Japanese Album

Japanese Album

Hello everybody!

Brrr! So cold already! First week of December already which makes it the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book, a hot cup of tea latte and amazing scented candles, right? Not in reading mood? No problem, you can grab a sketchbook/notebook/anything and jot down some ideas, make some quick sketches, exercise your graphic design skills or simply do some creative writing! Also, I hope you feel somewhat crafty because for tonight’s Blogmas I just got for you an amazing gift idea, perfect for your creative mind or for a friend’s artistic ideas.

A few weeks ago I went to an amazing library we have in the city (Carturesti). Basically the perfect place to go to if you need some inspiration, some alone time or if you are just want a mood lift. As usual I checked the Moleskine section and I found an amazing thingie: Japanese Album. Loved it. Then I had the idea! “Oh hey I could make this for half the price! Finally some good inspiration!” So here it is! A Moleskine inspired Japanese Album figured out and broke down into easy steps just for you, guys! Feel free to adapt the measurements and customize it as you wish.

Disclaimer: I am not staling ideas and yes, the Moleskine Japanese Album is absolutely amazing and I would totally buy it. This is just for fun and for the love of DIYs and Handmade. Do it for the DIY!

All of this being said, let’s get to work! As usual, gather all your materials and tools and prepare your workspace so everything will come a bit easier. For this DIY you will need a paper roll (I got mine fro Ikea), a piece of leather (at least 20 x 15 inches) and a thin piece of board (which I forgot about … sawy :D). As for tools, you will need a ruler, a cutting mat, an X-acto knife, some PVA glue, a glue gun (might be optional), a brush/sponge, a pair of scissors and a pencil, of course.

To begin, grab the paper roll and use the ruler and pencil to mark 7″ height and 45″ width (this will make 9 pages, 5″ wide) TIP: as you measure the 45″, you can also mark the 5″ for the pages. This will make future folding process easier. Also, repeat this if you wish to double the number of pages.

Now, of course, cut this super long piece (pieces) using an X-acto knife. Make sure you use a cutting mat to protect your workspace and be sure you are very careful with the X-acto blade! It can be really sharp. You may also use a scissors for the cutting, but the cuts won’t be as “clean”.

Now use the marks you did before and start folding. This is pretty self-explanatory, In the end you should have 9 page, 7″ high and 5″ wide. Also repeat this step if you went for two pieces of paper.

Now grab your leather piece and cut a 13″ x 9 1/2″ piece. Use the X-acto knife and the cutting mat once again.

Take the paper roll and cut two pieces 7 1/8″ x 5 1/8″. Also take the thin board and cut out two pieces, 7 1/4″ x 5 1/4″.

Get back to the leather piece and mark, using a ruler and a pencil, about 1″ from each side and  1-1 1/8″ from top and bottom. Also grab the pair of scissors and and cut the corners as shown down below:

Take the two pieces pf board and glue them down on the leather piece using the pencil marks as a guideline. Use PVA glue but if the fabric won’t stay glued go grab the glue gun. Be careful! This is a glue gun and it’s pretty hot. Make sure you won’t hurt yourself! Also be very quick otherwise it will dry until you finish. Glue the flaps too, one by one.

Now attach the folded pieces of paper to the cover (the thingie you just finished on the last step) using PVA glue/glue gun (in a thin layer so it won’t be wrinkly). Repeat on the other side, if necessary.

Now glue the bigger piece of paper (the one you cut along with the thin board, just a few steps before) over the folded piece. Repeat on the other side once again.

And it is basically done! you can leave it like this or you can do a few more steps to spice it up a lil’ bit with a pocket! This is totally optional!

To begin, cut a 11″ x 7″ piece of paper and mark it as shown down below. Afterwards, fold the piece using the marks.

Now cut two small 3″ x 2 1/2″ pieces of paper. Fold them in 4 and apply glue to the top and bottom flaps.

Now assemble the pocket by attaching the flaps to the bigger piece of paper. Use PVA glue. DONE!

Now all is left to do is attaching the pocket you just made to the whole thingie. Glue it down on the back cover, using PVA glue this time.  Let it dry and use it as you wish! TIP: you can use some scrap paper inbetween the covers of the textblock while it dires so the exces water will be absorbed. You can also use a book-press to keep it flat.

And now you are done! For good! Enjoy your notebook and Congrats! you just DIYed something not that easy! You are the best!

Hope you liked this DIY and stay tuned for more DIYs, gift ideas and Christmas posts! If you do make this thingie feel free to share some photos! I would love to see those! You can find me on Instagram!

Until next time,

Happy Holidays, guys!

With love,


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