Homemade Traveler’s Notebook

I’ve been intrigued by all the images of Midori Traveler’s Notebooks on Pinterest and Instagram. Intrigued enough to look into buying one, but then a little scared off by the price. It’s a lot of money to pay for something I wasn’t sure that I would use.

So then this happened: a homemade travelers notebook from mostly recycled materials.

First up I checked out the brilliant video tutorial by Ray Blake – Making your own Midori-style Traveler’s Notebook. This video walks you through the whole process – cutting the leather, punching holes, threading the elastic, and more.

I gathered my supplies – a grotty, dusty, folded piece of leather that came off an old lounge chair, some elastic for the bands (the only item I purchased), paper from a couple of half-used notebooks, colourful pages from an old childrens book, embroidery thread remnants to bind the notebooks.

I spent a day scrubbing the leather clean (it really was disgusting!) and stretching it out to dry flat. It cleaned up beautifully. Once it had dried I whipped up the leather cover as per the video instructions above and then used the paper and thread to make some inserts. It turned out reasonably well. Certainly well enough to give this style of notebook a whirl and see if I like using it.

Homemade traveler's notebook coverThe photo doesn’t show the colour up accurately. It’s not brown, it’s actually a lovely deep maroon colour with a red interior.

Tasks list insert - coverTask list insert - inside viewThe Task List insert has pages I printed onto scrap white paper.

Task list insert - back cover, and grid notes insert - front cover

Notebook inserts back-to-back. I love the colours.

Grid notes insert - inside front coverI couldn’t avoid including the punched holes in the grid paper, but figured that’s what using recycled materials is all about :-)

Lessons learned

  • The scrap leather I used wasn’t the best choice for something that needs to take a fold. It’s showing signs of tiny cracks along the spine. Not a problem for a first attempt though.
  • The elastic could have been a fraction thinner.
  • The inserts are easier to bind first and then cut to size with the guillotine.
  • The inserts I made are only 20 pages. They could easily have been 40 to 60 pages. Thicker inserts would also give the notebook more rigidity.

Do you use this style of notebook? Did you purchase yours, or did you “roll your own” as I did?

Printable A5 Notepaper – Girls Running

Made some new note pages for the my Filofax A5 Domino planner. The image of the girls running came from an ad in a 1920’s newspaper. I printed the pages out on yellow A5 flyer paper (I get Quill Flyer Paper 240 pack in four colours from Officeworks in Australia).

Paperbased_A5_Notepaper_Girls_Running_Example

The PDF file contains two A5 pages, so you can print them singly to A5 paper or two to a sheet of A4. Once printed, either use them as-is for notepaper or letter paper, or punch holes to add them to your A5 planner.

Paperbased_A5_Notepaper_Girls_Running

Download the Girls Running Notepaper, two pages PDF A5

I’ve put together a Personal planner sized page as well, but have no idea how well it prints. It’s probably best used for printing directly onto personal sized blank pages, but I’m guessing you could probably get three across an A4 page and then cut them. Philofaxy has a great printing tutorial (personal page size is at the bottom). Note that these pages all have the margin on the left, so aren’t meant for printing back to back.

Download the Girls Running Notepaper, two pages PDF Personal