Happy Accidents: Note Pad Cover

I almost didn’t post this project, it wasn’t at all what I had in mind for a final project, but instead of throwing out what looked like a complete failure, I kept going with it and watched my project take a completely different look and actually, really like it!

I wanted to experiment with printing on leather. I have some scraps that my blogger/designer/etsy friend, Desirai in Florida, sent me in a crafty care package months ago. This leather was too thick to feed through my desktop printer (I’ve really pushed my luck cramming stuff into my poor Epson,) so I thought I would try fabric iron-on transfer sheets.

If you knew me, you’d know I have a terrible memory, especially as the tasks build up. And I had a stack of little yellow note pads that I picked up cheap when they were being discontinued at the grocery store a while back. I wanted to sew a beautiful leather note pad cover with a beautiful crisp image to tuck into my purse. Successfully iron on a cool graphic, stitch along the edges, line with cool fabric, you get the picture. So, with images off a CD-ROM from the book Label Art, by Dover-Pictura, I chose a beautiful root beer label and modified it in Photoshop and Illustrator.

I printed a transfer sheet, and usual, I always forget to flop the image before printing, so that takes care of the first sheet of every new package. But the second turned out perfect. I knew the image would loose it’s color brilliance when transferring to the taupe leather, figuring that would give a weathered look. So on to ironing…

Even with the steam turned off, there was quite a bit of moisture when ironing as the leather isn’t porous, and the transfer got pretty funky. So instead of tossing it, I trimmed it out like a patch, roughed it up by rubbing it on my jeans and other textured surfaces, and sewed it to some scrap denim cut from the leg of my husband’s old Levi’s. (He’ll never know.)

A fold here, seam there, a strap inside, then some fraying of the edges (because I wasn’t in the mood for more seams,) and I created a sort of Bohemian-Cowgirl-notepad-thingy.

I’m including a JPG of the modified image, you can click on it then drag it to your computer. Whether or not you make a note pad or use the image, hopefully you’ll be not only inspired to create outside the box, but to hang onto your mistakes until you think of a wonderful alternative.

Next I’ll try transfer sheets for dark fabric, they are more of an applied decal, I’ll keep you updated!

And while on the subject of taking notes, I wanted to share this fun neckace I made with darling little dance-card pencils I found on Etsy, that I attached to an old and broken rosary chain. You never know when you’ll need to write something down!

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