My wife had an idea about turning an old leather bag into a notebook cover.  It was an old bag she had and one of the zips in it kept catching the inner lining whenever she opened and closed it, this subsequently tearing the lining and damaging the bag.  She was going to throw it away but wondered if I could turn it into a notebook for her.

My wife wanted a notebook so that she could use it for scrapbooking and ideas, and wanted the pages to be multi-coloured paper.  So we found some paper online in various pastel colours.

I used 20 sheets of paper per colour and there were 5 colours, so 100 sheets of paper so it was a nice sized text block for her to use for her scrapbooking.

I used my punch tool to round the corners of the text block.

I cut the board for the front, back and spine.  I also scored the sides that was going to be glued to the leather just so that it gave it a little extra grip from the glue.

I found this leather was very soft and supple, and so when gluing down and flattening the leather to make sure all parts were sticking to the boards, would slightly stretch.

I attached two different coloured ribbon to the text block for book markers.

Using some left over leather from the bag I made some endbands purely as a decorative touch.  Basically I folded the leather over twine and tightly pushed it together so it got a nice shape.  I left them to dry before attaching to the spine of the text block.

The front and back boards were glued to the leather and the edges folded over.  This stuck down remarkably well and quickly, however I still needed to clamp the leather just to make sure it did stick.

Obviously the leather is thickish and so I knew I would need some board to fit within the folded edges of the inside of the front and back covers; otherwise the endpapers would look yucky and bumpy!

So I cut out to exact shape cereal boxes and glued in place.  Before I did this I straightened the leather up, by carefully scoring the leather so that I didn’t cut to deep into the front / back cover; then peeled away gently .  Both bits of card fit like a glove and were just the right depth!

My wife had an idea of a pattern she wanted to be used for the endpapers.  So I printed this and cut them to shape, then glued in.  Adding the cereal card in the inside of the front and back covers really levelled it up nicely for the finishing touches.

The book is now completed and I love it…I really struggled to hand over to my wife!  She loves it and has started to fill it already…a happy customer!  🙂

I like how the stitching from the bag has lined up nicely when glued down and adds some character to the book.

My wife has found another leather bag she was going to throw away…guess what that bag will be turned into?  🙂

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