What is more timeless and classic than a leather-bound journal?! Perfect for business, as a gift or even just as a scribble pad to keep at home, they’re a really useful way to organise your life in true gentlemanly style! In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a pocket-sized leather-bound journal, complete with decorative inner lining to personalise it to your own tastes. I made this journal for about £6, including the leather and the awl (thanks, eBay!) – so there’s no excuse not to give this a try! What you’ll need
- Soft leather
- Leather awl (available cheaply from eBay)
- Decorative paper
- Waxed linen thread
- Rotary cutter or good scissors
- Self-healing rubber mat
- Fabric glue
- Paper for the pages
What to do Making the cover
- Using a rotary cutter (or good scissors), cut out a strip of leather measuring 27cm x 12cm. Try to cut this as neatly as possible, with clean lines and sharp corners.
- Cut a similar strip out of your chosen decorative paper (I used a map of the British Isles, but you can use anything you like!)
- Using a suitable fabric glue, stick the decorative paper to the inside of the eather strip. Leave this to dry under a stack of heavy books for at least 24 hours (ensure that it doesn’t stick to the books by first placing a piece of cling film over the top).
Making the pages
- Cut out 18 pieces of paper, each measuring 12 cm x 17 cm
- Arrange these into 3 stacks of 6 pages each.
- Fold each of these stacks in half, keeping all of the pages in the stack carefully aligned. Use a blunt knife to enforce the crease.
Compiling the journal
- If the leather/paper cover has completely dried, use an awl to make 6 holes in it, as shown by the red marks in the diagram below. These should be approximately 3 cm from the top edge and 3 cm from the bottom edge.
- Similarly, make two holes in the centre of each of the previously prepared stacks of pages. The holes should be along the crease and should line up with the holes made in the cover.
- Finally, tie the pages to the cover by carefully feeding a length of waxed linen thread through the holes.
Good luck with trying this project out for yourself! If you have any questions, just write a comment below and I’d be happy to help. Please do share photos of any completed journals!