DIY LEATHER JOURNAL

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Introduction: DIY LEATHER JOURNAL

I made this journal with small left over scraps of paper and recycled leather.

It is a simpler version of a journal, with no need for really specific tools.

Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED

MATERIAL:

-left over paper;

-cardboard;

-a scarp piece of leather;

-a leather cord;

-waxed thread.

TOOLS:

-ruler;

-pencil;

-scissors;

-awl (or big sharp needle);

-needle.

Step 2: GATHERING THE PAPER

There is a lot of paper you can save from being wasted, and use as it is.

I used broken paper bags, old envelopes, unfinished exercise books, used packaging paper, broken paper folders, the edges of some old drawings…

The smaller you make the journal, the easier it is to find paper scrap to do it with.

I general like recycled paper, but it still takes a lot of energy, water and chemicals, to collect it, smash it and bleach it, to reshape it into paper.

Step 3: MAKE a TEMPLATE

To make the work easier and faster, make a template of the pages out of a piece of cardboard.

I made mine 4" 23/32 x 3" 5/32 (8x12 cm).

Step 4: CUT THE PAPER

Mark the paper with the pencil and the template, then cut it.

I mark all my paper first, before I cut it.

Step 5: FOLD THE PAGES

Fold the pages in half, then insert one in to another. Make few small booklets.

I made 4 booklets made of 15 sheets each.

Step 6: MAKE HOLES IN THE PAGES

Mark one of the booklets where you want the holes for the wax threads to be.

Align all the booklets together and mark them all in the same way.

Fold each booklet inside out and using an awl* to poke holes where you marked it.

*I made my awl from an old needle, a stick and some epoxy glue.

Step 7: MAKE THE FOLDER

The folder is not strictly necessary, but it helps to keep all the journal nice and sturdy.

Cut a rectangle, big enough to hold all the booklets, from a piece of thin cardboard, or thicker paper. I find the cover of an exercise book, or a paper folder works pretty well for this.

I cut my rectangle 5" 45/64 x 3" 5/32 (14,5x8 cm).

Mark it in the middle with the booklets.

Mark all the others holes, like the ones of the booklets.

Poke holes in it with the awl.

Fold it as a book cover.

Step 8: CUT THE LEATHER

Cut the leather into a long rectangle, with one side flat and the other rounded, long enough to be wrapped all the way around the booklets, and slightly wider.

I made mine 8"21/32 x 3"17/64 (22x8,3 cm).

Step 9: POKE HOLES IN THE LEATHER

Place the folder you made on the leather, almost but not quite aligned, on the flat edge of the leather (see photo).

Poke holes in the leather with the awl, corresponding to the holes in the folder.

Step 10: SEW

Make a knot at the end of the waxed thread.

Start sewing, first in the leather, then the cardboard folder, then the first booklet (see second photo).

Go in and out of the holes. Then move into the second row of holes, and sew the second booklet.

Do the same thing with all the booklets, till the last one.

Tie a knot on the outside of the journal.

Step 11: ATTACH THE STRING

Make some holes with the awl in the middle of the round edge of the leather folder, and into one edge of the leather string*, and sew them together with the waxed thread. My string measured 16"17/32 (42 cm).

*I made my string from a round scrap of leather, cutting it in to a spiral.

Step 12: DONE!

You are done! To close it just wrap around the leather string.

Here is the link of it, up for sale in my little Etsy shop.

8 People Made This Project!

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92 Discussions

Hi there. Thanks for posting this. I love the concept. Can you tell me which weight leather you used? I am new to the hobby and Can't tell weights by look yet. Thank you.

1 reply

Sorry for this very slow replay.

I'm not sure about the weight, I only use scrap leather...but need to be at least 2 mm thick or more, not to be too flimsy

Nice! I made something similar a few months ago, but your's is prettier and built better then mine. You have my vote.

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3 replies

Yours is beautiful, I love the tree of life that you put on the front! I also love the color!

You can see the whole thing here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-multipurpose-notebook/

I hate this instructable.

I hate it so much, that there is absolutely, no way on earth that I am currently printing this out, in color on 28lb paper, hole punching it and putting it in my "Binder of All Things Awesome," and then going home to try and replicate it myself.

Nope. Not happening.

8o)

Does it have to be a small journal?

I plan on making it, but I want to make sure I can make it as tall as I want and as big as I want... I write a lot.. Also want to make one for my 2 friends... Please let me know!

And if it doesn't matter the paper size, are the steps the same?

1 reply

Hi, the journal it can be as big as you want, using the same steps.

Just use a sturdier leather if you make it way bigger, and you may want to make more holes for stitching in each booklet, like instead of 4 may be 6…depending on how much taller the pages are going to be.

In general I just choose the kind leather and the distance of the holes in a way that the journal look pretty and sturdy enough.

The leather I'm using at the moment is about 2 mm thick, but the hide is pretty soft, so if it was thinner, it would be way too flappy.

But I'm sure if you use some sturdier leather it can also be thinner.

I just wrap the leather around the journal before actually sew it on, and see if it feel right to me, especially that it is nice enough not to be flappy.

ok cool thank you for your reply, I'll have a look this weekend, theres a material shop near by that does all sorts of leather. Have you tried imprinting or branding into the leather? any tips if you have ☺

Not on this kind of hide. You need tooling leather for do stamping, the one I use it's often too soft and won't keep the shape. I do burn it with a pyrographer sometimes, and other times I stitch capital initials letters with a linen cord on the front page.

This is so cute! I love writing and this is honestly the ideal little journal to use. I have another leather journal that I bought for that reason, but of course I had to pay big bucks for it. Making my own would be totally ideal.

Just wondering though, where did you get leather like that? You said it was a scrap but I'm not really sure where to go for something like that.

Thanks again for a great instructable:)

4 replies

You know one of the things that laugh. At my local Good Will store I often find long leather coats; with a torn sleeve or side for $10. And I find them in black, browns and greys. Once I found an old hunting jacket lined with neoprene, which I wanted for another project. Noeprene off the shelf over $40, jacket @ Good Will $7; bought the jacket and used the cotton shell for shop rags.

I found the leather on flea markets, or on Ebay, I just wrote leather scrap, or from old leather bags, clothes in the thrift shop…