Introduction: Creative Leather Journal

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

There are so many resources for sparking creativity and imagination: blogs, videos, old craft books & magazines. A trip to the library or used book store is in order for finding vintage ideas that can be made 'new' using current tools and materials. I’ve come across books, pamphlets, and magazines in my own thrifting that offer a wealth of ideas. This journal idea was found in the 1998 book, At Home for Christmas.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials and Tools

I liked the idea because the leather can be recycled from an old leather jacket, skirt or pants to ‘use what you have’. The lining lends itself to scrapbooking paper, gift wrap, or any pretty speciality paper, many of which, we crafters already have on hand.

One of the things I did differently with this DIY idea was to create my own notepads rather than purchase premade pads. I made mine with high quality printer paper and special PVA bookbinding glue. The PVA glue allows the pages of the notebook to be easily torn out.

Knowing that I did not want to spend hours cutting paper, I went to FedEx Office where I knew I could buy paper as well as have it expertly cut. For about $15 I got an entire ream of paper quartered and neatly stacked. It was the highest quality possible and was a 32lb paper. The most common type of computer paper is 20 lb which you probably have at home. As the weight goes up the paper is thicker. You obviously can cut paper at home with a paper cutter, but that is a lot of work and can be imprecise.

Step 3: Gather 1/2" High Paper

Step 4: Glue Paper Together

Load into a flower press, even up the sides. Top with weight.

Spread PVA bookbinding with with brush or fingertips. Let dry.

Step 5: Cut Out Leather

Step 6: Cut Out Paper Liner and Attach With Glue

With all-purpose glue or Mod Podge, match leather and paper centers, glue together. Use a dowel or brayer to smooth out bubbles. Let dry.

Step 7: Trim to Liner Size and Glue Pages in Place

Measure and mark placement for notepad spine 1/4” on either side of center. Apply tacky glue, attach notepad. Lay a weight on top, let dry.

Step 8: Make Book Strap

For closure- from scrap leather cut a strip 1” wide by 11”.

Glue to back of book, add magnet or velcro closure.

Step 9: Done!

Try different materials- use what you have! We made a few versions with leather and a few with felt. Get creative!

For more projects visit

Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016