Looking for an easy handmade gift idea? Here’s a hand stitched notebook you can create in minutes using a paper notebook and embroidery thread.

how to make a hand stitched notebook

If you’ve ever met my sister…..you know I am totally stating the obvious when I tell you that she’s amazing.


On the amazing scale if 1 is a really good hair day and a 10 is finding all the cute tags and wrapping paper that you bought last year for 90% off….

….she’s a 25.

She can do anything she decides to do like this hand stitched notebook.

When she decided she was going to run a marathon….she did.

Or when she told me she wanted to take part in a 150-mile bike race….she did.

She’s starred in an off-Broadway play and had her monologues featured on the Huffington Post and went to India on a mission trip and rescued a Jack Russell terrier from Hurricane Katrina….

….because she said she would.

And when we watched the ice dancing on the Winter Olympics and she turned to me and said…I could do that.

She could.

Watch out 2018.

hand stitched notebook with embroidery thread

When I was home for Thanksgiving she showed me these amazing hand stitched notebooks that she made.

Because she said she would.

I immediately fell in love with them and told her that you all needed to see them and could I post them on the blog and where did she get the notebooks and was it hard to do and after she finished learning how to ice dance could she show me how she made them.

Hand-Stitched Notebook project

And she said:

1. Of course.

2. Target and IKEA.

3.  It’s easy.

4.  She decided against the ice dancing thing after Charlie and Meryl stole America’s hearts.

5.  Here’s how she made them….

Hand-Stitched Notebook handmade gift

How to Make a Hand Stitched Notebook

1.  Find a notebook with a paper cover.

2.  Lightly sketch

Draw what you want to hand-stitch on the front of the notebook with a pencil.

She made a row of birds and swirls and a camera and a jet plane and a mustache.

3.  Using embroidery thread, stitch along the outline.

She used a back-stitch, but you could also use a running stitch or split stitch or chain stitch.

Here’s a great list of stitches and how to make them.

Hand-Stitched Notebook project (2)

4.  Continue until you have filled in the outline.

Tie off the end with a knot.

Here’s how it looks like on the reverse.

Hand-Stitched Notebook moustache

And here’s the finished front of the notebook.

Hand-Stitched Notebook moustache

And after you finish stitching the front….open up and add a note inside.

Something simple.

Something from the heart.

Something to let that special someone know you care.

Hand-Stitched Notebook note

And so my amazing actress, almost ice dancer, bike rider, runner, sister and friend.

You make me laugh until my sides hurt.

You make me so proud.

You make my heart smile from ear to ear.

And when I am with you….

….there’s no place I’d rather be. 🙂

how to make a hand stitched notebook project diy

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  1. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, I have 3 sisters and feel the same way about them. Nothing compares to the love between sisters! Your sister is amazing like you ! Christine

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    There are people who have sisters of the blood and there are those who have sisters of the heart -- how lucky you have both. She sounds like she a big rock star -- just like you. I like to think of myself as a nova -- just a little itty bitty twinkle -- not yet bright and shining like Y-O-U!! Have a great day and I love the notebook idea.

  3. Image for Michael @ Crafty Dad.com Michael @ Crafty Dad.com

    KariAnne - These are sweet! What did your sister use to poke the holes in the covers I'm guessing it's too thick for an embroidery needle to go through without a pre-drilled hole. Can you share? P.S. What a gracious tribute to your sister. She sounds pretty amazing. : )

  4. Image for Karen Karen

    Ok, now that I've picked myself up off the floor from laughing at the tinnitus post above (you know at first I thought they were referring to voices in your head) What a great post! These are adorable! Your sister IS amazing! She must have gotten it from YOU! For those of us who are just out of time (or human) .....Barnes and Noble has some in their journal area that are lovely with handmade paper covers and stitching :) Have a wonderful day! Karen

  5. Image for Funky Junk Interiors Funky Junk Interiors

    What a neat touch! Between Marianne's post on sewing stars together, Cass's doll pattern, and now you stitching a book, all this sewing enticement could ruin my junk career! Unless your sister can teach me how to sew metal... I have FULL faith here! :) Lovely project! Such a pretty, personalized detail to add! I could see a monogram in my future...

  6. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    Karianne, I am in shock that there is another woman like you with unlimited talents. I would love to know more about your mother and father and find out how you became super women. I know your children are special because we see them and you tell us about them, however, I may not have been following you long enough to know more of your background. Awesome!

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