Fabric Book Covers and Elastic Pen Bands for Scrapbooks

scrapbook elastic band

Scrapbooking on the go? Make a fabric book cover for your album and include pockets and pen holders! Or make an elastic band with places to hold pens, pencils and 3×4 journaling cards!


Elastic Pen Bands

I made a simple elastic band to fit around the cover of my Simple Stories 6×8 binder. It holds short pencils, 3×4 journaling cards, and a Smash pen. I also added a flair pin for fun.

elastic band outside

The back (a.k.a. inside cover) looks the same:

scrapbook elastic band inside

To make the band, I used two pieces of wide elastic and a sewing machine. With the elastic flat, I stitched a bunch of straight lines (backstitching at the ends). Then I joined the ends of the elastic together to form a band, making sure it was just tight enough to stay on the album. Not too tight, not too loose.

scrapbook elastic band - full view

It looks like a knee brace or something from a hospital until you put scrapbooking supplies in it.


There are also some ready-made elastic bands that are fairly inexpensive:

Smash Elastic Pen Band ($3) fits Smash Books and standard (8.5 x 11″) 3-ring binders. I found mine at Michael’s craft store. It’s made of elastic and fabric, and the elastic is not very strong. My daughter used one on her binder for school last year, and it worked great for holding pencils.

Wilson Jones Binder Tool Band ($5) fits standard 8.5 x 11″ binders. I found mine at Target. It’s made of very strong elastic.

scrapbook elastic bands



Fabric Book Covers

There are pretty fabric slipcovers for books, so why not make one for your scrapbook? It’s especially useful if you’re traveling with your scrapbook and want some extra protection for the cover, or maybe a place to stash a couple of pens.

The only difference in sewing a regular book cover and sewing one for a scrapbook album is this: the chipboard albums will not bend back to fit into sewn pocket flaps. Since the album isn’t flexible, the book cover needs to be.

My simple cover is made for a 6×8 Simple Stories binder and includes an elastic pen holder:

fabric book cover for scrapbook

fabric book cover side

The inside flaps are sewn at the top but not the bottom:

fabric album cover - inside view

I added snaps at the bottom for closure. I also included a lining fabric because one layer of fabric was too flimsy. Interfacing would also work.

fabric book cover - inside lining


I have since found more ideas:

Kirin Notebook made a flap that tucks in. Genius.

One Shabby Chick made fabric corners (scroll down the post to see). Also genius.

And for a tutorial on making a fabric book cover, try 33 Stitches. Just remember to make some changes at the end to accomodate the non-flexible scrapbook.


Kid-Friendly Book Covers with Pockets

Transform a plain scrapbook album into a kid-friendly journal with fun fabrics and secret pockets. I let my son pick out the fabric for his book cover. He chose Star Wars, baseballs and cats riding motorcycles.

I added a pocket on the cover:

fabric book cover - SW front

Baseball ribbon for a handle:

fabric book cover - SW back

And a zipper pouch on the inside flap to hold pens and things:

fabric book cover - SW inside

I wasn’t kidding about the cats riding motorcycles.

I stitched the flap at the top and bottom to make a pocket; the album cover slips into the pocket. The back flap is not stitched; the flap folds over and snaps closed.

fabric album cover - zipper pouch

My son is quite happy with his summer journal now.

  • robin

    You have legitimized my love for the 6×8 size scrapbooks. I felt like a traitor when I quit using the 12×12 size but feel SO much better about myself now. Thank you so much!

  • Debra

    What a great idea, Lisa. Love it. I spy some Project Life Kraft cards in the top photo. I got my Kraft kit yesterday and I looooove it. The designs are based on cream – my favourite. Hope you’re having a great summer. It’s winter here in Australia although it doesn’t get freezing where I live. About 22 degrees celsius today. Nice. I can totally see why your son loves his journal – so fun.

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Thanks, Debra – I love the kraft cards, too. I hope you are having a good winter! :)