Traveler's Notebook Cover + Mini Album
I don't know about you, but I am always drawn to packaging. I think packaging is almost as important as the actual product. Some would say it's even more important! It's the very first impression a customer will have of your offerings. Packaging, when used effectively, can draw the customer in and get them excited for what's to come.
When it comes to packaging, Studio Calico nails it. Every time.
If you received the Studio Calico Carolina Moon scrapbook or card kit, you received them in the really great, reusable zippered pouches pictured above. These zippered pouches are the newest additions to the Studio Calico packaging family and I am over-the-moon excited about them.
Not only are they great for storing your kits and other crafting supplies, they're versatile enough to be re-purposed for other things. Think...a snack/lunch pouch, a swimsuit/beach bag, a makeup pouch, a planner/stationary/pen case. The list goes on and on.
I was lucky enough to receive a smaller-sized pouch in my CT box, which I believe to be the size of the upcoming Project Life pouches making their debut later this summer. Initially, I thought I would use the pouch for my pens and other planner supplies. But then, I got the idea to make my own notebook cover! The vinyl is a great, spill-proof material and it's about the right combination of flexibility and sturdiness that I wanted in a less formal notebook cover.
After ripping the seams to remove the zipper and open up the sides, I followed the existing crease in the pouch and sewed the two vinyl pieces together. If you have a traveler's notebook, you'll know that the covers are usually constructed out of one continuous piece of leather or other material. Because the pouch vinyl is thin enough, there really isn't a lot of added bulk at the seam, so this construction method works. The notebooks can still lay flat against the binding.
Once I had the center foundation finished, I continued on to sew the sides. I should probably note, I sewed back and forth, 3 times, on all seam lines to add durability and to be sure the notebook cover would hold up to normal wear and tear. I used metallic gold thread on top and regular white thread in my bobbin. When the cover is laying open, you can't see any of the sewed seams because the white thread blends, but when it's closed, you can see the gold threading. It's really pretty.
I used a paper piercer to punch tiny holes into the center of the back cover as well as the binding. I found some really cheap metallic gold elastic to use for now. I actually prefer my elastic to be a little thicker than this, so I'm on the hunt for a thicker metallic gold elastic.
You can see above that I strung the elastic through twice to give me quad strands in the center. For now, I'm using two strands to hold one notebook because the elastic is on the thinner side. Once I switch out the elastic to a thicker one, I'll probably use one elastic per notebook/mini album.
If you're following along this post to construct your own cover, it's important for me to note that you'll need to string your elastics a little taught. The center elastics should be tight enough to make the cover buckle, as shown above. It'll have a hard time laying flat. That's what you want. Once you get your notebooks in there, the cover will lay flat and the elastics will be tight enough to hold your notebooks in place.
So, let's talk about usage. As in, what am I using this cover for if I already have a traveler's notebook? Officially, I'm not really sure yet. I sort of think I want to use it to house my most current mini albums. Which, side note, the traveler's notebook sized mini albums are awesome. It's my new favorite mini album size and you're going to be seeing a lot more in this size from me in the future. (For a full look at the mini album above, please click here to view the project in my Studio Calico gallery.)
I could also use this notebook cover as additional protection for my traveler's notebook. I love my original Midori cover. I love the feel of the leather and all the scratches I've accumulated thus far. That's not the issue. Sometimes, I have it out on my desk and the condensation from my water glass or other drink gets on my cover, that's where I have issues. This notebook cover is wide enough to cover my regular-sized traveler's notebook and would help keep the water away.
While sewing the cover, I thought about sizing and waffled back and forth. I eventually settled on an overlap because I knew future mini albums would have tabs and the like sticking out of the sides. I wanted them to be protected. Because this mini album doesn't have anything sticking out, I simply folded the overhang in an overlap for now, to provide the notebook mini album with additional protection from the elements.
You can see above that there's a lot of room for me to add one or two more mini albums before I need to sew myself another cover.
I've resolved to kinda go with the flow here and see where this project takes me.
It gives me options and I like options.
Are you going to try something like this with your new SC kit packaging? I'm interested to hear about the ways you'll be re-purposing those fabulous pouches, if you're not using them for kit storage.
Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I'll answer them as best I can.
Also, I'm working on putting together a post about my current traveler's notebook planner setup. I'm interested to know if there are certain things you'd like to know or will a simple post with lots of photos suffice?
'Til next time!
Supplies used for the notebook mini album: Studio Calico Galileo scrapbook kit, Studio Calico Galileo project life kit, Saturn scrapbook add-on, Jupiter scrapbook add-on, Milky Way project life add-on