Category Archives: Craft

Notebook Mod: Leather Bound Journal with Snaps

On a shopping trip sometime before Christmas I came across an overpriced, hipsteresque leather-bound journal at Urban Outfitters.  The leather cover wrapped around from the back to the front and closed with snaps.  Inside was approximately 100 pages of lined paper and a pencil secured inside the cover with a loop of leather.  At the time I was attempting to spend frugally on Christmas gifts for others, not myself, so I passed it by.

About a week ago I finished off the last journal that I had been using.  Remembering the journal that had caught my fancy I looked it up online.  There was a sale!  I headed down to the store to pick one up, but found when I arrived that they were sold out except for one.  I picked up the book and noticed immediately that the plasticky finish on the leather was flaking off and when I opened it I found that the binding was falling apart badly.  I was not stunned by this as I have experienced the shoddy quality of Urban Outfitter merchandise before.  Glad, however, that I had not wasted my money I thought of how I’ve bound books from scratch and could probably make myself a higher quality journal.  Not really in the mood to start from the very beginning measuring and cutting paper, I visited De Serres to look for a quality notebook that I could bind in leather myself.  The selection was vast, and I nearly left with a Moleskine, but found a notebook that I’d not seen before.  It was called Whitelines, and the functionality sold me.  I like to both write and draw, so I will often use a sketchbook as a journal, but sometimes I miss having lines as it allows for easier reading and editing.  Therefore when I discovered that Whitelines uses white lines to allow for both sketching and writing I loved it.

Click on the image to check out the Whitelines webpage, they’re also environmentally friendly!

I purchased a 100 page Whitelines notebook, then made  a stop at my local thrift store to buy something made of leather.  I found a tiny leather jacket in the children’s section that had just the right amount of fabric, and had black snaps for closure.  Measuring once and cutting twice I fitted the leather to the outside of the notebook.  It took me three tries to find a glue that would hold, and only glued my fingers together with superglue once.  Then I trimmed down the excess leather and tacked down the loose ends.

So in the end: An evening of craftwork, a $7 jacket and a $16 notebook equals a very pleasing result – a whole $15 cheaper than the crappy, mass-produced version at Urban Outfitters.Note the WHITE LINES?

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