Introduction: DIY LEATHER JOURNAL

Picture of DIY LEATHER JOURNAL

I made this journal with small left over scraps of paper and recycled leather.

It is a simpler version of a journal, with no need for really specific tools.

Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED

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MATERIAL:

-left over paper;

-cardboard;

-a scarp piece of leather;

-a leather cord;

-waxed thread.

TOOLS:

-ruler;

-pencil;

-scissors;

-awl (or big sharp needle);

-needle.

Step 2: GATHERING THE PAPER

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There is a lot of paper you can save from being wasted, and use as it is.

I used broken paper bags, old envelopes, unfinished exercise books, used packaging paper, broken paper folders, the edges of some old drawings…

The smaller you make the journal, the easier it is to find paper scrap to do it with.

I general like recycled paper, but it still takes a lot of energy, water and chemicals, to collect it, smash it and bleach it, to reshape it into paper.

Step 3: MAKE a TEMPLATE

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To make the work easier and faster, make a template of the pages out of a piece of cardboard.

I made mine 4" 23/32 x 3" 5/32 (8x12 cm).

Step 4: CUT THE PAPER

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Mark the paper with the pencil and the template, then cut it.

I mark all my paper first, before I cut it.

Step 5: FOLD THE PAGES

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Fold the pages in half, then insert one in to another. Make few small booklets.

I made 4 booklets made of 15 sheets each.

Step 6: MAKE HOLES IN THE PAGES

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Mark one of the booklets where you want the holes for the wax threads to be.

Align all the booklets together and mark them all in the same way.

Fold each booklet inside out and using an awl* to poke holes where you marked it.

*I made my awl from an old needle, a stick and some epoxy glue.

Step 7: MAKE THE FOLDER

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The folder is not strictly necessary, but it helps to keep all the journal nice and sturdy.

Cut a rectangle, big enough to hold all the booklets, from a piece of thin cardboard, or thicker paper. I find the cover of an exercise book, or a paper folder works pretty well for this.

I cut my rectangle 5" 45/64 x 3" 5/32 (14,5x8 cm).

Mark it in the middle with the booklets.

Mark all the others holes, like the ones of the booklets.

Poke holes in it with the awl.

Fold it as a book cover.

Step 8: CUT THE LEATHER

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Cut the leather into a long rectangle, with one side flat and the other rounded, long enough to be wrapped all the way around the booklets, and slightly wider.

I made mine 8"21/32 x 3"17/64 (22x8,3 cm).

Step 9: POKE HOLES IN THE LEATHER

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Place the folder you made on the leather, almost but not quite aligned, on the flat edge of the leather (see photo).

Poke holes in the leather with the awl, corresponding to the holes in the folder.

Step 10: SEW

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Make a knot at the end of the waxed thread.

Start sewing, first in the leather, then the cardboard folder, then the first booklet (see second photo).

Go in and out of the holes. Then move into the second row of holes, and sew the second booklet.

Do the same thing with all the booklets, till the last one.

Tie a knot on the outside of the journal.

Step 11: ATTACH THE STRING

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Make some holes with the awl in the middle of the round edge of the leather folder, and into one edge of the leather string*, and sew them together with the waxed thread. My string measured 16"17/32 (42 cm).

*I made my string from a round scrap of leather, cutting it in to a spiral.

Step 12: DONE!

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You are done! To close it just wrap around the leather string.

Here is the link of it, up for sale in my little Etsy shop.

Comments

eedqdqw (author)2017-05-17

Hi there. Thanks for posting this. I love the concept. Can you tell me which weight leather you used? I am new to the hobby and Can't tell weights by look yet. Thank you.

marcellahella (author)eedqdqw2017-08-03

Sorry for this very slow replay.

I'm not sure about the weight, I only use scrap leather...but need to be at least 2 mm thick or more, not to be too flimsy

howesnet made it! (author)2017-01-04

Great idea. Great instructable. I made an adapted version to fit my moleskine diary. Didn't need the stitching all the way round but I punched the holes at the beginning without thinking first. I'm quite pleased with the result. It's got that old rustic look

howesnet (author)howesnet2017-01-04

How very rude of me. This is the first time I've actually made anything from here so thank you for the inspiration

marcellahella (author)howesnet2017-01-07

You are welcome, thanks for the photos

marcellahella (author)howesnet2017-01-07

Look really cool. I like the flap of the last photo too, is a good idea

Cherzer made it! (author)2016-11-29

Last May, I set out to make my mother-in-law a journal for our road trip to Yellowstone National Park. I researched everything I could find over the course of a week, absorbing and combining all the techniques and ideas together, and eventually made a journal, and subsequently made my own Instructable of the process months later.

I just stumbled upon this again and remembered how helpful it was (I remember it was definitely the best I found on the old internet!). If fact, seeing this again, I can see just how much this influenced mine.

So, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!! :)

marcellahella (author)Cherzer2016-11-29

They are super cool, I'm happy the instructable was useful!

Thanks for the photos!

AdvancedDoodler made it! (author)2016-11-09

First instructable I actually went out and did. Thanks!

Super pretty! Thanks for the photos!

Eunix (author)2015-06-19

Nice! I made something similar a few months ago, but your's is prettier and built better then mine. You have my vote.

violetsmuse (author)Eunix2016-09-05

Yours is beautiful, I love the tree of life that you put on the front! I also love the color!

marcellahella (author)Eunix2015-06-19

Wow, it is really pretty too, I like the tree a lot!

Eunix (author)Eunix2015-06-19

You can see the whole thing here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-multipurpose-notebook/

Mr. Grumpus (author)2016-07-12

I hate this instructable.

