They’re ever so simple to make. I’ve made these with the leather scraps I have on hand (I have a giant overflowing bin full!), but these could easily be made with felt, fabric fused to paper with Heat ‘n Bond. Let’s make one together!
EASY Leather-Bound Pocket Notebook Tutorial
- 8 sheets of paper (resume paper is best, but copy paper will do just fine)
- Bone folder (or credit card)
- X-Acto knife
- scissors/rotary cutter
- leather lacing (or really thick embroidery thread, waxed)
- hole punch
- printable gridded, ruled and blank paper with punch guides (optional)
- cover pattern (optional)
Read more to learn how to assembly this easy easy book!
If you want dot gridded paper, lined paper or blank paper with punch guides, download the free printable here. Cut your paper in half so it measures 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. You will make 2 signatures with 8 sheets.
Fold your paper in half, creasing in the middle with your finger, then creasing outward from the middle with the bone folder.
Fold both signatures, now you’re ready for punching holes!
You can use a regular hole punch, but if you’re looking for an awesome punch and rivet/eyelet/snap setter all in one, you’ll want this one (c/o WRM, and I LOVE IT!!!). Use code LOVE at checkout for 20% off.
You’ll want to measure 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch in from each end and punch a hole along the fold. Download printable dot grid, lined and blank sheets with these hole guidelines here.
No accurate measuring required, though. Just take the center page of your first punched signature and nest it into the second. Use those holes as a guideline for punching the second set of holes.
Now you’re ready to prep the cover!
Cut out a piece of leather, felt or reinforced fabric to 5.5 inches x 11 inches. Line up the edge of the signatures and the edge of the leather up and wrap leather around. You should have some extra on the bottom.
Pick up the pieces and feel for an indent of your paper holes.
Mark that indent with your pencil or marker and punch. Most hole punches will go through leather no sweat. Punch those holes.
On the end that sticks out a little extra, cut two slits about 1/2 an inch long and 1/4 an inch apart in the middle of that section. (see pattern for slits) Be sure to use a protective mat as you cut!
Cut a length of cording about 18 – 24 inches long. Thread from the outside of the leather to the inside of one of your signatures. Leave a 3-4 inch tail on the outside.
Thread through the bottom hole back to the outside cover.
Pull cording tight.
Thread the cording back through the first hole, but into the middle of the second signature.
Thread back to the bottom and the outside cover.
Pull cording towards the top and bottom of the book to make sure it’s all tight.
tie a square knot and trim the ends to about 1/4-1/2 inch long.
Cut a strip of leather 16+ inches by 1/2 inch. Alternatively, you could use a structured velvet or grosgrain ribbon.
Thread the leather through the slits, leaving a 1/2 inch tail on the inside of the cover. Glue down. I used Barge’s leather cement, but PVA or e6000 will work, too.
Wrap around your book and trim the ends as needed.
Download the printable insert pages here:
Download the printable cover template (to go with the above pages) here: