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Many moons ago I was using a spiralbound planner from Women’s Success Choice. When international shipping took a huge jump I couldn’t justify the cost of the planner inserts anymore. So I moved on to other planners and left the beautiful leather cover for the Success Choice planner behind. It is a beautiful piece of leather and I have tried (unsuccessfully) to find a notebook that would fit it. And then I saw this video…

Now darkchild57 is not the sort of person I usually follow on Youtube. He seems to be a bit of a knife fanatic. But he is also a leather journal maker and he posted the above video on how to make your own refillable leather journal cover using elastic cord. I liked this one because there were three elastic loops on the inside, instead of the usual Midori-esque one. This way I could fit each notebook on it’s own loop instead of having to use elastics. And when I thought about where to buy a piece of leather, the Success Choice leather cover popped into my brain and presto! I had a project.

Following the instructions was surprisingly easy. I pressed pause a lot so I wouldn’t miss anything. I used a small screwdriver to punch the holes in the leather as I do not have a leather awl. The screwdriver’s diameter was smaller than the elastic cord so the hardest part was getting the cord through the hole. It took me about an hour start to finish. I’m really pleased with the result.

finished cover, closed

The elastic cord is rainbow coloured – I couldn’t find any black in the right thickness at my local Michael’s. I don’t know how I feel about the rainbow. I think I would prefer all black, for the outside at least. I may try to dye the cord black using a Sharpie marker. We’ll see.

The fairy door charm on the front was a find on my recent trip to the States and the teapot is a pin whose clasp was broken.

elastic work inside

Here you can see the inside elastic work.

elastic work outside

And here you can see the outside elastic work.

notebook edges

I inserted three notebooks, one on each inside elastic. The edges don’t line up when the cover is open, but they do when it is closed. I like the effect of seeing a bit of the other two notebooks when you first open the cover. The notebooks are from Studio Oh! I purchased them at Indigo Books.

first notebook open

The first page of the first notebook. Have to start off with a good quote. I will probably make this my daily journal when I finish my current one. I really love the paper.

closed 2nd notebook

The front cover of the second notebook.

closed 3rd notebook

Front cover of the third notebook.

back cover tucked

The back cover of the third journal, tucked into the leather cover. The spiral notebooks from Success Choice were designed to tuck in like this; for this application it is not necessary but looks a bit neater I suppose.

open fairy door

Here’s the fairy door open. I cut washi tape to size and fit it in. The charm is rather heavy so bangs about a bit but can be easily moved out of the way of the covers so that writing is not affected.

So there you have it. I’m really pleased with how my recycling efforts turned out. It feels good to use what I already have to make something beautiful and functional.