Wrap up plans and lists in a sea-inspired notebook cover made with tactile yarns and fastened with a tassel cord. Words and photographs: Shore Cottage Studio

We like to make lists and draw up grand schemes for the months ahead, both of which necessitate carrying a notebook or sketchbook at all times. There’s nothing worse than having inspiration strike and not having the means to jot it down.

How wonderful it is to write in a new book with a soft graphite stick or your favourite fountain pen, a feeling that can’t be matched by a voice note or a typed reminder stored in your mobile phone. We like to treat ourselves to Seawhite of Brighton sketchbooks, which have heavy, textural paper. If you’re going to have a notebook to whip out while walking the dog on the beach or running errands, it should be beautiful as well as useful.

These covered notebooks can be knitted with scraps of wool and are easy to make, even for non-knitters, who can follow our online tuition videos. The finished cover will wrap up your thoughts and dreams keeping them safe and warm. Once your book is full, you can easily remove the cover and slide in a crisp new pad. Our sea- and sky-inspired knits are bound with cords, embellished with shells or wrapped around driftwood toggles.


• oddments of knitting wool in all textures – we used sea and sky colours for ours

• pair of knitting needles

• darning needle with a large eye

• scissors

• piece of driftwood to fasten

• shells (optional)


1. Cut your wool into lengths of 30-60cm (12-24in). Tie two pieces together leaving tails of about 5cm (2in). Keep tying new strands and winding into a ball as you go.

2. Begin to knit. When you get to a knot with tails, don’t work them in, let them hang free. Keep holding the knitting up to the book; cast off when you’ve covered the book with 3cm (1in) overlap on each end.

3. Place the spine of the book in the centre of the knitting and open out flat. Fold over one edge of knitting to the inside of the front cover. With a darning needle, stitch top edge with a scrap of wool.

4. Once you’ve stitched the top and bottom of the book, repeat with the back cover. Plait a few strands of yarn together and finish with a knot and tassel, adding shells or driftwood, if you wish.

Click through our gallery below to see the journal cover in progress:

In search of more crafts? Try our step-by-step guide for making a coastal winter lantern, or keep an eye out for crafts in the magazine.

Shore Cottage Studio consists of three generations of artists living and working on the Wirral Peninsula. They run short creative courses taking inspiration from their surroundings in fused glass, photography, textiles and laser-etching. They also exhibit their work and produce commissions. Oh, and there is usually cake. You can book a course or commission a piece on their website shorecottagestudio.com