Saturday, 16 March 2013

Making my Midori-style cover

Well, the leather came, the mini-punch came and the elastic came! So on Thursday, I made myself a Midori-style notebook cover.

I wasn’t feeling confident enough to cut a larger piece of leather to size, so I bought some pieces from eBay that were already the correct size for what I wanted. I didn’t want a notebook cover the size/dimensions of the real Midori, but one for A6, so I bought some leather that was 25cm x 15cm. Folded in half around A6 notebooks this would be about the right size (A6 being 10.5cm x 14.8cm; the 25cm would cover the width of the notebooks plus their thicknesses). The leather I bought was 1.8mm thick (the Midori notebooks are 2mm thick leather apparently) and is burgundy, with suede on the inside (it’s gorgeous!).

Let me walk you through making it.

Tools needed:
Small hammer
Needle and thread

The way this style of notebook cover works is to have elastic thread in the middle of the leather cover into which the notebooks are slotted. I wanted to have two notebooks in the cover so I made two small holes (using the punch) at the top and the bottom of the ‘spine’ of the cover, a centimetre apart and 6mm from the edge. I also punched a single hole in the dead centre of the leather:

I then put a single thread of elastic through the holes at the top and bottom so that on the inside it looks like this:

...and on the outside looks like this:

The hole in the very middle is for the elastic band to hold the booklet closed. I knotted a piece of elastic at the right length then looped a small piece of cotton thread through the elastic loop, threaded the cotton onto a needle and used the cotton thread to pull the elastic through the central hole.

I was amazed at how easy all of this was (and have to thank Ray Blake for the inspiration! See his post here. In fact, read all of his blog because he’s great!).

So this is what it (sort of) looks like:

Open, with Clairefontaine A6 notebook showing

Open: Clairefontaine on L, Field Notes on R
Why ‘sort of’?

Well, because the notebooks I have put into it are the wrong size for the size of cover! I bought a couple of Clairefontaine “A6” notebooks from Bureau Direct (which aren’t A6, but are the exact same size as Field Notes books (9cm x 14cm). Both of them are shown in the cover. I have also bought (from The Journal Shop) some Papelote mini notebooks. I’m going to make another (smaller) leather cover for the Clairefontaine and Field Notes books and when the Papelote books come from The Journal Shop, I will put them in this cover.

The notebooks will be used as a general ‘clearing my mind’ notebooks – you know… where you have a zillion things running around your head and you need to just get them out before you can make sense of them and focus. Once they are out, I can sort them into proper to-do lists and so on, without having cluttered up my Mulberry. [Actually, I am having a little bit of a wobble with the Mulberry, but that’s for another time!]

What do people think?

eBay sources I used:
Leather came from: Leather4Craft
Mini punch came from: Silvercoasts
1mm elastic cord came from: k2-accessories


  1. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. I may have a go myself! It's great to have a little pocket book to jot down fleeting thoughts before they disappear into the ether only to re-emerge when you are in the car or shower without access pen or paper!

  2. Hello.

    Thank for the info. I'm wondering what kind of leather did you use. Can you please tell me where can i get it? I will appreciate your info. thank for share.

  3. It was cow-hide, purchased via eBay (see the link in the post - all sources are listed at the end). I bought it already cut to the size I wanted, but that seller did sell other sizes (and other colours). I bought it at 1.8mm thickness. Hope that helps.