DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

by LindaM
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DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

When making stitched mixed media journals with rigid covers I particularly like to use a heavyweight stabilizer such as double-sided fusible Peltex to make the stitched journal covers. This type of stabilizer makes it easy to construct the covers because it’s easy to sew using either hand stitching or machine sewing. However it’s not always readily available in stores, and because it’s quite stiff and rigid it becomes expensive to order and ship through online outlets.

Back in the days before there was any such thing as this type of heavyweight stabilizer, textile artists were making their own thick stabilizer using simple supplies that were readily available from their own supply stash. Here’s how to do it.

Gather your supplies

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

Instructions for Making DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers

Cut one piece of cardboard and two pieces of felt, about an inch larger than you what you need. When using a cereal box or even a pizza box, it may not be large enough to cut out in one piece, so you may need to cut several pieces such as for the front cover, back cover and spine. You can use any color felt; I like to use white when using light colored fabric, and black when using dark colored fabric.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

Spray one side of the cardboard with a spray glue. Use this type of glue outside or in a well ventilated area – you don’t want to be breathing this stuff in. Alternatively you can apply a light coat of craft glue to cover the complete surface of one side of the cardboard. If using fusible felt, follow the directions and iron it directly to the cardboard.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

Press the glued side of the cardboard onto the felt and press the pieces together by hand, or use a brayer which makes it easier.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

Apply glue to the other side of the cardboard and press to the other piece of felt. You should now have a sandwich of felt/cardboard/felt.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

That’s it! Allow the glue to dry, cut to size and it’s ready to use, just like you would use thick stabilizer or chipboard for constructing your journal cover.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

The cardboard is thin enough to sew using either a sewing machine or by hand, and the felt provides a softly textured surface which makes it ideal for sewing and embellishing.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

Make it Thicker for Really Rigid Stitched Journal Covers!

To make a thicker, more rigid piece, simply add more layers of cardboard and felt. Keep in mind that if it gets too thick, you may have trouble machine sewing it unless your machine has a walking foot or an even feed foot. To make the DIY stabilizer fusible, simply iron some fusible webbing such as Pellon Wonder Under to both sides of the felt.

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

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DIY Heavyweight Stabilizer for Stitched Journal Covers and Book Covers

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5 comments

Mary McBride June 5, 2021 - 7:59 am

I’m with Chris! You always amaze me with better ways of doing things! Miss you!♥️

Reply
Margarete November 9, 2018 - 12:33 pm

What a practical idea. Is there a place where you recommend to buy felt? Is any craft felt usable? Thanks.

Reply
LindaM November 12, 2018 - 9:15 am

You can buy felt just about anywhere that sells fabric or craft supplies.

Reply
Barbara Roberts November 2, 2018 - 2:38 pm

Wonderful!! Thank-you for that.

Reply
Chris Flynn November 2, 2018 - 12:07 pm

WOW!!! I’m sure glad I’ve found YOU! Such a simple idea…yet I’ve never thought of it! Thank you Linda for sharing your creativity!
xoxo

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