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Changing the Cover of a Midori Traveler’s Notebook or Moleskine Book

Changing the Cover of a Traveler's Notebook Cheap DIY to make a gorgeous book | How I Sustain Blog

Last week I opened this series of posts on traveler’s notebooks. It’s funny how it started, actually. Last year I made two books during the summer, one of which I *nearly* finished and the other that I stopped writing in, but really didn’t know where to take it creatively.

And I left them, untouched, for nearly a year.

Then, recently, a few things came together. First, someone asked about Little Summer JOY and if we were planning to create that (free) course again. The answer was yes. Second, someone asked how I would be documenting it. The answer was, unquestionably, traveler’s notebook. Third, the Scrap Gals Facebook community started a series of conversations on traveler’s notebooks.

And, just like that, I was propelled, full force, into completing last year’s projects, planning this year’s Little Summer JOY, and totally, enthusiastically, committed to finishing both books and fully diving into the world of traveler’s notebooks.

Changing the Cover of a Traveler's Notebook Cheap DIY to make a gorgeous book | How I Sustain Blog

My Summer Experience Traveler’s Notebook

So I mentioned that I made two books last year. The first was part of Little Summer JOY. The second was to document the intense, life-changing experience of yoga teacher training.

I cannot express how grateful I am that I had that notebook and that I documented that experience.

Now I call it a summer experience traveler’s notebook because, as you read in my post last week, summer and learning are two in the same for me. And while many people do go through yoga teacher training, many more people experience some form of learning in the summer (think trips, semesters abroad, summer classes, exchanges, internships, and other travel experiences).

And using a traveler’s notebook, which is appropriately named, by the way, to document that learning experience is truly, truly an accessible option for anyone willing to put pen to paper.

Little Paper Projects Little Summer JOY Album 2015 | Julie Love Gagen


This Traveler’s Notebook Blog Post Series

So this post is the fourth in my traveler’s notebook series that will give you all the insight you need to get started with your first traveler’s notebook project. Here are links (and plans) for the entire series:

And because this is a series, and because I have a lot of work t0 share, expect to see sneak peeks of my Summer Experience Traveler’s Notebook AND my Little Summer JOY Album from last year throughout these pages, as I continue to build those books – and finish them – before I start this year’s project.

Changing the Cover of a Traveler’s Notebook

In the world of memory keeping, a book – or at least my books – are, in fact, judged by their covers. The cover needs to speak to the sentiment of the story. To the essence of the project. To the feeling you get when you look through it.

The current cover for my summer experience traveler’s notebook did *not* have that sentiment.

Like, at all.

So I thought about it for a few days. And, as with most great ideas, it came to me around 2am on a sleepless night (I’m pregnant, it’s summer, they happen.. a lot!).

The solution: to cover it with a favorite scrapbook paper.

Simple. Done. Gorgeous.

Here are the 3 steps I took to make this happen.

3 Steps to Covering Your Traveler’s Notebook

Step 1 | Pick your Paper. I have this thing for scrapbook paper. I kind of love it. I love it so much that I’m afraid to use it. True fact. The nice thing about this semi-hoarding “problem” is that I always have an assortment of papers to use for projects like this.

I chose a 12×12 heavy cardstock paper. Of course, it doesn’t have to be heavy cardstock. Honestly, it doesn’t even technically need to be paper (my original vision of this project was to use fabric and mod podge, but I couldn’t find a fabric that I loved). If you choose a lighter paper, however, you might want to use a coat of mod podge on top of the paper after its assembled, just to give it a little more durability.


Step 2 | Gather your supplies. For this project, I used a paper trimmer, glue stick, and some washi tape. If you wanted to add an embellishment to the front, gel glue is my top choice. Otherwise just the glue stick is fine. You’ll also want a stack of heavy books to place over your notebook while it dries. This is critical to having a clean, bubble-free cover.

  1. Paper trimmer | I have an X-Acto Guillotine Style Paper Cutter and Fiskers scissors
  2. Glue | I used a Glue Stick. You could also use spray if you have it and here is the Clear Gel Glue that I use for cover embellishments.
  3. Washi tape | I used washi from Target dollar spot. SO GOOD, friend!
  4. Something heavy | I use a small stack of heavy books that were bigger than the notebook.

Step 3 | Assemble it. Cut your paper to the exact height of the book, and add at least two inches to the width. The extra width will give you space to wrap the paper around the cover and gives you a nice, clean edge.

Changing the Cover of a Traveler's Notebook Cheap DIY to make a gorgeous book | How I Sustain Blog

Once the paper is cut to size, you’ll want to line the paper directly with the book, making sure to keep about an inch in width on each end. This is critical because once you have glue to paper, you’re kind of stuck with it. Measure, line, and move slow in this part.

Once the paper and cover are in line, use the glue stick to cover the back cover. Apply the paper to the glued side. Repeat on the front cover.

Add stack of heavy books and let it dry for a few minutes.

Changing the Cover of a Traveler's Notebook Cheap DIY to make a gorgeous book | How I Sustain Blog

Once contact is set on the cover, you can fold the extra inch of paper into the back cover, use glue to make it stick, then affix with the washi tape. Repeat on the other side.

Add stack of heavy books and let it dry for a few minutes, to hours, more. If you’re planning on working on the book, you can do that, just place the stack of books on top of it when you’re done so it can dry overnight.

Of course, you could also add an inside cover paper, like I did in this DIY Notebook Tutorial, but for this project, I preferred the washi and the exposed side.



And that’s it! Now you have a re-covered traveler’s notebook in your favorite pattern. Honestly, I can’t stop staring at mine – and I’ll be honest, I’m more likely to work on it, and to finish this project, because I love the cover SO MUCH. Happy crafting!






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