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It really is almost back to school for our family. Kendall (18) returns to her sophomore year of college in Chicago next week. Michael (16) starts his junior year of his high school on Wednesday.  The older kids are out of college and grad school (for now). But after over 20 years of first day's of school, though my kids are older, I still can transport back in time pretty quickly to the sweet old days when I sent kids to school with lunch boxes and crayons.

With the "back to school" theme in mind, I immediately thought of the composition books I have enhanced many times over the years for both my children and friends as gifts. I cannot tell you how affordable and easy this project is. A few years ago, when school shopping was pretty much over, I bought a case of these composition books for about 20 cents each at Walmart. When you see them as doorbusters or really cheap on clearance, stock up. I have had the case dwindling down in my garage for about 3 years. So handy to have for a quick gift and always, always appreciated! So here goes:

Starting with the finished product first then showing some steps. I much prefer fewer words with instructions so this will be very quick and to the point….


The composition book says it is 9-3/4" x 7-1/2". That is what I imagine to be a standard size. First thing I did was choose two sheets of identical Designer Series Paper (Flashback, #133699, page 186 of the annual catalog) and I traced the composition book on the paper with the bottom edge lined up and with the paper about 2-3" over till it just overlapped with the black spine that the composition book has – no sense wasting DSP. 





Where I traced, I used a paper trimmer to slice the long cuts.


Then I used Paper Snips to trim the corners. The finished pieces below are about 9-5/8" x 6-3/4".



Cut a piece of ribbon about 15-16" long- I used 1/4" Cotton Ribbon in Real Red (#134563).  As you are adhering, with Multipurpose Liquid Glue (#110755), make sure glue hits all edges and before you lay the back piece of DSP down, first lightly glue on the ribbon about 3" down the back and about 1" from the spine. Then glue the DSP down over it. Press it down to get good edges that are crisp. Be careful to not put too much glue on the edges so they aren't oozing out. I used the flatter spreader end of the glue to flatten it out all over then laid it over the book then smoothed it out with my hands. Let dry a bit. Maybe 20 minutes as you are prepping the other pieces.


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Turn the DSP over to find a different yet coordinating pattern. Cut that piece about 9-5/8" x 4-1/2". That will cover the spine and overlap a little with the main piece of DSP. Glue it well and then make sure you overlap an equal length onto the front as the back.




I cut a stripe of Crushed Curry card stock about 1-1/2" wide and 9-5/8" long. Using the Little Letters Thinlits (#133730) cut out whatever you want to say. I chose "A B C" given our back to school theme. Then layer it onto any card stock with a little 1/8" showing and repeat. I then punched tiny stars out of Pool Party card stock (the catalog lists the colors in the DSP so I just copied that) using the star out of the Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack (#133787). I glued those stars on.



And there ya go… a jazzed up composition book out of 2 sheets of DSP and some scraps. Great and inexpensive gift!


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