Blue felt book cover saying Let’s Go for notebook on pink background

How to make a kid’s nature journal

What better way to capture treasured memories and nature sightings, than in your very own nature notebook?

Help your children create their own adventures with this personalised journal. This bespoke book cover makes a great gift, or is a perfect rainy day craft to do together.

This pattern uses felt to provide a tough protection cover for a notebook. You can use any other material you think would work and can change the size of the notebook to suit your needs.

Tip: if you use a notebook larger than A6, you’ll need to use more than one piece of fabric for the outside cover and sew them together along the book’s spine.

Materials needed:

  • Cutting files
  • Iron-on appliqué paper CASTBL1
  • Piece of scrap 12 x 12 inch paper
  • 12 x 12 inch felt for cover jacket
  • 12 x 12 inch felt for inside covers
  • An assortment of colours of felt for pocket, bookmark and letters. Use sticky back felt if you can find it. If not, you'll need to iron appliqué paper to the back of the felt you're using for letters and cut outs.
  • Glue
  • B6 softcover notebook (the pattern is designed for a B6 book, however, you can edit the pattern if you have a different size notebook – just remember to scale everything appropriately)
  • Button for inside of flower
  • Thread
  • USB memory stick to transfer patterns to ScanNCut (if your model does not support WiFi)

Equipment needed:

General instructions relating to ScanNCut:

  1. Always choose the correct mat for your material. The material should stick to the mat securely. Test a small piece on a corner of your mat to make sure you can remove it again without damaging the material. You can find our handy mat and blade guide for ScanNCut DX models here, and the ScanNCut CM models mat and blade guide here.
  2. We recommend that you do a test cut before you cut your design.
  3. Patterns can be transferred to your ScanNCut via USB or WiFi, depending on your model.

Step 1

Transfer pattern A for the outside of the book cover to your ScanNCut. Place the felt onto the mat and cut the outside cover. If you need to, background scan the felt and then move your cutting pattern to make sure it fits.

Tip: an easy way to remove the small felt fibres left behind on your cutting mat, is to lightly wipe your mat with a non-alcoholic baby wipe and let your mat dry before you use it again.

If you’re using a different size notebook to B6 you will need to change the pattern in CanvasWorkspace. To make sure your pattern is the right size, measure your notebook lying flat and then add 2cm to both the length and height.

If you’re using a notebook that’s bigger than B6, then you’ll need to split your pattern into two separate cutting templates and sew them together once cut out. Don’t forget to take the spine into account if you have a thick notebook!

Step 2

Transfer pattern B for the inside covers/lining to your ScanNCut. Place felt on mat and cut the two pieces.
If you’re using a different sized notebook, use CanvasWorkspace to amend the pattern to fit.

Step 3

Transfer pattern C for the cardholder pocket to your ScanNCut and cut one piece.
This pocket is for feathers, leaves and anything you find on your adventures.

Sketch of a adventure diary

Step 4

Place the pocket piece onto the back inside cover/lining, pin and sew round the outside edges, leaving the top side of the pocket open. Like the decorations, make sure the pocket is at least 2cm away from the outside and bottom edge of the cover, so you don’t catch it in the seams when you sew the whole cover together.

Tip: you could embroider, sew or embellish the pocket before sewing it onto the back inside cover.
Adventure diary cover open with yellow inside cover pink felt pocket

Step 5

Place the inside covers/lining onto the outer cover, wrong sides together, right sides facing towards you.
Pin and sew the cover pieces together, 0.25cm from the edge. Leave the two inside edges open, then slip the notebook’s cover into them.

Step 6

If you’re not using sticky back felt, iron appliqué paper to all the felt pieces that you will use for the shapes to decorate your journal with. Remove the paper backing and place glue side onto the mat.

Transfer Pattern D to your ScanNCut. Cut the required shapes and remove them carefully from the mat to ensure the glue stays on the felt.

Tip: even though the cut outs are all on one pattern they don’t all need to be of the same colour. Place your scraps of felt onto the mat and use the background scanning function to position your designs.

For the text for the front of the diary you can use Pattern E, or feel free to write your own text direct into the ScanNCut/using CanvasWorkspace.

Step 7

Iron or stick the letters, leaves and flower onto the front of the diary.
Blue felt adventure diary cover with hands sticking on felt leaf

Step 8

Glue the button into the middle of the flower on the cover and leave to dry. You could also sew on the button if preferred.

Step 9

Get your bookmark, pen and let the adventures begin.
Adventure diary open to front page with leaf bookmark and ScanNCut
We can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can share your makes and inspire others.

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