Make Embroidered Notebooks

a small black paper notebook, hand embroidered with a heart.

Learn to make simple embroidered paper notebooks that can be sold on Etsy, at craft shows, or on your own website. Custom embroidered notebooks also make amazing gifts.

a small black paper notebook, hand embroidered with a heart.

You know what's getting super popular and making me very happy? Embroidery and cross stitch! A craft from the past is finding new life as stitchers find ways to make embroidered things cool again. Embroidered notebooks are an amazing way to create custom notbooks that are handmade and fun to use.

This tutorial will show you how to make a very simple backstitched embroidered notebook. Use this tutorial to design and create your own embroidered notebooks for sale.

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Supplies Needed To Make an Embroidered Notebook

supplies needed to make an embroidered notebook

A Pattern or Template – You'll need a design to stitch onto your paper notebook. I'm providing a few that I made for you to practice with (be advised that I am not giving you permission to sell items made with these patterns). You can also download clipart that is commercially licensed, or draw your own pattern on paper. Here are the templates!

Embroidery Thread – I'm using DMC six-stranded floss here. There are other options as well. Depending on the size of your notebook and the detail level of your pattern, you may want to use thicker or thinner string.

Paper Notebook – In this example I'm using a 4 inch by 5.5 inch black paper notebook. I got a bunch of them on Amazon! You can use any size or style of paper notebook with this process.

Needle – I suggest a size 24 tapestry needle. You can also use a pointed needle, so long as it's the right size for your thread.

Push Pin – I'm using a simple push pin to poke holes in the paper notebook cover. You can also just use your needle if it's sharp enough.

Washi TapeWashi tape or other masking tape is used to hold down the end threads.

How To Make An Embroidered Notebook

Photo collage showing how to make an embroidered notebook.
  1. Decide on your design, and draw or print it out on a piece of paper. Place your design template on top of your notebook cover, and secure with masking tape to keep it in place.
  2. Use a push pin to poke holes into your design, trying to think ahead about where they will be needed. You don't want to add any holes that won't be used. If you're using my template, I've added dots where the holes should go. You can add more if you'd like to smooth the shape out more.
  3. Remove the template, and thread your needle with embroidery thread. Here I used all six strands. Tie a knot at the end of your thread.
Photo collage showing how to embroider on a paper notebook cover
  1. Start stitching. In this example I'm using a back stitch. If you aren't familiar, I suggest watching a tutorial. Basically, we are making a stitch, then making all the rest of the stitches come backwards, so that they connect to make one line.
  2. Use tape to secure the starting end of the thread out of the way.
  3. When you've finished your stitching, thread the needle under a few stitches on the back of the project to secure it, then knot it and cut the excess. Use another piece of tape to secure the finishing end.
  4. That's it! You can (and likely should) hide the messy back of the stitches in some way if you plan to sell these notebooks. I'll give you some ideas below.
The front and the back of a finished embroidered notebook

How to Make a Cross Stitch Notebook

You can make a cross stitched notebook in this same way. The template above includes a cross stitch heart pattern, as well as a blank grid that you can use to create your own designs. Be sure to only poke holes where you know stitches will go. Any unused holes will look bad.

Finished embroidered notebook

Can I make money selling embroidery?

I love this question, and it's definitely a Yes, and No answer.

Yes, you can make money selling embroidery. People will buy well-done embroidered art and embroidered accessories.

No, you will likely not be able to make money if you're trying to sell very detailed embroidery or cross stitch though. The reason for this is that needlework can be very, very time consuming. I recently made a cross stitch piece that I spent well over 50 hours on. It will be very hard to get paid for that amount of time spent on one stitched piece.

Any embroidery you want to sell must be made from a pattern that you've designed, or one that you've purchased with commercial rights to!

So, I suggest making small, simple embroidered items if you plan to sell them. Like these:

How to learn more embroidery stitches?

I suggest picking up a book! There are hundreds of decorative stitches that you can learn to make.

Ideas for covering the messy back of an embroidered book cover

If I were going to sell this notebook on etsy or anywhere else, I would want to create a cover of some sort to hide the back of the stitches.

  • Cut out a sheet of cardstock that is just slightly smaller than the cover, and adhere it to the back using book glue.
  • Or, use hand stitching or a sewing machine to sew the first few pages of the notebook directly to the cover.

There could be other good ideas that I haven't thought of. Maybe you can!

PIN IT:

Yield: 1 notebook

Embroidered Notebooks

a small black paper notebook, hand embroidered with a heart.

Learn to make a simple embroidered paper notebook.

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Materials

  • 1 small paper notebook
  • 24 inches cotton six-strand embroidery floss
  • Washi Tape
  • Paper or printed template

Tools

  • scissors
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Push Pin

Instructions

    1. Use a push pin to poke holes into your design, trying to think ahead about where they will be needed. You don't want to add any holes that won't be used. If you're using my template, I've added dots where the holes should go. You can add more if you'd like to smooth the shape out more.
    2. Remove the template, and thread your needle with embroidery thread. Here I used all six strands. Tie a knot at the end of your thread. Use tape to secure the starting end of the thread out of the way.
    3. Stitch your design using a backstitch.
    4. When you've finished your stitching, thread the needle under a few stitches on the back of the project to secure it, then knot it and cut the excess. Use another piece of tape to secure the finishing end.
    5. That's it! You can (and likely should) hide the messy back of the stitches in some way if you plan to sell these notebooks. I'll give you some ideas below.

Notes

This process can be used with cross stitch, or any type of embroidery you'd like.

I suggest finishing the back of the stitching if you plan to sell these.

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