I hate it so much, that there is absolutely, no way on earth that I am currently printing this out, in color on 28lb paper, hole punching it and putting it in my "Binder of All Things Awesome," and then going home to try and replicate it myself.

Nope. Not happening.

8o)

RubyM19 (author)2016-06-06

Does it have to be a small journal?

I plan on making it, but I want to make sure I can make it as tall as I want and as big as I want... I write a lot.. Also want to make one for my 2 friends... Please let me know!

And if it doesn't matter the paper size, are the steps the same?

marcellahella (author)RubyM192016-06-06

Hi, the journal it can be as big as you want, using the same steps.

Just use a sturdier leather if you make it way bigger, and you may want to make more holes for stitching in each booklet, like instead of 4 may be 6…depending on how much taller the pages are going to be.

In general I just choose the kind leather and the distance of the holes in a way that the journal look pretty and sturdy enough.

MachineDOG made it! (author)2016-03-05

Made this for my daughter for her birthday and she loved it. I love this Instructable. I have plans to make more.

marcellahella (author)MachineDOG2016-03-05

Nice! Thanks for posting the photo, I'm glad somebody is using the instructions

carl.hughes.54922 (author)2016-02-10

This is awesome, what thickness is the leather? does it matter?

The leather I'm using at the moment is about 2 mm thick, but the hide is pretty soft, so if it was thinner, it would be way too flappy.

But I'm sure if you use some sturdier leather it can also be thinner.

I just wrap the leather around the journal before actually sew it on, and see if it feel right to me, especially that it is nice enough not to be flappy.

ok cool thank you for your reply, I'll have a look this weekend, theres a material shop near by that does all sorts of leather. Have you tried imprinting or branding into the leather? any tips if you have ☺

Not on this kind of hide. You need tooling leather for do stamping, the one I use it's often too soft and won't keep the shape. I do burn it with a pyrographer sometimes, and other times I stitch capital initials letters with a linen cord on the front page.

sciencediva made it! (author)2016-01-21

Thanks for the inspiration :)

You are welcome! Thanks for the photos, your journal turn out really well!

trashpaintglue made it! (author)2015-12-26

So inspiring! Such a great idea! Thank you! I filled my pages with visual representations about why I love my honeyman for a holiday gift!

That's really cool the way you made it! Thanks for posting the pics, love your drawing too!

Hvents4 (author)2015-06-15

This is so cute! I love writing and this is honestly the ideal little journal to use. I have another leather journal that I bought for that reason, but of course I had to pay big bucks for it. Making my own would be totally ideal.

Just wondering though, where did you get leather like that? You said it was a scrap but I'm not really sure where to go for something like that.

Thanks again for a great instructable:)

AlwoodW (author)Hvents42015-12-17

You know one of the things that laugh. At my local Good Will store I often find long leather coats; with a torn sleeve or side for $10. And I find them in black, browns and greys. Once I found an old hunting jacket lined with neoprene, which I wanted for another project. Noeprene off the shelf over $40, jacket @ Good Will $7; bought the jacket and used the cotton shell for shop rags.

marcellahella (author)Hvents42015-06-15

You are welcome!

Hvents4 (author)marcellahella2015-06-29

Thanks! I'll have to check out some of those places.

marcellahella (author)Hvents42015-06-15

I found the leather on flea markets, or on Ebay, I just wrote leather scrap, or from old leather bags, clothes in the thrift shop…

Blackraven1124 (author)2015-12-14

Do you sell these?

Yes I do, at the moment I have only one black left: https://www.etsy.com/shop/UnicornVibration?section...

This is the link of my journal section of my Etsy shop.

But I will probably make and add more in the future.

CraftNucleus (author)2015-12-05

I love seeing DIY stitch-bound books. Thanks for the great instructions! I'll have to give stitch-binding another go.

You are welcome!

DGF CraftsNwork (author)2015-09-16

Would it be ok for me to make my own journals to sell if i took inspiration from how you stacked the pages and put them into the book? Sorry the Creative Commons Licenses are very confusing to me.

I'm not sure about the licenses too, but I'm happy if you make and sell some, I like people to recycle!

Thankies so much. Ya, the licenses are really confusing. Some people say that it only pertains to the images and not the object being made, and vise versa. Just thought that id ask before i went ahead and did my thing because of how generalized the CCL is :). Thanks again :D

You are welcome. Love to see a photo if you end up making them!

alexual (author)2015-08-09

Awesome ! Thank you dor that cool idea, I plan on making it these days :)

marcellahella (author)alexual2015-08-10

You are welcome!

Diogo Granato (author)2015-07-12

uau that's great!

Thank you!

gingerin (author)2015-06-28

absolutely love it. so want to make one but one question where did you get the leather and paper?

marcellahella (author)gingerin2015-06-29

Thank you! I found some of the leather on ebay, some from flea market, some from old broken leather bags, etc..and the paper just from everywhere: like broken grocery paper bags, broken envelopes, left over pages from old exercise books, unused pieces of photocopy papers…

Hope it helps!

gingerin (author)marcellahella2015-06-29

Thanks that helps a lot :)

Edbed (author)2015-06-14

Great instructable. Tho you might want to proofread it as there are a few grammatical mistakes e.g than instead of then.

marcellahella (author)Edbed2015-06-14

Thanks. You should point the mistakes out to me, because my english just go as far as this…

I would like to correct it (at least the major ones).

Edbed (author)marcellahella2015-06-15

The first sentence should be "scraps of paper" and for the next sentence it should be "with no need for". When you listed the materials you misspelled "scrap" as scarp.

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