional ribbon or button closure

Step 1: Make a pattern
Lay your open binder flat on a piece of paper, and trace around it. Or measure the binder, and draw a rectangle to size. Add 1⁄4 inch to each side so the cover will fit when the binder is folded shut. Add 1⁄4-inch seam allowances on all four sides.

Step 2: Cut and stitch a rectangle
Cut a fabric rectangle 20 percent larger than your pattern in both directions. Stitch a grid pattern with the lines no more than 3/4-inch apart. We used a straight stitch, but experiment with a serpentine stitch on scraps to see which effect you prefer.


  Thread your machine with Chizimi thread, and stitch a grid pattern on your fabric.

Step 3: Steam your stitching
With your stitched fabric face down on your ironing board, hover over the wrong side with your steam iron, steaming it generously. This causes the thread to shrink, and that creates the puckered texture.

  A burst of steam will shrink the threads and cause the fabric to pucker.

Step 4: Use your pattern

Using your pattern, cut one cover out of the puckered fabric. Then cut two flap pieces using the cover pattern. Cut one book lining the size of your cover pattern minus 2 to 3 inches on each side. If your fabric needs support, cut and fuse a nonwoven interfacing to the wrong sides of all the pieces.


  Interfacing will lend your fabric support and durability.

Step 5: Fold the flaps
Fold the flap pieces in half vertically with right sides out, and press the fold to a sharp crease.

Step 6: Align your layers
Fold each flap piece in half with wrong sides facing each other and side edges even. Lay the cover piece face up, and position a folded flap piece on either side with raw edges even. Center the lining wrong-side up, on top of the cover and flaps.

Step 7: Stitch and turn
Stitch the layers together, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn the cover right-side out through the opening. Press.

  Stitch the pieces of the cover together around the outer edges.

Embellishment Tips:

  • Appliqué fabric right to your pages using decorative thread and decorative machine stitches. Set your machine to produce long stitches so they don't tear your paper.
  • Use monofilament thread to make invisible stitches to couch on a trim.
  • Try a narrow zigzag stitch over the straight edge of a vintage lace to edge a page.
  • Sew buttons through the paper with silk ribbon, and knot it in front.
  • Check out scrapbooking gems at your local crafts store: a die cutter for rounding your paper corners, medallions, adhesive-backed ribbons, and many other delights.
  • Look for special buttons, heat-applied crystals and studs, interesting trims, and threads.
  Specialty paper and trims add interest to your pages.

Photos by: Sloan Howard

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posted in: scrapbook

Comments (2)

Rohit Kumar writes: great

Posted: 6:40 am on September 5th
SandraFerguson writes: Love the blue one. Will make a great iPad case :)
Posted: 10:20 am on December 21st
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