A Hot Scrappy Mess Journal and Tote Tutorial

It’s about time I’ve been able to get back on here and post something. I guess all I can say is that I really have a 2 year old ;). I had made this journal a while back to give to my husband for our anniversary.

What a hot scrappy mess journal cover

He journals a lot when he does Bible studies, quiet time, writes songs, etc, so it’s a perfect gift. I’m planning on making a few more for some Christmas presents for those who like to write, draw, journal, etc.

A full view

I’m going to share a tutorial for how I made the journal cover. I know journal covers have been done before, but I tried to make one the easiest and fastest way I could. And a sneak peek…

The finished product

…this is a tote bag I did using the same method. See further down for pics.

Journal Cover:

What you need:
-2 pieces of felt
-Scrap Fabric
-2 Buttons (for closure)

-Small pieces of elastic (think about reusing broken hairbands or elastic that holds shoes together when first purchased)

1. Sew two pieces of felt together


2. Place journal on top, so it is in the middle, and measure how much to cut off. Make sure to leave about a half inch or so extra around the bottom and top edge (I forgot to do this and ended up gluing the cover on, but if you sew the flaps, it can be reused on other journals later).


3. Cut off excess felt at the bottom and on the sides if necessary. Make sure to leave enough on the sides to fold over to create the flap.

4. Lay the piece of felt right side up. Take your scraps and just start placing them all over.




5. Pin all the pieces in place.


6. Sew the them all on however you like. I just kind of went crazy with it. No order or anything to the fabric or the sewing. Just did what I felt like. It reminded me of how my child does art. It seems chaotic, since she is only 2, yet comes out really cool anyways.


7. Cut two small pieces of elastic. It should be long enough to be sewn onto one inside flap and come over the journal side to the top to loop onto a button.


8. Pin the elastic where you would like it to hold the journal together at. Sew it on.


9. Then, cover the ends with a small piece of fabric and sew that on.


10. Fold the ends in and place the buttons to line up with the elastic. Take journal cover off and hand sew on the buttons.

Button and elastic closure

11. Place the cover on the journal again and fold the flaps to the inside and sew together at the top and bottom to create the pocket to place the journal cover (unlike what I forgot to do :).

The Tote Bag:

I basically did the same thing. I took a blank tote,

Plain tote

Covered it in scraps.

Piling on the scraps

And more scraps

Pinned them in place.

Pinning things in place

Sewed them on and added other embellishments (crocheted flowers, felt heart, embroidered stems on the apples).

The finished product

That’s it. Happy Sewing!
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  1. says

    I love the bag!! Looks like something you could buy at a super trendy boutique! I can never seem to get stuff like this right w/o it looking all wrong.Very good job!

  2. says

    This is another reason now as to why I can’t throw out scraps :)

    Great job! I especially love the journal you made for your husband.

  3. says

    Such a neat idea! Thanks for the tutorials. I also clicked on the baby block post and that would make a great gift for an upcoming shower I’m attending in addition to a diaper bag and a box of diapers!

  4. says

    I think both of those are super cute! My hubby is a musician too, and could use one of them “men” journals. Thanks for the tute, just a suggestion, adhesive spray basting might make it just a bit easier, no pins to fuss with. Thanks again, love your blog!

  5. says

    OH my Word! I love your journal! i have been wanting to make one for myself for the longest time and just haven’t gotten around to it. I Think I will make this tonight! Love it! Super easy and pretty much free…. Cool thanks for all your Fabulous ideas! Keep on Rockin!

  6. says

    The same basic idea for the notebook can be used with paper and works great also! (hodgepodge is my best friend) but I love the color and stuff you put in the journal and tote!

  7. says

    i’m Monica to Milan italy
    Compliments your tutorial is very nice
    November 8 will do an article on my blog where you talk about your idea
    By Bye

  8. says

    Okay, I’m excited! I love the tote. I needed a pattern and I finally found this idea and I love.e.e.e IT! Simply because I won’t waste time cutting pattern pieces and I have a ton of scraps. I will be starting on this one asap! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Jessica says

      I used a machine. But you could totally do it by hand, it would just give it a different look. But still a pretty look :)


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