A few years ago I made a homemaking binder for my friend, and while I was making it, I thought it would be fun to post a tutorial so that you could know how to make one, too! 🙂

It’s a perfect gift for a young lady’s birthday, a bride-to-be, or just for yourself as a pretty way to keep track of household chores and information. Leah came up with this idea and made one for Cassia for her special sixteenth birthday party and we all LOVED it 😀



What you’ll need:

  • a  12″ x 12″ scrapbook binder.  I got this one from Hobby Lobby, and if you use their 40% off coupon, you can get it for about $12
  • 1/2 yard each of two different materials of your choice (you won’t need quite as much for the part over the spine of the binder, so if you have scraps laying around, you just need one 9″ x 13″ piece for that part.)
  • 2 yards decorative ribbon
  • One small piece of clear vinyl  2 1/2″  by  3 3/4″.  I got mine at Joanns where they sell all the vinyl tablecloths.
  • Hot glue gun
  • matching thread






Cut one piece 13 inches tall by 9 inches wide. 

This is for the spine cover.

[If you are using a different sized binder, figure your measurements like this:

-Binder height + 1 inch.  This is the height of the material.

-Wrap material around spine (or use a tape measure and visualize!) and decide how much of it you want to see on the front and back.  Measure and add 1 inch.  This is the width of your material]


Cut two contrasting pieces 13 inches tall by 16 inches wide.

This is for the front and back covers.

[Or if you’re using a different sized binder:

-Binder height + 1 inch.  This is the height measurement.

-Lay out your small piece along the spine, then take your contrasting material (or your tape measure) and make it meet the small piece, and wrap the material/tape measure around to the inside of the cover, at least 5 inches.  Add 1 1/2″ to this measurement.  This is the width.]



Cut one piece out of the clear vinyl  2 1/2″  by  3 3/4″

This is for the cardstock tag you’ll get to insert on the side 🙂  To get the rounded hole (to make inserting and pulling the tag out easier), use a quarter as a template.



Sew your spine cover to the larger contrasting materials at 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Sew along the 13″ sides.  Press the seams out towards the large pieces of material.



Attach the vinyl pocket.

Center it on the spine material, about 1  3/4″ from the top and 3″ from the seams, with the rounded end down. Use masking tape to hold it in place while you stitch.  Don’t stitch over the tape, though!




Stitch on the decorative ribbon.

This part is optional, but it gives it a nice finishing touch.  Just center the ribbon over the seams and stitch it down on both sides of the ribbon.


Hem the sides.

Take the raw 13″ ends, and press the fabric over once at about 3/8″ with an iron, then over again on itself.  Stitch it down.


Make the pocket flaps.

Spread out the cover with the right side of the material facing you.  Now fold back the right side about 4 1/2 inches and pin.  Repeat for the left side.


Now baste it down using a long stitch (4.0 or longer on your machine) at about a 1/2 inch seam allowance.



Turn pockets right side out. Slip it on the binder to see if it fits snug, but not too tight.


If it fits well, stitch along your basting stitches.  On the one below, it was a tad loose, so I went in deeper with my stitching to make it fit better.  Once you have the right fit, clip the corners.


Slip it on the binder and bring the extra material over the binder as shown below.



Now measure out your ribbon to go 1/2 to 1 inch underneath your pocket, and then tuck it under the binder rings.  Repeat for the other side.  Now with your hot glue gun, carefully glue the fabric down first with a thin string of glue.  Pull it snug over the top, but not too tight.  Glue ribbon down over the fabric with a little more glue.






Make sure the ribbon is slid underneath the binder rings.


A pair of tweezers help with the little detail work, such as poking  the ribbon under the binder rings or down into folds and crevices.


If you wish, you can hot glue along the pockets as well.  My sister did not, and it is a nice extra pocket to put small papers, but I did so that all my seams were covered up 🙂  It’s up to you!


You did it!  It’s finished!  Take it outside in the grass and take a picture of it (lol!)

Come back for Part 2: Filling the Notebook  🙂




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Homemaking Binder Tutorial [Part One]
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5 thoughts on “Homemaking Binder Tutorial [Part One]

  • February 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Oh, I like that! Very nice and thank you for the tutorial! ~ Lauren : )

  • February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Wow! How creative! My sister and I have been meaning to make these for a while now, but never get around to it. Thanks for the tutorial! ~Lydia

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Awesome binder! I’m going to try to make one for my sister & I. Thanks for sharing ladies! ~ Sarah

  • March 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I recently found your blog and thought it cool that we dress similar, and that there are seven of you girls as although I am 1 of 10 [9 girls 1] only 7 of us still at home [all girls], and that one of you had the same name as me [even if it is spelled slightly different] as I have never met or heard of any one with the same name as me until I found your blog.
    I like the tutorial and may cover the binder I got in fabric scraps for a quilted look, I tried to find part 2 [ as I am trying to figure out how to do the inside of my Homemaking Binder] but I couldn’t seem to find it maybe I missed it?
    I have enjoyed reading your blog and keep checking for any updates [don’t feel bad life gets busy I know as I am so post to help keep Daddy’s blog updated and haven’t posted in all most a year yikes!

    • March 25, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Hey Charisa! Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂 You are right…I never did finish part two :O I even have all the pictures for it, lol! I can’t promise when I’ll be able to sit down and finish it, but one of these days I hope to 😉 -Jessica


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