Altering everyday items is a wonderful way of creating personalised gifts for friends and family, and by using a particular range of patterned papers you take the guess work out of trying to co-ordinate colours and patterns. I used "Domestic Goddess" papers and alphas by Graphic 45 to alter two hardcover notebooks for some lovely family friends for Christmas.
1. Cut two pieces of patterned paper for the front and back covers. The paper needs to be the same width as the cover and two inches longer in height.
2. Use strong adhesive tape and / or glue to adhere the paper to the front cover 1" from the spine. The paper should overlap the top, bottom and right hand side of the front cover by an inch all round.
3. Open the book and use a bone folder or crease tool to emboss a line where the paper will fold around the front cover. This will make a nice neat fold and will help you when folding in the corners.
4. Add some glue or tape to the corner of the patterned paper and fold to the inside of the cover, keeping the lines at right angles as shown in the photo.
5. Use your bone folder to press and fold the paper around the cover as shown. Ensure that all your folds and creases are nice and sharp to minimise bulk and keep everything neat.
6. Repeat for the other corner.
7. Crease and fold the top, bottom and side pressing firmly on each fold. Add adhesive and allow to dry paying particular attention to the corners where the folds need to be kept neat and well adhered.
9. Cut a piece of co-ordinating patterned paper for the spine. It should be slightly wider than the width of the spine and two inches longer than the height. Always keep the book closed when covering the spine to ensure that you have enough paper to allow the book to open and close properly. If you cover the spine too tightly either the book won't close or your paper will tear.
11. Apply glue or tape to the front part of the spine and adhere that section of paper. Make sure you press and bend the paper into the shape of the spine of the book. You should apply tape or glue to the entire spine area and work in sections making sure the book opens and closes properly.
12. Fold and adhere the ends of the paper to the inside of the book. You may need to do some trimming depending on how the book has been made.
13. Cut a piece of co-ordinating cardstock for the inside covers. This helps to keep the patterned paper in place and also gives the book a nice finished look. You could add some embellishments, a photo, a handwritten message or a pocket here if desired.
14. Add paper and other "flat" embellishments to the cover as desired. Don't add any lace, fabric, plastic, metal, flowers or similar at this point as you are going to seal the cover with varnish. I use Jo Sonja's Matte Varnish on all my papercraft projects, but you can use whichever brand you prefer so long as it is acid free.
15. Apply the varnish to the front and back covers with a wide, soft brush using long continuous strokes. You do not need to add it to the inside of the book.
16. TIP: If the patterned paper buckles after you've applied the varnish, use a heat tool to dry and straighten it out. The buckling will often remain if you allow the paper to air dry.
17. Now you can add extra embellishments to finish your project.
The completed project.