DIY Faux Leather Notebook

I like to keep little pads of paper in my bag for just such occasions when I need to jot down a note or someone needs to spit out a piece of gum.  Recently, though, I have started making my own notebooks.  Before making my own I would take an already existent notebook and decoupage a collage on the front and call it good.  But one day I got bored and started to make some from scratch using recycled pieces of cardboard and scrap paper.

This notebook today will not be used in the discreet disposal of decaying gum.  No this one is much nicer.  Old leather bound books always do something to me.  Fortunately for the animals, this notebook is faux.

For the project you will need: Scrap Cardboard-I used an empty cereal box; paper-scrap or otherwise ( I   had 36 pages); brown paper grocery bag; hemp; mod podge; scissors; shoe polish; single hole punch.

Step One: Cut cardboard to your desired notebook size, then cut however many pieces of paper you want in your notebook slightly smaller than the cardboard.  I would recommend a decent amount as this project is somewhat time consuming.

Step Two: Hole punch three holes in each piece of cardboard and all your pages, make sure they are aligned on one side.

Step Three: Tear your brown paper bag into pieces.  Crumple and rub the pieces together.  This will give the worn leather look.  Also be warned this will rub your hands raw!

Step Four: Using the mod podge glue the paper bag to the outside covers of your cardboard.  Allow for some paper to over lap all of the edges.  You will fold the overlap over and glue to the inside cover.

Step Five: When dry repunch the holes in the cardboard using your previous holes as a guide.  Then fold over the excess paper and glue down.  *Tip* Cut little squares at each corner so that your paper will lay flat when glued. This will give you nice edges.

Step Six: Cut two pieces of paper- scrap, card stock, or otherwise smaller than your cardboard but larger than the overlapped edges so that you hide the raw edges on the inside cover.

Step Seven: Using brown shoe polish, lightly polish the outside covers so that the creases and crinkles take on a darker brown than the brown paper bag.  Seal both pieces with a light coat of mod podge.

Step Eight: Place paper inside both covers, align holes and using the hemp stitch front cover, pages, and back cover together.  Try to keep the stitches tight to ensure the notebook stays bound.

Step Nine: Enjoy! And fill it with all your thoughts, ideas, drawings, dreams.  And gum if you must!

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