Cereal Box Notebook Cover

D.M. rendition of “Soul’s Flight” – poster size

The Backstory

Now that I am back to cubicle life after 5 years on the road, I need to keep track of my daily tasks.  I know some folks like a spiral-bound, but I prefer a nice composition notebook, but they look so generic.
In my last cube-life job, I had gotten a laminated Niagara Falls poster from posters.com to decorate one of my cell cube walls.  I packed the poster away in its mailing tube during the last house move.  Or so I thought.  Instead I found the lovely “Soul’s Flight” by Keith Mallett knock-off that D.M. made me some years ago.  I love it, the woman is beautiful, the African prints are great, and it has BUTTERFLIES!  But… it doesn’t match anything in the new apartment and is too big to decorate my new cube…as a poster.
BUT, it could become a cover for my work composition books!  And here’s where the cereal boxes come in…

The TutorialMaterials Used1 brown paper shopping bag (or recycle some wrapping paper or kraft/packing paper – which is what I used)
1 composition notebook
2 empty cereal boxes
Glue (I used Elmer’s Glue-All for regular gluing and decoupage)
Clamps (optional)
Duct tape
Clear Contact paper
1.  Glue 2 cereal boxes together on their short sides.  Depending on the glue you use, you may need to clamp or press down on the glued sides with heavy books.  I did this last Friday morning and it dried while I was at work.  (Note:  Make sure it’s a thin bead of glue or you may be prying some of the cereal box cardboard apart to get it to lay flat.  Ask me how I know this…). 

2.  Make a paper bag bookcover (like in the olden days for school books!) for the notebook.  This cover will become your template.  I always used to make my paper bag bookcovers with wings – instead of having one long line of paper bag.  Do whatever you’re comfy with.  Crafting a Green World has a good tutorial if you’ve never made a paper bag bookcover before.  This step only takes a few minutes.

3.  Back to the cereal boxes:  When they’re dry, press them out flat.  You should have one long expanse of thin cardboard to work with now.  Take your paper bag template and trace it onto the cereal boxes.  I used the cereal boxes existing scoring/folds as the spine of notebook cover.  Cut out the traced notebook cover.

4.  Use duct tape to reinforce the moving parts of the cover.
5.  Determine the placement of your artwork on the cover.  Cut out your desired design.

6.  Start gluing! 
     a.  For the gold background, I decoupaged (3 parts Glue-All/ 1 part water & a sponge brush) cut pieces around the cover.  I made sure that some of the gold paper wrapped around the edges of the box.  I then used the clamps again to get the paper to stay put while drying.
     b.  Once the background was dry, I placed the rest of the artwork in various places around the cover.  I had to decide how to get the woman on it without ruining the marker work.  I could have used spray adhesive, but I used the Xyron I bought ages ago and rarely use.  The Xyron is great!  But spray adhesive would work fine.
7.  Take the paper bag template and cut a full piece of clear Contact paper the total length of the template.
8.  Once your gluing work is complete – and completely dry – cover your work with the Contact paper.  Be careful as this can be tricky with a large piece!  I peeled away small pieces of the Contact paper’s 
backing at a time and smoothed it onto the cover along the way.  I used my boxcutter (*shh, I’m a bad crafter with no X-acto knife*) to slit the Contact paper at the notebook cover’s wings.  I folded the excess Contact paper to the back side of the notebook cover.

That’s it, your notebook cover is done!  Put your new cover around your notebook and enjoy your handiwork!  (Note:  Your notebook cover may need some “coaxing” to flatten.  I sat on mine…my extra weight is finally good for something ;))


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