Ahh, it’s finally summer! And with the summertime comes the summer break! Time for new adventures, new hobbies, friends and a lot of free time… I find this time of the year so inspiring! It’s the perfect season to work full-time on your projects, to try some cool new DIYs or to explore the world around you.
This being said, I figured a good way to start this awesome season is by bringing you guys a new DIY project: a Leather Sketchbook! It’s classy, portable, perfect as a gift for a friend (I actually made this for my friend Diana) and basically a must-have for all the creatives out there!
Now let’s get started! As always, gather all the materials and tools that are needed for this project. Prepare your workspace so everything comes in easy. For this project you’ll need:
– sketchpad (you can totally use a sketchbook; a sketchpad comes in handier because its pages are easier to tear off)
– a piece of (faux) leather (about 19 x 20 in)
– 3 press studs
– a thick drawing pencil
– cutting mat
– X-acto knife
– embroidery thread & needle
– (small) hammer
– hole puncher
Start tearing off 48 pages from the sketchpad. Fold all the pages in half. Now make 12 signatures by stacking 4 folded pages together.
Take a piece of scrap paper, the ruler and a pencil. Make sure the scrap paper is as wide (when in a landscape orientation…) as your signatures. Measure 1/2 ” from one end and mark it. Measure another 1/2″ from there. Now measure 2″ from there and mark them down. Repeat for the other end.
On the previously made scrap paper mark 12 rows of holes, about 1/8″ apart, for every mark made before, as shown below. Cut out the template: this will be the spine.
Take one signature and the spine template and place them on the leather piece, leaving about 1/2″ around. Place the signature on the other side of the spine and leave 1/2″ above and below and about 3″ on the side. This way you’ll make sure the cover will overlap. Cut out (if needed) the piece of leather, using an X-acto knife for more precision. Make sure you make all the cuts on a cutting mat, so you won’t scratch your desk.
Now use the spine as a template for the signature. Mark the holes on one signature. Using a ruler and a pencil, align all the signatures and mark them. Take a needle and start making holes, where marked before. Once again, use the spine template to also make the holes in the leather piece.
Now it’s finally time to bind! I made this sketchbook using a Long Stitch Binding, which I learned from an amazing Youtube tutorial made by Sea Lemon. I encourage to check it out and apply this stitch to our project.
The sketchbook is almost done! For the next step, cut 3 straps of leather, 1/2″ wide and 3 ” long.
Now it’s time to attach those straps to the cover! To begin, place the ending of one strap on the outside of the back cover, centered (use following images as guidelines). Fold it over, on the inside of the cover, and use a hole puncher to make a hole through the strap and the cover. Using a hammer, attach the press stud. (Be careful with the hammer, so you won’t yourself and make sure not to use on the table!)
Repeat the same process for the front cover. Place a strap 1″ above the mid-point and another strap 1″ below, as shown:
Close the sketchbook by slipping the thick pencil through the straps and you’re DONE!
Have an amazing week,