How to Alter A Composition Book

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I love buying composition books at the store because they are such a good deal...especially when you buy them during the back-to-school sales. The problem is that they are not that attractive to look at, so I decided to use some of my crafting supplies I had on hand to alter them to make them look a little nicer.

When you alter these composition books, you can pick a theme that you want (travel, gratitude, inspiration, art, etc) to decorate these books.  These are perfect as birthday gifts, wedding gifts, add to teacher appreciation packages, back-to-school supplies for the kids, summer camp notebooks, dream journals, and they are fun for kids to decorate at parties or youth activities.


Supplies Used
Composition book
Scrapbook papers - 12 x 12 inch
Mod Podge All-in-1 Glue 8-Ounce, Gloss
pencil
paper trimmer
ink pad - cranberry
stamp
Glue Dots
sticker
ribbon
hot glue gun

I started out by placing my papers with the print that I wanted down on the table.  I placed the notebook onto the paper and traced around the edges.  I used 2 different papers.  One for the cover and back side of 2/3 of the composition book, and one to wrap 1/3 on the front and continue onto 1/3 of the back.  Then I used my paper trimmer to cut the paper.

When gluing the paper to your composition book, you can do this a few different ways.  You can use school glue, glue sticks, spray adhesive glue, or craft glue (Mod Podge in this case).  I have used glue sticks and the paper comes up quite easily pretty soon after the project is finished.  I used the spray adhesive and that is very messy and it sticks right away....but after a year of constant use my paper peeled back and wouldn't adhere to the notebook anymore....but it was a sticky mess for anything that touched the paper or notebook where the adhesive was.  When using the Mod Podge, I haven't had any separation when I have used enough on the edges.  The only problem with Mod Podge is that is soaks into the notebook cover and can warp it if you don't let it sit long enough.  To sum it up, I don't think there is a perfect glue to use, but I like Mod Podge the best.

Apply the Mod Podge (or whichever glue you decide to use) to the paper and place the front and back pieces on the composition book.  Then put the piece that will wrap from the front to the back on top.  At this point, I placed the notebook between pieces of craft paper and placed a large, heavy book on top of it.  I left it that way for 2 hours to have the glue dry and the book be weighted down so it would not warp the cover as much.  Next I started adding the embellishments to the notebook.


I hot glued a strip of ribbon to the seam where the two papers meet on the front cover.  Then I decided to search through my stickers and add one with a nice little encouraging quote on it.

Because the top part of the composition book looked a little plain, I looked through my papers and picked one of my favorites (see how I used it here) and cut it to use as a background for one of my stamps.
I edged the paper with the ink I was going to use for the stamp so it would stand out a little when placed on the notebook.
I used one of my large stamps and used only the top part of the stamp to create this tag.  I then used Glue Dots to attach the Be Happy tag to the notebook.

Here is the finished altered composition book. I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before I sent it to a friend, but she was nice enough to take a picture for me and send it to me once she got it.

For some of my other notebooks I have made, I printed out inspirational quotes and glued them into the notebooks on random pages.  For the cover decorations, you can use anything that appeals to you!  Make it your own with any stickers, stamps, different papers or whatever you would like.



These are a few of the other notebooks I have made.  What theme would you use when you decorate your book?

22 comments

  1. I've made several of these over the years. I actually found some composition books that already had patterns on them in polka dots, stripes, and houndstooth. Those I was able to just dress up with a tag, some ribbons and a cover for the spine. This is a fun and easy craft and it makes a great gift for anyone.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your idea Adrian. I am making a whole bunch to give as gifts to friends.

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  2. I love it! What an adorable and personal gift idea :) xoxo

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting Kristi!

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    1. Thanks Katie! It's fun because you can change it up any way you want to.

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  4. Such a great idea! You can customize it in a million different ways!

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    1. Glad you liked it Lauren! Thanks for visiting.

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  5. Love this. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for bringing this to our party and we hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

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  6. This turns a basic office supply into something really special! Thanks for sharing at Talented Tuesday!

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  7. Adorable! So cool when you can really dress up a common, everyday item. Ali is a great name, too--my youngest daughter is AliπŸ˜ƒ. We would love to have you link your post up at our party as well:
    http://twochicksandamom.blogspot.com/2015/07/oh-my-heartsie-girl-wordless-wednesday.html

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    1. Thanks for your nice comments Donna! I'll see you on Wednesday at your party!

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  8. Hi stopping by via Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party, I’m number #118 (Ugly American). Thanks for co-hosting. This is such a cute idea!! I love the simple yet super special way to personalize these. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for visiting from the weekly party. I'm glad you liked the project! =)

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  9. What a great idea! I love buying composition books, but you're so right that they're not nice to look at. I love this idea of making them your own.

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    1. Glad you liked the idea Danielle! This is the perfect time of year to find great sales on the composition books too.

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  10. So nice, I was given one of these once and meant to make some of my own but I never have. It was a great gift!

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    1. They are nice to have around. I hope this inspires you to make a few. :)

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