Indiana Jones - Ravenwood Diary Replica




Introduction: Indiana Jones - Ravenwood Diary Replica

About: I am a Mechanical Engineer who loves to design and build things. I'm always working on new and fun projects.

This is an instructable to make a replica notebook of the one seen in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

This instructable follows the process I underwent making the replica based on the instructions I read from Bryan Babich and Wayne Miller's guide to the diary.

Here's what you will need:

- Boorum and Pease Gold Line Series Account Book, Record Ruled, 7 1/2 X 5, 144 Pages per Book

- Exacto Knife

- Scissors

- Fabri-Tac glue

- E-6000 glue

- Grey linen piece

- Disposable paint brushes

- Rubber Bands

- Rolling pin or smoothing edge

- An Iron + Ironing board + Starch

- Sandpaper

- Access to an industrial size cutter

- Instant Coffee mix

- Spray Bottle

- 32lb weight piece of paper

- Papertowels

Step 1: Dismantling the Existing Book

To start you are going to need the existing notebook which is described on amazon as:

Boorum and Pease Gold Line Series Account Book, Record Ruled, 7 1/2 X 5, 144 Pages per Book

- First, using a sharp exacto knife, cut along the edge of the inside cover edge near the spine.

- Do the same to the back cover page near the spine, the text block notepad should just come separate from the book now.

This part is very tricky

- With the cover open in front of you, lift the red spine off the book and start to peel it all off. Take your time and be gentle. You may need to use an exacto knife to raise the material if it rips along the way. (I ripped it many time, see photo of taped up piece)

Congrats you have just dismantled the notebook.

Step 2: Cut the Pieces Down to Size and Glue a New Page to Spine

- Take the cover and notepad to a office store such as Kinkos or Staples that has an industrial cutter.

- Have them cut the cover to 8.75" wide and 6.25" tall, they will have to cut equal amounts off the two short ends (to have the spine still centered), but they can make one cut on the long side (to get the proper height)

- Have them cut the pad to 4" wide and 6.25" tall, cutting off the non-glued side and the bottom of the ruled area of the book only.

- Cut down a piece of 32lb weight paper to 6.25" height (cut lengthwise), and wrap it around your pad snugly, lining up the front page and creasing the spine a bit, and mark the paper where the edge of the last page ends. Cut this piece shortwise along the marked edge. The piece should now perfectly wrap around the pad without any excess.

- Glue the 32lb weight piece of paper to only the spine using some E-6000 glue. Wrap in elastic bands till dry.

Step 3: Re-covering the Notebook

- Cut your linen piece with scissors so that it is larger than the cover by about 1" on all sides.

Time to Iron:

- Spray starch onto the linen piece liberally, and iron out with a dry iron. Repeat a few times to get the linen firm.

- Using a paint brush, apply fabritac to the back of the cover, and spread it evenly with the brush, then press the cover into the linen sheet centered. Work quickly so the fabrictac doesn't dry on you at all. Flip over the cover and smooth out the surface with a rolling pin or a smoothing edge. The Cover should be positioned with the linen on the bottom and the inside facing up.

- Cut the corners of the linen at a 45 degree angle keeping about 1/8" from the point of the hard cover.

- Apply some fabritac to the inside of the book on the bottom and top long edges and fold the linen into place

- Repeat the process for the end tabs.

- I had taped the spine together on the inside, if you had to do this, tape the spine together on the outside, and then gently remove all the tape from the inside face.

- Apply some fabritac to the inside of the spine the approximate width of the book, and then carefully place it centered vertically on the outside linen of the hard cover, smooth out with edge. Flip over.

- Apply some fabritac to the inside of the spine again and press it down onto the inside of the hard cover.

- Place a heavy object on top and let dry.

Step 4: Aging the Notepad

This part gets a bit messy

- Mix some instant coffee and hot water in a spray bottle, heavy on the coffee.

- Use some kind of tin or pan to spray on, or spray outside for easier cleanup.

- Starting with the outside, spray the first page of the book until it is lightly damp, patt dry with paper towel if desired. Continue the process for each page in the notepad.

- When finished, patt the book down with paper towel, and lay book on a paper towel to dry, periodically flip the book to allow it to completely dry.

Step 5: Finishing the Book

- After the notepad is completely dry, apply some E6000 to the spine and glue it to the inside of the hard cover. Let dry.

- Next, apply some fabritac to the inside cover page and smear it with a paintbrush, and press the book closed to get the flap page in the proper place, open book back up and smooth out the page nice and flat. Let dry.

- Repeat process on the back cover page.

- Use high grit sandpaper to age your book by sanding off some of the gold on the spine, and roughening up the vinyl and linen in various spots.

You diary is now complete!

Now just add an elastic band and a pencil and you have a nice replica of the Abner Ravenwood Diary to fill with your own notes or replicate the details from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thanks for reading.

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    The link that was provided on another site for the downloads ( downloads/ravenwood-ark-journal/) is dead. Do you have another link or can you provide the downloads?


    Reply 4 years ago

    I will not be providing the reference material for the internals, as they were purchased from Bryan. I would suggest to try contacting Bryan directly at:


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you for your reply. I've already tried to contact Bryan. So far, haven't heard from him.


    4 years ago

    Cool!! Voted


    Reply 4 years ago

    Wow, thanks. Indiana Jones is definitely one of my top heroes.