How to Make a Leather Journal

Use basic bookbinding techniques and stamping to create this trim, professional leather journal.
cdw702_4

cdw702_4

Materials and Tools:

5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 3/4" blank book
2 each Deertan 8-1/2" x 11" trim pieces: black, brown
bold rubber stamp image
metallic silver acrylic paint
cosmetic sponge
stylus
punch board
mallet
3/32" lacing chisel
3/32" medium brown leather lacing
1mm round lacing, any color
2-prong lacing needle
contact cement
craft knife
small shears
ruler/straight edge

Note: To determine the size of the leather panels needed for the book cover, measure the height of the book you'll cover. Add 1/2 inch to the measurement allowing additional space for the stitching (example: 8-1/2" + 1/2" = 9"). Then measure the width around the book with a tape measure. Add 4 1/2 inches to that measurement. The additional measurement will allow for the stitching and the extra leather needed for the 2-inch overlap along the spine of the book. Divide the measurement in half (example: width around book 12-1/8" + 4-1/2" = 16-5/8", then divided in half = 8-5/16"). The result is a book cover made of two 8-5/16" x 9" leather panels with a 2-inch overlapped center spine.

Steps:

1. Cut one 8-5/16" x 9" black and brown Deertan leather panel. To create the interior sleeves to hold the cover around the book, cut one 4" x 9" trim piece out of black and one 5" x 9" from brown leather.

2. Along one of the 9-inch edges of an 8-5/16" x 9" black trim piece, rubber stamp an image twice, evenly spaced apart and about 1/2" from the edge. To stamp the image, apply white fabric paint or acrylic paint evenly onto the rubber image using a cosmetic sponge. Allow paint to dry.

3. Using a craft knife and shears, cut around the two stamped images to create the decorative cutwork.

4. Apply a 2" margin of contact cement to the backside and around the cutwork of the panel. Allow cement to become tacky. Cut lengths of 1mm round lacing to swirl and cement around the cutwork.

5. Using an additional application of cement, secure the black cutwork edge over the 8-5/16" x 9" brown panel overlapping 2" of the panels. Use fingers to smooth and press the leather over and around the sandwiched lace, creating a raised or embossed surface design. Allow cement to set overnight.

6. Place book cover wrong side up on the work surface. Cement three edges of the black 4" x 9" trim piece onto the outside edge of the black cover. Cement three edges of the 5" x 9" brown trim piece onto the outside edge of the brown front cover. Allow cement to set.

7. Place the punch board with the cemented cover onto work surface. Using a 3/32" chisel and a mallet, punch the slits needed for stitching about 1/8"from edge along all the exterior edges of the journal cover. Then, punch two rows of perpendicular slits along both of the overlapped edges of leather.

8. Attach a lace length onto a two-prong lacing needle. Tip: To determine the length of lace needed for whip stitching this project, calculate your lace length to be approximately three times the distance to be stitched.

9. Securing the overlapped edges of the cover first, begin lacing from the underside of cover through the first slit near the end. Leave a 1/2" tail of lace on the underside to tuck under the next couple of stitches.

10. Thread the lace through the slit directly across from it, then stitch back through the first slit to the underside. Begin stitching at a diagonal through the next slit on the other side. Continue to use the whipstitch across the overlapped edge.

11. End the stitch the same way you began. Repeat this step for the remaining overlapped edge and the outer edges.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make an Ice Lantern

Use winter's frosty temps to your advantage when decorating your home's outdoors for the holidays. These ice lanterns are pretty, festive and just require water, plastic containers and a chill in the air.

How to Make Rolled Paper Roses

Paper flowers fashioned from old book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper are a frugal alternative to store-bought ribbons and bows.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.

How to Make a Wood Cutting Board

Woodworking projects can be intimidating, but this project is actually easier than you may think. With basic shop materials and dense hardwood, which is the best wood for cutting boards, you'll be able to create a chef-worthy chopping accessory that any foodie would love.

How to Make a Boxwood Christmas Wreath

Why settle for plastic evergreen wreaths or natural greens that will dry out in a few weeks? Make a preserved boxwood wreath that will keep its good looks throughout the holidays and beyond.

How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Transform inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes into faux "mercury glass" candle holders using silver and gold leaf. These chic, handmade accessories will bring a little shine to any Christmas arrangement.

How to Make Giant Christmas Ornaments

Light up your exterior entryway with these fun and festive oversized ornaments.

How to Make a Tea Bag

Make morning tea extra special with a handmade tea bag filled with a delicious herbal blend and a special love note

How to Make an Easy Macrame Plant Hanger

By using basic supplies from the hardware store, you can make this easy macrame hanger to display your favorite houseplant. This project can be adjusted to fit any planter, and since the rope is polyester, you can also hang this project outdoors.

On TV

Good Bones

6:30am | 5:30c

Container Homes

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.