I was motivated to make this "ible" when I realized I had been procrastinating on figuring out what to get or make for a friend's birthday.
I have been tinkering with leather and making things with it for a while and there are a lot of instructables on how to do the cutting, sewing, dying, etc and is more focused on the design. Should you want to learn more about that side of it I suggest Jessyratfink's instructions: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-saddle-stit...
Step 1: Coffe...I Mean, Gather Materials
I had already decided it would be made of leather, decide what notebook you want this to be designed around and sketch a design. OK, I ignored this step myself but it worked out so who cares.
-Something to cut with, a rotary cutting tool and cutting mat (I had two cutting mats, one for the rotary tool and one for other things)
-Sewing needles and stitching material
-Mallet Dye and applicator (As required)
-Leather marking pen
-Diamond hole chisels
-Ignore the punch set, I changed the design after I did this photo.
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Alright, here is where I cheated a little.
I took a large hide and eyeballed it. I flipped the book over and used that as a guide for how much to cut. In this case I flipped the book over on the leather 3 times and started with that as the horizontal, I used the height of the front cover + 2x the thickness of the leather (Stitching two pieces of leather together? The thickness of the two pieces of leather is your seam allowance.) + a little for mistakes.
Step 3: Design Layout
In my case I wanted a shallow pouch to secure the front cover, a thin strap to secure the back cover, a slightly larger pouch for a writing instrument or two.
The width of my diamond hole chisel seemed a good size for the shallow pouch, the rest was just going by feel.
Groove the top and bottom of the leather (I highlighted where the groove was in the second photo in case the groove was tough to see), I didn't do any other grooving as only the top and bottom were going to be stitched and I wanted to show off the quality of the leather while not adding unnecessary bulk to the project.
The line in the third photo is a guide so I knew when to fold over the pen flap. I hate going too far and then having to backtrack and fix my own mistakes.
Step 4: Cover Tie
This may not be the proper term but it works for me.
I spent 6-8 hours on this project and at least 30 minutes was spent on working on a tie that is something nicer than a scrap of leather or a button.
6 diamond holes at the center of the flap, 3 x 5-6 ft long length of waxed thread and thread each so they are all the same length. Each pair do an over hand knot and braid to desired length. One last over hand knot to make a tassel.
Step 5: Use It or Give It As a Gift
This one is pretty self explanatory.