About: I am a self taught average carpenter. I started doing carpentry for the first time in 2010. I have moved up to being a finish carpenter and installer. I am also self taught on Auto CAD and Adobe Illustrator…

This is an instructable on how to make a desk blotter. This does not require sewing. Only patience.


Substrate (I used 1/8 MDF)


Spray Glue



Hobby knife



I made this out of 1/8 inch MDF. I cut the dimensions for the desk I want to put it on and kind of curved the corner a bit. You can just sand it a bit or cut it like that. The idea behind this is that you don't want a really sharp corner that will just puncture through the fabric you are putting on.

On this particular blotter I did not want it to stick up to high, so I routered out about 1 inch around the entire blotter. I went as deep as the fabric I was using so that when I put the fabric on it will be at the same level as the bottom of the blotter. I intend to put felt on the bottom of the blotter and then you will not see a ring around the edges from the layer of fabric I am putting on.


Alright, now I cut the fabric that I want to use for my blotter. When I cut it, I cut an extra 1-2 inches so that I have enough fabric to cover the top and go underneath to where I have the grooved edge. Even if it is a little over, you can always cut it off later. See photos below.

I used a fabric called Ultra Leather as I find this versatile and easy to use. It stretches easily and I find it easier to work with. One thing to be careful with when using this fabric is that it is very pliable and therefore it dents easily and so when working with it, it is important to keep it flat. Anything on the table will create a crease in it. Even the sheet of paper you will see in the next step has to be kept clean and the blotter away from the edges.


On this step I first put paper down on the table so that I would not get overspray onto my table. I speak from experience when I say that It would ruin the table top.
So, I sprayed Super 77 on both surfaces that I wanted to glue (this was the bottom of the fabric and the top of the MDF). You wait a few seconds and then put them together.

I recommend having another person so you can stretch it out as you go or if you are alone, then I recommend stretching it out and taping the sides down as you go. the idea is that you want to have it stretched out before gluing it down as it helps make it tight when you are using it. Once attached to each other, then flip it the right side up and smooth it down with a flat object. Not too hard as you don't want to put lines in it or scratch it or anything like that. However, you want a smooth object. I had a flat piece of wood that was smooth and I used that to press it down. You want to put enough even pressure down to fully adhere that glue together.


Next would be to flip it over and spray the remaining edge as well as the groove that I cut out with the router.

Please look at the photos so you can see how I have cut the corners of the fabric. This allows me to fold the fabric over and not have multiple layers of fabric covering each other.

I want just the 1 layer that I have accounted for when I made the groove in the first place. I then start to roll the fabric up the edge and onto the bottom surface. Do this part carefully as it will like to go out of alignment as you go down the edge.

With this particular fabric, it is easy to correct if it gets bunched up or anything like that. When you get to the corners, I like to do the two long edges first and then pull the little sliver to make it a nice finish.


Last step is to cut felt a little smaller than the dimensions of the blotter and put that over the entire bottom surface. You want this to come in from the sides by 1/8 inch, no more.

Use a straight ruler to cut so you have nice straight lines that look good. Even though this is the bottom, you will like it better than a rough cut edge.

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