Make easy leather-covered journals using thrift store leather and dollar store notebooks. This simple project can make a unique gift and is quick enough to make for a group such as teachers or a bridal party.
- Lined journal, $1
- Cardstock (or old report holder), on hand
- New or recycled leather, on hand or $1 and up
- Spray adhesive, on hand or about $3 and up
Total: $1 and up
Using a straight edge and craft knife, cut away the cover from your dollar store journal.
If you are using thick or stiff leather, use the removed cover as your template. Trace around it onto the leather using tailor’s chalk.
If you are using soft leather, the journal will look better if the cover is trimmed to the same size as the paper inside. So open the paper pages inside the journal and trace around the paper to make a template. (Optional: You can leave one edge of the leather raw and uneven for a rustic-looking journal.)
Cut out the leather with a rotary cutter if possible. Otherwise a straight edge and knife will do.
Trim your cardstock into two pieces that are double the size of one sheet of paper. (When folded in half, they will be the same size as the paper.) These will be your end sheets.
Using spray adhesive, glue one side of each end sheet to the front and back of the paper journal. Center paper over the leather cover. Use fabric glue or a similar flexible glue to glue the spine of the paper to the leather. Then use spray adhesive to glue the cardstock to the leather. Place something flat and heavy on top of your journal and allow it to dry.
You can use scraps of leather to embellish the journal with a latch, a tie or a bookmark.