Friday, January 29, 2010

My very simple Tea Towel Challenge diary cover and tutorial!

I have been looking at the cover of my 2010 diary for almost a looks so sad and bare. I am not inspired to open it, or write in it. My poor diary. 
With only a few days left of my January Tea Towel Challenge, and a medical ban on my hand stitching for the next week or so,  I knew I needed projects I could make with just simple machine stitching. Today I chose to cover my forlorn diary!
This tea towel is one I got free with a magazine months ago (yes, I DO own a lot of free-with-magazine tea towels, don't I!?), and I love the design so have been keeping it aside for something  special.
So let's cover my diary...

First you'll need to lay the diary across the length of the tea towel and fold in the bottom and top, leaving space for some machine stitching later.
Fold the tea towel over the closed diary to find the centre and even your ends.
Fold in both ends of the tea towel (while the diary is closed) to give you the correct finished dimensions.
Press all the folds with a hot iron.
I wanted to add something special to my diary cover so I took a long piece of satin ribbon, a tassle, a key, and a padlock...
...and stitched them together (okay, I did six hand stitches!) before sewing the ribbon marker into the  middle of the bottom inside seam.
This way the ribbon marker comes up from the bottom to mark the page...
Stitch along the bottom and top of the cover to secure the side folds in place.
Slide the diary into the cover, and bring the ribbon marker up from the bottom to mark the current day's page, then it folds over the top of the diary to add some glamour!
How simple was that!?
I couldn't wait to write in my diary now that she's all prettied up...
Wow - the Challenge is almost over!!
Hurry up and send me photos of your own January Challenge tea towel projects, or leave me a comment with a link to your photo in a blog post. 
I have another idea for tomorrow, and it doesn't involve any handstitching either...wonder what it is? Can you guess?
Here is Bronny's smart idea for a tea towel...
...a casserole carrier!! Bronny is a cross-stitcher and she stitched 'Pot Luck' on the tea towel before she began it's transformation. If you visit Bronny's blog you'll find a tutorial for the casserole carrier! Brilliant idea, Bronny!

If you haven't had time to make something for my January Challenge, you can join in the creative fun with my February Challenge...but no hints as to what that is just yet!


  1. Thank you for the journal tutorial. I want to cover one and use some embroidery silks and sisho (sp?) glass I got for Christmas.
    Love Bronnies teatowl idea.

  2. Wow that looks great, I will have to make a few of these for gifts.

    Thank you

  3. I am going to have to start collecting nice tea towels now (and heaven helps the washer upper who uses them!) as all these projects have really inspired me!!
    I finally got a project done, and blogged about it here:
    I loved seeing Blossom's stitchery in P&S - and can't wait to make it up!

  4. What a wonderful idea for gifts, using tea towels or small bits of left over fabric to cover any size note book. The bookmark has endless possibilities. You can't keep a good woman down! Thanks Jenny

  5. Thank you for showing how you make a book cover, it looks so easy. I made a few, but have never seeh your way before.

  6. I really like your journal cover, thanks heaps for the tutorial. I will have to make one myself!

  7. Hi Jenny, how are you, everything ok? Thank you for the great tutorial. Can I link this on my blog??? Hugs, Renata. Have a nice weekend!

  8. Wow Jen, that's probably the prettiest tea towel I've seen!!! LOVE it!!! What a fabulous idea to use it as a cover for your diary ... now you get to enjoy it everyday!!
    Love n Hugs,
    Joy :o)

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. What an amazing difference the cover makes to the journal.
    Hope your wrists and hands are improving.

  10. What a charming journal cover! Amazing how easy it is! I never would have thought of that, I would have made it very complicated!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Great project but oh how I'm LOVING the tea towels with the sweet birds.

  12. Your journal looks so much better now!

    I love all of the creative ideas people have came up with for the tea towels :)

    The other day, while looking for something totally different, I came across a blog with a tutorial on how to make a pair of baby pants from a tea towel! I have no use for it but maybe one of your readers will...

    Have a great day!


  13. That is soooooooo cute and I have the perfect t-towel!!

  14. Hi Jenny, thanks permitting me to put a link, have a fine weekend with you beautiful family! Hugs, Renata.

  15. 2 more great projects.. and Jenny I love that towel. It is so pretty and to cover your diary is perfect.. The bag is really cute too.Keep showing us, I love seeing everyone entry.

  16. The journal cover is perfect! Love the ribbon and charms!

    Hope you'll recover fast ... just be careful and not over excert!

  17. Brilliant, dear Jenny! Trust you to turn something blah into something beautiful! I think I need to subscribe to Aussie magazines, you sure get a lot of towels....

  18. Love the T Towel in your journal cover.. I never find nice ones like that... LOL
    Thanks for the tut on it as well....
    Cath Ü

  19. What a pretty diary now. No wonder you want to make lots of notes. Isn't it amazing how it is often the simplest ideas that are the most effective.

  20. Ooh lovely idea sweetie!

    The tea towell is gorgeous! And I love how the ribbon comes "up and over" rather than just falling down, like most. Great stuff! :-)

    And you can re-use it on your dairy next year or use it on a notebook - recyclable!

    I love how Bron stitched "pot luck" on her casserole carrier - clever girl, I love word play! :-)

    Lots a love sweetie - have a wonderful weekend! :-)

    Vikki xoxo

  21. Gorgeous Diary Jen - It is just so pretty !

  22. Simple & pretty! I am going to link to this project on Dollar store crafts on 2/06.


  23. So pretty!! I blogged about your tutorial over on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  24. Hi Jenny. I love the pattern of the tea towel. What a great idea for a book cover. You make it look so simple I want to try it. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I'll be following along to learn more great tips.

    Hugs....Tracy :)

  25. That cover is lovely. I'm going to try to make one for my Bible. I've been needing one, but hate to pay for one!! lol

  26. I discovered your lovely post during the week and was able to follow it to make some lovely gifts for friends. Thanks for sharing.