I like to use standard size paper, and also to recycle scrap paper. By using standard sized paper, I don't have to cut the paper to "custom" sizes.
I already have a nice notebook that is 8.5 in X 5.5 in. So I thought I would make a smaller version, 5.5 in X 4 in. This worked out very well and now I feel I have the perfect note books.
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Step 1: Standard Size Paper
Use 8.5 X 11 inches paper and fold in half and cut. Now fold the remaining pieces in half, (5.5 in X 4.25 in) to make your notebook.
Step 2: Leather
Find a nice piece of leather, the thicker the better. about 10 in X 6 in. for your cover. I folded the leather and clamped it for a couple of days to create the crease on the leather. I did not wet the leather.
Step 3: Holes to Attach, Bind
Stack all your cut pieces of paper together.
To bind the notebook, I decided to make four holes on the pages and on the cover. One inch from top and bottom edges, and 1 inch in width for each binding point.
Step 4: Biding, Keep It Simple
To keep it simple, I used "picture hanging wire" I bought at one of the "dollar stores", I made "gigantic" staples and bent the edges to hold the notebook together.
Step 5: Pen Holder
With a thinner piece of leather, I created a pen holder and stitched it to the edge using the saddle stitch. On the front cover I traced the image of a longhorn and filled it in using a regular black ink pen.
Also, notice I added a little string to use as a page marker/bookmark.
This little notebook turned out to be awesome and I use it for everything, especially for grocery lists.