A few months ago, I won a cover-your-own-notebook kit. Now I love notebooks, so was looking forward to having a go with this. The cover could be stitched or sewn, and as I seldom use my sewing machine these days (the eye of the needle seems to have got smaller..... in order to thread it, I have to take my glasses off and rest my head on the table with my nose practically touching the needle... nothing to do with my age, of course...) I decided to use the sticking method.
The first drawback I encountered was that the outside of the box didn't tell me I would need to buy a tin of spray starch. So I had everything out and ready to start, then came to the instruction "Now spray your fabric all over with spray starch". Packed everything up again and went shopping. The supermarket had none.
Have you any idea how many times it is possible to go shopping and either forget to look for a tin of starch or remember it and find that there was none in stock? Yes, it took me several months to be equipped to make a fresh start on my notebook.
And do you know, once I'd starched the blooming fabric, it didn't feel any different! I'm sure in the days when we all used starch on shirts, it was, well, starchier.
Anyway, fabric starched and cut, I started to make my book, and encountered problem number one. The book provided in the kit had an elastic closure attached to one of the covers. It wasn't possible to stick the fabric down over the cover without removing it, and it took some very careful cutting to try not to leave a bump in the surface where it had been.
Fabric stuck to outside of cover, I moved on to turning over the edges to stick down inside the covers. Here I met problem numbers two and three...... the book had an inside pocket in the back cover, and sticking the fabric edges down rendered this unusable. And the book also had very rounded corners, so the instructions to "Mitre the corners" left unsightly empty fabric points at each corner.
Also the instructions didn't mention anything about covering the raw edges of fabric to hide them. I thought they looked pretty unsightly so I cut pieces of card to fit slightly smaller than the pages and stuck them over the offending edges. This also hid the fact that there was an unusable pocket at the back, although it left it feeling rather bulky.
Next I turned back to the outside to admire the covered book, and realised the fourth and worst problem. The fabric provided was a cream floral design (there were others to choose from, but all were either pale or had large pale areas). The notebook was very dark brown. So the entire book looked grey and dingy with the brown showing through the cream. And the plae fabric also allows the adhesive to show through, although the flash on the photo makes it look worse than in real life.
Now was the time to decorate the cover, but I'm afraid by now my heart wasn't in it and I just stuck a bit of washi tape and a few die cuts on it. I'd been planning to make the book as a gift, but there's no way I would give anyone a hand made gift that I wasn't proud of, and to say I'm not proud of this is an understatement. I'll use it for my own card sketches and ideas, but it may well make me feel grumpy every time I use it!