Introduction: EDC Leather Notebook

A notebook that goes everywhere with you should be used for everything. On one page of my notebook I have an Ira Glass quote, my upcoming flight information, and a grocery list. On the next page are plans for my last ‘Ible. I couldn’t have done that in a Moleskine notebook. I feel like anything I write in a Moleskine has to be perfect; the ideas have to be complete. An EDC (everyday carry) notebook shouldn’t be something pristine. It needs to be something you can scribble notes in and rip pages out of.

This notebook is infinitely customizable.

  • There’s a template that can be sized up or down.
  • You can make it with many different materials,
  • It can have any number of pages,
  • And close with any kind of fastener.

Why else would you want to make your own leather notebook? You will never have to buy another one! The pages are replaceable. I cut mine from A4 printer paper. I have carried the same notebook for 5 years and replaced the paper 6 times. I keep the old pages that I want to save in a small binder.

Step 1: What You'll Need


  • Leather scrap (6” x 9 ¾” for attached template)
  • 2 ft. Leather cord (I used 4mm square latigo)
  • 1 Snap (optional)
  • 1 Rivet (optional)


  • Scissors or razor
  • Hammer (only if using snaps and rivets)
  • Hole punch
  • Permanent marker

Step 2: Trace Pattern on Leather

Using a permanent marker (or a pen if it will mark the leather), trace around the outside of the template. Be sure to mark the holes.

Step 3: Cut Leather and Punch Holes

Using a sharp pair of scissors (or a razor with a straight edge), cut out the pattern. If using scissors make long and straight cuts.

Punch the holes in the leather using a rotary punch or similar tool.

Save a 3"x 3/4" strip to make the strap that will keep the notebook closed.

Step 4: Rivet Strap to Cover (optional)

Align holes, insert rivet, cap, and tap down with hammer.

Step 5: Add Snaps (optional)

The female part of snap will attach to the strap. The male end attaches to the cover. Use the setting tool (which comes with every package of snaps) to attach the snaps.

Step 6: Lace Notebook

Its time to lace the notebook! But first, we must cut the paper.

I cut down normal A4 (8 1/2" x 11") sheets of paper. The pages in this book are 4" x 5 1/2" so you should get four out of each sheet. Using a paper cutter and a hole puncher, I made enough paper for about six notebooks (~700 pages) in about 20 minutes. If you have access to a drill press, punching the holes would take almost no time at all!

On to the lacing.

Start by tying an overhand knot in the end of the leather cord. To help thread through the holes, trim the end of the cord at an angle. If necessary, use an awl to stretch the holes. Follow the captions in the photos (you will have to click on the photos for some of the captions to be visible).

For extra credit, round the corners of the notebook and strap with scissors.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Notebook!

Please post pictures of your notebooks in the comments! I would love to see what you design.

Leatherworking Contest

Runner Up in the
Leatherworking Contest