My goddaughter and her sister start school soon, and they’ve been excitedly shopping for all of their back-to-school paraphernalia. They show me their latest finds every time I see them, and man, they need a lot of STUFF! I wish someone would make me buy art boxes and pencil pouches. I’m always looking for reasons to justify buying that pack of 10 highlighters and a dozen notebooks. I think I need to go back to school. (Did you like school? I loved it…)
But since that’s not in the cards, I’ll settle for a few new office supplies. I got some fun metallic Sharpie markers, some post-it notes, a coloring book, and a 50-pack of washable markers. (What? Adult coloring is cool now!) I still needed a notebook though. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with tweens, but it seemed really obvious that I had to make an ombre sequin DIY notebook.
If you have crafty kids in your life, this would be a great DIY project for them to kill some time during these last few weeks of summer. You can find plain notebooks at craft stores or any of the big box stores (I saw them at Target recently). Pick a few different colored sequins that you like, and simply hot-glue them onto the cover. Don’t forget this tip to get rid of hot glue threads.
It probably seems like we have a sequin obsession here at A&C. I mean, we’ve put them on vases, door signs, swizzle sticks, and Christmas ornaments. But if you came to our homes, you’d actually be hard pressed to find sequins anywhere. We believe that a little bit of sparkle here and there, just enough to make you smile, is the sequin’s raison d’etre! This DIY ombre sequin notebook does just that. It makes me happy when I pick it up to use, but I can tuck it away when I’m done so my husband doesn’t get annoyed that there are pink sequins in our house. Perfect!
It’s best to buy your notebook first, to have some idea of how many sequins you need. Find out how many square inches you’ll need to cover by multiplying the length times the height of the notebook. My notebook was 5×7 inches, so my notebook is 35 square inches. You need about 6 inches of pre-strung sequins per square inch, so I used about 210 inches of sequins/almost 18 feet (35 square inches x 6 = 210 inches of sequins). I always err on the high side, because I’d rather have extra sequins than run out mid-project! For some guidelines: a large 10.5×8 notebook will take about 500 inches/42 feet of sequins, and a composition notebook (9.75×7.5) will take about 410 inches/34 feet.
What you’ll need:
A hot glue gun and glue
A notebook with a blank cover
Pre-strung sequins (find out how much you’ll need using the formula above)
What to do:
1. Sometimes sequins get twisted on the strand and aren’t lined up perfect. Start by fixing any kinks or twisted sequins on your strands.
2. Pull a few sequins off one end of the first strand you’re working with so you have about 1/2 inch of bare thread hanging off the end.
3. Set the thread on the work surface at the bottom of the notebook so that the bare thread, or the beginning of the strand, is at the open end of the book cover (not the binding end).
4. Draw a thin line of hot glue along one end of the notebook and quickly glue down the sequins in a straight line, leaving the bare thread hanging off the edge of the cover. Be careful to line up the sequins so that they don’t hang over the edge of the notebook cover, or those ones will get bent and damaged pretty easily. (See the photo above.)
5. Glue the bare thread down on the inside of the cover. Let the glue cool before closing the notebook, or you’ll glue the first page to the cover!
6. Draw another thin line of hot glue directly above the first row of sequins. Without cutting the string of sequins, snake it back and overlap it slightly with the first layer, so none of the notebook cover is showing. Repeat until the notebook is covered! Clean up any dangling threads of hot glue.
If you make a mistake, you can pull up the sequins and try again, so don’t worry! You can also fill in any little holes with individual sequins if necessary. I ended up with some bare spots at the edges of the notebook, where I snaked the sequins. Just put a tiny dab of hot glue on a loose sequin and carefully tuck it into the hole.