I use notebooks all the time, but those spiral bindings don’t easily hold pens, and in my purse it seems I either have no pens or about eighteen of them! I was on the Knitting & Sewing & Other Stuff blog and saw she had made these awesome pencil pockets for notebooks. Basically, they are fabric with some elastic, made into a long sleeve-like pocket for holding a pen or pencil in, so they attach right to the cover, or around the entire notebook if you also want to use it to keep the notebook closed. She found it on Whip It Up, another great place to find crafting ideas, if you don’t already read it.
The tutorial to make them is on Flickr, and they are amazingly easy to make.
Also reminded me of these cute Denim Pencil Pockets I saw on Kid Crafts Magazine this summer, the instructions are on the Family Fun site. Essentially, you cut out the denim pocket (and the backing on the jeans, so you still have the “pocket” when you cut it out) from a pair of old jean, decorate it up with embroidery, glitter glue, etc, and attach magnets and they magnetize for a locker. I remembered these because I thought it would be a cute way to keep a few pen in the kitchen, and put on the fridge so I could always find them!
And along the same lines is this Notebook Cover from the Craft Blog.
I am also knitting the Knitted Notebook Cover (Ravelry link) from the book 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders although I am making it slightly different size to fit the same size of books as beginning chapter books (ala Magic Treehouse book size). If crochet is more your thing, there is the Crochet Book Sox / Cover and Stylish Book Cover.
I have this Creative Journal from the Dreams of Yarn blog on my to-do list to give my daughter for Christmas, since she loves all things journalling right now, I am going to buy a notebook and a set of those sparkly glitter pens to put in the pen slots. I might do a matching one for her best friend too. The full instructions are here on One Red Robin, it is an incredibly easy gift to make.
And there is the Patchwork Paper Notebook Cover, which uses scrapbook paper to make a nicer notebook cover than the one that was on it when you bought it. This is also a great one for your kids to make, because they can personalize it themselves. And it is also a good project to put all those little pieces of leftover scrapbook paper to use.
If I have linked to any of your projects, I am happy to include a picture of your project here, just comment below and I will add it 🙂