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Monday, January 09, 2012

How To Make A Laminated Vinyl Book Cover


While walking through Target with my mother, I came across an inexpensive Mead Agenda for 2012 and had an idea to make a cover for it when I got home, which is exactly what I did.

To Start:

Calico Cotton or Cotton Duck (Quilt fabric or heavy cotton canvas fabric)
Heat-n-Bond Iron-on Gloss Vinyl
Matching thread
Agenda or book

You Will Also Need:

Sewing machine
Straight pins
Rotary cutter & mat and/or sharp scissors
Rotary rulers for measuring and cutting
Cotton press cloth


Here is the agenda I purchased.  Measure the width and height of your planner - opened.  Add 1-1/4" (1.25") to the height and 5" - 6" to the width and cut out a piece of cotton fabric to those measurements.


Press your fabric rectangle.


Using pins, pin up a 1/4" seam allowance and press.  Fold over again another 1/4" and press.  Repeat this for all sides of the rectangle, pressing first the long sides, then the short sides.


Stitch close to the folded inside edge around all 4 sides.


Pull out the pins and press the cotton fabric.  Lay the fabric on top of the iron-on gloss vinyl and cut out a piece of vinyl the same width and height as the finished cotton rectangle.


On the back of the vinyl is a sheet of paper that has squares.  As I found out the hard way, the squares are NOT 1" square.  I'd like to know who the fool is that put these squares on the back of the paper on the vinyl to look like 1 inch.  I ruined this first cut of fabric and vinyl.  Oh well, live and learn.


Okay, back to work.  Peel off the paper backing from the vinyl to reveal the sticky side of the vinyl sheet.


Lay the vinyl over top of your cotton rectangle (after the stitching around the edges!), and sticky side down against the cotton rectangle, and press on medium dry heat (without the steam). Using a cotton press cloth over top of the vinyl, move the iron around on the press cloth for about 10 seconds, then move the press cloth over the rectangle until the entire rectangle has been pressed and the cotton has been laminated with the vinyl.


Lookin' good!


Turn over your cotton rectangle and press from the wrong side for a few seconds continuing to use the dry setting on your iron.


Now that you have laminated your cotton rectangle, place your agenda on top of the wrong side of the cotton rectangle and center it on the rectangle.  Fold the left edge over the agenda cover and pinch the seam.  Stitch the short edges very close to the outer edge so that the agenda will slide into the pocket easily. 

This is also why you need to add 1-1/4" to the height of the cotton rectangle when you initially cut it out.  Along the long edge of your rectangle, top and bottom, the seams are 1/4" (top) + 1/4" (bottom) + folding for another 1/4" + 1/4" + stitching along the side of the pocket for another 1/8" + 1/8".  Just thought I should clarify this.


I repeated the step for the back cover.  If you're wondering why the back pocket is smaller than the front pocket, it's because when I placed the open agenda on the cover, I should have centered the cover on the agenda "closed" and not "open."  So you are seeing the result of my mistakes. Duh.  Anyway, when you close the agenda with the cover on it, it takes up more slack.  I forgot about that.

After I made the cover, I cut 2- 2" strips from an old measuring tape and after making a loop, stitched them to the front and back cover across the top as seen above...


... that way, when you put the pen into the loops, it holds the agenda together.  Pretty cool, ey?

It isn't perfect, but it is pretty!  I love the iron-on gloss vinyl.  A nice substitute for expensive oilcloth.

TIP: If you put the vinyl on the cotton before you sew the seams around the edges, you'll find the stitching is not as good through the vinyl as it is through the cotton alone.

Hope you like this agenda cover!  Best part about this tutorial is that you can make covers for anything - textbooks, address books, cookbooks ...  Enjoy!




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