Sunday, August 17, 2014

Handmade leather journals!

I have this love affair with journals.  I have many journals, handmade and purchased ones. I use one for house ideas, one for jewelry designs, one for painting, one for sketching, one for landscape & plants, one for daily doodles, one for inspirational sayings & thoughts, one for things to do, one for business to do things, one for nothing in particular, one for things that have moved me, things & places I've been, one for photos, one for ideas, on & on & on.
I came across the Midori leather journals and had to have one.  They're not overly expensive, $35 or so.  But all the inserts can add up $$$. I came across this blog, It belongs to Ray Blake.  He has all kinds of tutorials to help you make your own Midori Travel Notebook style journals and inserts.  
I remembered I had a leather garment bag I found in the garbage at my office years ago.  I got it out,  cut it up to salvage as much of the leather I could.  I was able to get a number good size pieces and all the hardware off of it.  I used leather cleaner to clean it all up.  

I had enough leather to make three full size and two passport sizes.  I also have enough left over for some leather bracelet cuffs!

On Ray Blake's blog he has a good tutorial how to make the journal, so if you want detailed instructions go to his blog site.  I'm just going to give some idea of how I made mine using his tutorials.  

I measured out and marked five holes along the center of my leather piece.  I used a punch to make holes.   I used elastic cord to weave through the holes to make the elastic holder for the notebook inserts.  Got the cord at craft store and had the hole punch.

A neat trick used to thread the cord is to use a piece of thread and make a loop and pull the cord through the hole.  Very clever!

This is what the inside looks like.

The notebook inserts are threaded through the elastic band and you add the notebooks using elastic rubber band things and there's instructions how to combine all the inserts.

You make a loop and thread it though the center hold and it's you elastic band to wrap around the journal.

I rounded the corners of the leather with a scissors to give it a soften look

I really like the way they turned out.  My next post will be how I made the paper inserts!

Again, this is a rough view of how to make these type of journals, so check Ray Blake's blog to get the detailed instructions/tutorials.

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