Altered Composition Notebooks

For Christmas last year my sister Lynn gave me this really cute composition notebook she had modified with scrapbook paper and ribbon. I took it to work and began using it to take notes and doodle in at meetings. I got so many compliments on it that I decided to make some myself to give as gifts. I thought that since school starts in just another week, this would be a perfect time to dig out my pretty paper and ribbons and make a few as back-to-school gifts for my colleagues. And since composition notebooks are just fifty cents at most stores right now, this is not just a quick and easy craft, it’s inexpensive, too.


Altered composition notebook supplies--notebooks, glue, Mod Podge, ribbon, scrapbook paper
Altered composition notebook supplies–notebooks, glue, Mod Podge, ribbon, scrapbook paper

Standard composition notebook
2 Coordinating patterned scrapbook papers
1 4”x9 ¾” and 2 6×9 ¾” pieces
Coordinating 1/2 inch ribbon
1 11” and 2 10”
Mod Podge
Elmer’s Glue


1. Start by cutting paper and ribbon to the right size. If you plan on making a bunch of notebooks, you might want to make a template for the paper. It’ll make the cutting a lot quicker.

Adding the Bookmark2. Using Elmer’s Glue, glue one inch of the end of the 11 inch piece of ribbon to the top of the back of the composition notebook at the binding. This will be the bookmark. Tuck the ribbon out of the way into the notebook.

3. Using Mod Podge, attach the 4×9 ¾” inch strip of scrapbook paper to the binding of the notebook, making sure that the paper is approximately 2 inches on the front and 2 inches on the back. (The paper should cover the ribbon end)

4. Neatly cover the front and back with the remaining pieces of paper using Mod Podge.

5. Once the glue has had a chance to dry, neatly trim the edges if necessary, especially those rounded corners.

6. Using Elmer’s Glue, cover the paper seams, both on the front and back, with the remaining two pieces of ribbon, trimming the ends as needed.

7. You can stop here, or feel free to add additional embellishments. Buttons, ribbons, lace, etc. all can add visual interest to your notebook. You don’t want to add too much dimension, though, as it may make it difficult to write on the back side of the pages in your notebook.

Example 3Example Two

Example One
Sending your little one off to school with a cute composition notebook is a fun way to start the new school year. Or make one as an inexpensive, yet thoughtful teacher gift. You can’t go wrong either way.

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