Book binding

Making a pocket idea journal

Pocket sized leather bound idea journals

I love leather bound journals – they feel so plush and enjoyable to hold. If you combine that with small-sized journals, you end up with really cute, super-fun-to-write-in journals. I ended up making two of these recently.

My first attempt was this dark brown, leather bound journal. It has 7 signatures, each with 4 folios, making it nice and thick to hold. The size is pretty small – 3 inches * 4.5 inches in size, making it very pocket friendly. To make the journal easy to carry, I did not use a book board when binding. Instead, I attached the leather onto the end pages directly. This way, the journal remains flexible, while still getting a protective covering with the help of the leather.

Pocket sized brown leather journal

I think the small size makes it really fun to write in. It can be carried around in your pocket, purse or backpack, and the tactile touch of opening up a small notebook that fits in your hands is just breathtaking. For me personally, writing in a physical notebook is a much more effective way to generate ideas and think creatively (compared to typing on a laptop), and making the notebook nice to use makes writing that much more pleasurable 🙂

To make this journal, I followed the instructions exactly in this Peg & Awl video.

After this, I made another journal, but I made this one a hard bound journal with raised cords on the spine. I covered it in camel colored leather. This journal is again 3 inches * 4.5 inches, 7 signatures with 4 folios each. I don’t think I have a preference between either one – they both are kind of interesting and unique!

Tiny hard bound leather journal

I think these pocket books make for amazing idea journals. I was recently reading Leonardo da Vinci’s biography by Walter Isaacson, and read about how Da Vinci always carried a small notebook with him to jot down ideas and thoughts as they came to him. These are called “Commonplace books“, a way to compile knowledge by writing information into books. I think these small leather journals will make for the perfect commonplace book! 🙂

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