DIY Applique Journal Cover

Aug 19, 2021 8:15:00 AM / by Jennifer Strauser

Hi!  I’m Jennifer from, and I’m obsessed with dachshunds. 

Well, I’m actually obsessed with just one, Oscar, but I love to craft and decorate with dachshund stuff. 

When I saw the GO! Gingham Dog Die I was initially disappointed.  Sure, it is cute, but it isn't my dog.  Then I realized that I could hack the Gingham dog and get a fairly good dachshund. 

Want to see how? 

How I Made My Dog Journal Cover

I decided to make myself a journal cover. I wanted to cover up this awful NFL composition notebook that I have reclaimed from old school supplies and am using as a creativity journal.  (Waste not, want not, right?) 

I chose to piece my background using 2 ½” strips (because I have that die too). But, you could easily make yours from solid fabric using two fat quarters.  


DIY Applique Journal Cover

NOTE: You will notice in my photos that my journal cover is a little tight. The model in the photos shrank up with quilting more than I would have liked.  I have adjusted the dimensions in my instructions to make your version a bit looser.  



Supplies Needed

  • AccuQuilt Gingham Dog (#55064)
  • AccuQuilt Strip Cutter 2 ½” (#55017)
  • Stripe Fabric - 8 strips, 2 ½” x 10 ¾”, or one rectangle 10 ¾”  x 16 ½” 
  • Cotton Batting - 12” x 18”
  • Lining Fabric - 10 ¾”  x 16 ½” 
  • Inner Flap Fabric 4” x 10 ¾” 
  • Dog Fabric - 6” x 9”
  • Ear Fabric - 2” square
  • Lightweight Fusible Interfacing
  • Appliqué Threads to Match your Dog and Ear Fabrics
  • Hand Quilting Thread - Perle Cotton
  • Embroidery Needle



Step by Step Instructions


Cut Your Dachshund

Step 1:  Fuse your interfacing to the back of your dog fabric.

Step 2:  Place your rectangle of fabric on the die - pay attention to which way you want your finished dog to face.

Pro Tip:  If you want the head pointing right, the paper-backed fusible should face up. If you want the face pointing to the left, then the paper should face down. 


Fold fabric on top of applique shape for a longer dog shape

Step 3:  Fold your fabric to the left - creating a crease in front of the back leg. You can control how long your doggie is with the width of your fold. I like to use between ½ - 1” of fold on mine. Holding the fold in place, fold the fabric again, towards the back of the dog. 


Your new crease should fall behind the front leg. Place the mat on top of your die, and run it through your Go! cutter.  


Cut applique shape


Remove, unfold, and admire your dachshund.  


Trim small bits of undesired fabric from applique


Pro Tip:  If your dog has a little wobble on the belly, just use a sharp pair of scissors and trim it a bit.  


Trim undesired fabric from applique


I accidentally created this battle-ready dachshund.  I was initially appalled. But after a quick trim he turned into an acceptable, if extremely long, doggie. 


Fuse ear in place on dog applique


Step 4:  The ear on the die is just too small for my personal dog so I freehand cut a larger one. Fuse the ear in place. 

Pro Tip:  Mine changed color later in the project. This one matched the background and made my dog look like it had a hole in it instead of an ear. So, keep this in mind when making yours.

Step 5:  Set your dachshund aside. 



Prepare the Background

Step 1:  Cut eight strips of fabric, 10 ¾” x 2 ½”. 

Step 2:  Sew them together with a 1/4" seam to create a piece that is 10 ¾” x 16 ½”. 

Step 3:  Press your seams open.  


Fuse applique on DIY journal cover

Step 4:  Fuse your dachshund in place. 

Pro Tip:  It is helpful to place the cover around your journal to see where you should place your appliqué. Make sure you account for your seam allowance.


Center cover on top of batting


Step 5:  Center your top onto your batting and pin it in place. 


Step 6:  Use your favorite decorative stitch and sew along the outer edge of your dachshund.  You will have to freehand this step, but it is pretty easy if you go slow.  


Step 7:  I chose to use hand quilting to embellish my journal cover.  I used large stitches and Perle cotton in eight colors that went along with the fabric colors I used.  I didn’t mark the lines I stitched. I just did freehand organic lines.  


Trimmed quilted cover


Step 8:  Trim your quilted cover to 10 ¾” x 16 ½”.  



Prepare the Flaps


Prepare the flaps of the journal cover


Step 1:  Turn under a long edge of your flap rectangle by ¼” and press. 


Step 2:  Repeat, so that no raw edge is exposed. 


Step 3:  Topstitch the folded edge down to secure it. 


Step 4:  Repeat with your other flap piece. 



Assemble the Cover


Assemble the cover of the DIY journal cover


Step 1:  Place your quilted piece right side up on your table. Place your flaps at either end with raw edges aligned with the quilt. The turned seam should face up.


Step 2:  Place the lining rectangle on top. Pin in place. 


Step 3:  My notebook has curved corners. I used them to mark the corners of my cover, then sewed along the markings.  

Starting at the bottom of your cover, do a little backstitch and sew around the cover, using a ¼” seam allowance.  I like to use a walking foot for this part, to keep the layers aligned properly.  Sew all the way around, leaving a 2” opening to turn the cover.  


Step 3:  If you curved your corners, trim the excess fabric. 


Step 4:  Turn the cover right side out, gently.  Using a pointy tool, like a chopstick, smooth out the corners. 


Step 5:  Give it a light pressing.  


Completed DIY Journal Cover


Step 6:  Turn the edges of the opening inside and pin them in place. 


Step 7:  Topstitch around the edge of your cover, about ⅛” away from the edge. This will secure the opening and also give your cover a more polished look. 

Enjoy Your DIY Journal Cover!

Slip your notebook into your journal cover, and enjoy! 

If you make a journal cover and share it on social media, tag me!  I'm @jenstrauser on Instagram and I love it when people make my projects. 

Topics: Applique, Quick DIY Projects

Jennifer Strauser

Written by Jennifer Strauser