Monday, April 1, 2013

I made a leather sketchbook cover.

I like to work in A5 sketchbooks and notebooks, generally, and I tend to have at least one per project. That gets quite confusing at times, and I thought it would be nice to have a cover that holds a set of them at a time so I can carry all the ones I am working on at the same time.

This design is inspired by those lovely Midori Traveller books that have appeared on the scene recently - they are great, but not a useful format for me. Too narrow. So, anyway, here's how I made my own.

I got some vegetable tanned leather (apparently it folds best). It's about 2mm thick and reasonably rigid.

I measured out a rectangle to hold a bunch of books, with a comfortable margin around them,

I made three holes each at the top and bottom of the spine and threaded elastic through them.

I tied the ends in a way, making sure to keep even tension on them.

The ends went back through the middle holes...

...then I tied them together, so I had four strings of elastic stretched across the inside of the cover.
(Took a short break to play guitar on them here.)

Proof of the pudding: it all seemed quite flimsy up to then, but once I threaded a few sketchbooks in, it all held together nicely.

Even smaller sketchbooks seemed reasonably comfortable, although I expect they'll be annoying when I try to draw into the larger ones. - I kept one band free to clip in folded pages of A4, because there are always some meeting notes and print-outs that need to be kept safe.

I experimentally attached a clip for a pen, but it seemed a bit pointless. Pretty, though. - There are all sorts of modular parts that can be bought for Midori Traveller sketchbooks which would fit in here, special pockets and such. I think I'll make my own, but if I see a nice part in a stationery shop I'll probably buy it.

I took the books back out and threaded another loop of elastic through a hole in the spine.

Cut notches in the cover to help the elastic stay in place, and rounded off the corners.


I will see how I get on with it and post any major improvements.
If you make your own, let me know how it goes and if you come up with fun ways to integrate your beautiful stationery stash... I think I need to add a pocket in the back to keep some of this VERY IMPORTANT STUFF in:


Emily MacKenzie said...

Ooh Viviane! This is a great idea - I love it. Hope it works well when you start to use it out and about, I'm totally inspired to make one too - thank you!! Emily

PS under your recommendation I bought a noodlers Ahab and 2 bottles of the 'bulletproof' ink (blue and black). it is safe to say, I have fallen in love. In love... with a pen! They're so lovely to draw with and great with coloured ink washes over. thanks for the top tip!!

Viviane Schwarz said...

I'm glad that worked out! I love that pen, too. It's just right for carrying around, isn't it?