Book binding

Handmade journals as gifts

What do you do when your hobby involves making real life items that you cannot possibly use all by yourself? You gift them of course! 🙂

I love making books by hand. I experiment with their size, the type of paper I use, the type of cover I use, the type of binding I use, how I think about the spine, how I think about the end pages. There are a lot of permutations and combinations that you can try out! But of course, this begs the question – what do you do with all of these journals that you make? I do use a fair number of them myself. A nice side effect of this hobby has been that I’ve started writing more. So quite a few of the journals that I make end up getting used by me 🙂

But, it still leaves a few. And so I do next best thing with them – I gift them to friends and family.

I gifted this, large-ish in size journal to my brother, as a good luck charm when he started a new job.

Since this journal has to be used for writing and taking a lot of notes during work, I used a binding that helps the journal stay flat, which makes it easier to write in. I covered it in soft but reasonably tough leather, so that the journal is well covered, but is still flexible.

I then gifted this antique leather covered notebook to my dad 🙂

I used antique leather from an old jacket to cover this leather. The leather has a nice antique effect that looks pretty cool to me. Reusing leather from other products also gives you an opportunity to use any design elements of the product to add to your journal. For example – in this case, I’ve used the seams of the jacket to enhance the spine of the journal.

This journal has been made using case binding method, and is hard bound using book boards.

I think handmade items can add a lot of warmth and care to a gift. Even if the item hasn’t been handmade by you but someone else, they still bring an element of care and “warm fuzziness” to a gift that regular items do not necessarily have 🙂 Give it a try! 🙂

Update: I am now selling my handmade journals on If you’re interested in gifting unique, one of a kind, handmade journals to someone special, please check out my mini shop!

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