Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DIY Midori Passport Notebook

For a few months now I've been drooling at the opportunity to try the Midair Notebooks for their ruggedness and leatheriness goodness. However their high price tag has been stopping me in my tracks to get one. I figure I would save it for a special occasion like a trip to Seattle Washington, But even then that opportunity is fleeting. I've also looked at buying a small piece of leather at a nearby Tandy Leather Factory store... boy was I surprised that leather not only cost an arm and a leg but they don't cut leather at all... I would have to buy a whole hide and that price tag was higher then the Midori itself. I could buy the leather and make like 30 of them (which I could probably sell) but all in all I was again struck down by the all mighty dollar. But good fortune was finally at hand when I struck gold at our local Michaels craft store.

Here they have leather pieces. about 2 lbs worth of leather in a bag. Below is a bunch of leather pieces that come with that bag. all for $5.99! at first I though that the pieces were just about that small and just a tad thicker then the Midori itself. I was shocked and amazed at the amount of good leather that is in that bag. Long pieces of thin and even leather strips, and most of the leather was not that small at all but was in fact folded in half! So I had enough leather pieces to make 2 large Midorie's and about 3-4 Passport size ones.
 So to make the Midori Passport size notebook I use the standard A6 notebook from Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook - 3.5 x 5.5, Lined Paper.  192 pages of paper is about as thick as I like. You can do this with any notebook you want if you plan on using this style of notebook cover to your arsenal of paper journals.

1. Get leather piece big enough to cover the notebook after its open from the center of the book.

2. Use chalk to mark the outline of the book, then use a ruler and outline about a 1/4 to half an inch on each side of the original notebook 

3. Fold over the leather to check accuracy with your markings. at this point you want more leather then you originally wanted. If you "had" the midori you could trace the outline of the notebook cover and then cut without question but I assume you don't. 

4. Take a good level flat cutting surface, a good sharp knife, and a metal ruler and double check your markings... Accuracy is key at this point. If you mess up you can't go back that why you want extra leather then you really need.

5. Place the notebook back your cover and close the cover. I had to do this about 3 times to remove extra pieces of leather before its just right.

6. I got black elastic cord and regular thin cord for the notebook to be held in place and page marker(s) I took an electric drill and made wholes in the same spot as the Midori.

7. Stopped by a bead store and picked up some cool looking metal beads and made some embellishments to hold the elastic cord, markers and give it a cool and unique finishing look.

8. Take a pair of strong scissors and round the edges to give it a cleaner look. if you get unfinished leather you can dye and stamp and do whatever creative spark you have at that moment to personalize your notebook.

The Final Outcome was fantastic! The leather piece had scratch from the original animal and it gave this notebook some character that is unlike any other notebook. I will miss it so as I gave this one to my wife. She wrote about it in her blog The Musings of a Design Student.

Anyway I made a large one to fit the Bandit Apple notebook and cut another Clairfontain notebook down to the same size. I made these with two bands so they fit neat inside incase you want to have more then one notebook. All in all It took me a good 2 hours to make this. Which seems alot but I was designing this from scratch. In the future If I run into more leather I can make more with less time since I now have a template to go off of. I could probably sell these too but again a whole hide of leather is expensive.

Let me know what you think and subscribe to my blog for further updates and posts.