Introduction: Fashionable Leather Notebook With Zipper

How to make a leather notebook with zipper out of a used leather purse.

well, this Instructables is more a guide of what I did (success and failures) and what I would do differently next time.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools


1. clamps

2. knife or scissors or both

3.paint brush

4. heater (optional I used it for faster drying)

5. a board (optional I used it for helping with the clamps)

6. sewing machine (waaait; before you go running of becouse you don't have a sewing machine. You can hand sow it's not that much its no even the leather)


1. a notebook (from Walmart, Freddy's, Michaels, ect.. I got mine for 7$)

2. a used leather purse (any leather should work as long as it's not too thick)

3. wood glue (anything that will hold leather to cardboard/paper)

4. gold and silver and black paint

5. zipper ( i got one from my purses that I scraped)

6. sand paper

Step 2: Scraping the Peruse

while I was scrapping the leather purse, I got a couple of zipper pockets and two big chunks of leather. while looking at the pockets I thought it would be cool if one were attached to a notebook. and thus this project began. I ended up using only one zipper pocket and one chunk of leather. I think it is not real leather but it's similar enough that I will just refer to is as leather.

Step 3: Measure Your Leather.

make sure your leather fits around your notebook. I cleaned up the edges with a knife. however, my peace of leather is a little small so the gray corners of the book where exposed. I deal with this later.

Step 4: First Gluing

after testing several methods I found this.

1. glue sticks. did not work. I was seeing if I could use them to lightly tack it into place. did not hold at all.

2. spray additives did not stick well ether. but they are flammable : P

3. supper glue tacks somewhat ok. so I use it a little.

4. Jackpot! wood glue. It held really well... after you let it sit for 4-5 hours next to a heater.

so for the rest of the project, I used wood glue. fabric glue probably would work but I did not have it on hand.

anyhow after finding that wood glue worked I glued one side and sandwiched between two books one and clamped it and let it set overnight. (one of the books was the notebook and the other a surgical book I had on hand)

Step 5: Second Glueing

so last minute, I decided to add a bookmark. I used a book ribbon that had key prints on it to make the bookmark. I later added a thin layer of dark silver paint to darken the white ribbon so it would look more complementary. anyhow I added a thin layer of wood glue to the end of the book. and used a bord so that the pressure was distributed evenly when I used the clamps. a book works just as well.

Step 6: Preparing the Pocket

first, I figured that the pocket was too deep. so I cut the depth in half. then had my sister sew the cut end together with her sewing machine. then I cut a long oval hole in the leather so the zipper could fight through.

Step 7: The Third Glueing

after getting the slit in the leather so that the pocket fits underneath the leather and the zipper fits through. I added glue to the top and bottom of the zipper. this caused the zipper bag to be gluer to the leather. however, I ended up getting wood glue on the zipper and gluing the bag slightly left of center. theses both turned out okay but next time I would be a little more careful at this step. also latter paint over the yellowish glue.

Step 8: The Carving

so after the pocket was glued to the leather I folded it over so that I could see where the bag would rest. I then sharpie around it to know where it would stay once I glued the leather to the cover. then I carved out the area where it would rest so that it would be less bulky. this worked well just be careful not to cut too deep and cut through the cover.

Step 9: The Forth Glueing

hear I just added a thin layer of wood glue to the unexcavated portion of the cover ( so the pocket would not be glued up.). then clamped it between two books and let set for 4-5 hours.

Step 10: Tuch Ups and Paint

1. I cut off the excess leather from the edges ( be careful don't cut the bookmark)

2. I sanded all the edges so that they would be more worn fealing and smother. nothing too high. all I used was just a 150 grit.

3. I mixed up about 1/2 black 1/2 silver paint and painted the edges and the two corners that did not get leather. this helped them blend in.

4. I added a thin layer of paint just to darken it so that it would be more complementary and not so vivid white

5. I clamped the pages together then mixed 1/2 gold paint and 1/2 glue that had glitter in it. (the glue dries clear leaving only the glitter to be seen.) I added the super-thin layer of this glitter gold to the pages. the reason I clamped the pages is that way I don't get the gold paint on the cover. (note do not add the glitter glue. it ended up gluing the tops of the pages together. So once it was done I had to individual separate every single page.)

Step 11: The Result

well, in the end, I ended up with not a great book but an amazing fashionable leather (may not actually be leather) notebook with zipper pocket for pens.

what I learned.

1. Spay additives are flammable.

2. Measure twice before you glue.

3. Don't glue the pages together with glitter glue.

4. Wood glue works well for cardboard, paper, and leather.

5. If you use wood glue clamps are necessary.

I hope you find this helpful.

thanks for reading to the end or skipping to the end you know who you are : )

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