How To Midori Style Travelers Notebook
A midori style traveler's notebook is a great project - it's simple to make, and you can use whatever material you have on hand. I love the flexibility of this system, and the fact that you can keep several different books within one cover. I'm going to go over making the leather cover, the paper notebooks and a fabric insert with some pockets that can hold cards, receipts, money or whatever.
Products Used (Affiliate Links)
Original Midori - http://amzn.to/2ec0unM
Healing Mat - http://amzn.to/2dDwAps
Rotary Cutter - http://amzn.to/2ewWPf3
Cotton Paper - http://amzn.to/2ebZv73
20 lb ivory paper - http://amzn.to/2ey0El9
Elastic Cord - http://amzn.to/2e4QTeX
To create this, you'll need leather, a cutting mat, a square ruler, some way to cut the leather, small hole puncher, mallet, elastic band, marking pencils, small ruler, and a razer blade.
First of all, let's pick some leather. I'm working with three different kinds here - dark brown which is more like the traditional midori style, lighter brown and veg tanned. A medium thick leather, about 3-4 oz weight is great. You can either find this at the leather store, however they also sell small pieces at the craft store which would work great.
Now, measure out and cut the leather. I'm using a rolling cutter, however you could also use a regular razor blade or scissors. Next, I fold the leather in half, and mark out places for the holes, right in the middle. In total I made five holes. Using a hole punch like this will ensure the holes are cleaner. For the elastic band, I got a good arms length, and cut that to size.
Now, this is how I do this. I first fold the band in half and insert it in the middle of the book, leaving a loop on the other side. Then I pull each side through the holes like so. Make sure the loop in the back is still there, Then I insert a book and tie it tight. Of course this is easy to adjust to make it tighter or looser.
Of course you need notebooks inside, so let's make a couple. For that you're going to need hardstock for the covers, paper, a paper cutter, large paper clips, a mallet, and awl, thread, a needle and a razor blade.
I decided to make three books - one blank, one lined and one graph paper. I'm printing the lined and graph on both sides on thin ivory paper, and using thicker 24 lb cotton paper for the blank book, for sketching.
Making notebooks is super simple - I fold the paper in half. Then I arrange them in bunches of three.
Next, is cutting the paper to size, I chose to make my books 118 x 24 mm. It's a lot easier to cut this to size with a good paper cutter. Once everything is cut - insert paper and hardstock, it's time to bind. I'm using 12 sheets for my notebooks.
So arranging with paper clips. Marking out where the holes should go. And this is what I do. And then punching through with an awl.
Finally sewing the books together. I like to start in the middle, go to one side, go down and overlap.
Lastly, I clean the edge, by putting a ruler down and lightly scoring a bunch of times with a razor blade. The trick is to have a sharp blade and not push too hard, just do it over and over until the paper is all cut.
And then you're ready to put the books in the midori. And to put additional books in, I simply tie another elastic band through two books. Then those two books can slip underneath the middle book, and it's all held in place.
Now I love the idea of a system! So I decided to make a little extra insert that could work as a wallet, or just a pocket system for cards or whatever. To do this, I first measured out some canvas the same size as one of the notebooks. I cut out smaller sections as well, one larger piece for each side, and shorter sections for smaller pockets. And then I sewed it together. So a pocket section for one side with places for cards, and a blank pocket on the other side. Then I connected the two side sections to the middle piece, and sewed around the edges, leaving the pockets facing inwards open. I also added a little flap over the cards so nothing would fall out. And then that slips in to the midori book really easily, and you can use these pockets for receipts, money, your phone or whatever.
So, as you can see, this system is really very simple, and I love how you can have several books in one cover like this, and switch them out as you need it. I also think a little insert like this is kind of cool and makes it even more functional, and I've been keeping receipts in here when traveling, and it's just nice to have some extra pockets.