Leather Journal DIY

Naptime Gnome Idea #19

Simple, yet durable, adventure journal in about 2 naptimes (allowing for dry times)DSCN8437Friday is adventure day around here. The kidlettes have enjoyed geode hounding, date tasting, tunnel exploring, ghost hunting, and hot spring observing, and who could forget waterfall wading, marsh marching, wetland walking, hill hiking, snow sledding, creek crouching, rock rambling, museum musing (oh, how I adore alliteration!)? Unfortunately, this past Friday, there was no outdoor adventure, as Little Bug had a nasty bug. But while she was napping, I over heard Little Bear announce his desire for an adventure journal, stipulating it must be LEATHER.  I was taken a bit aback as he’s 4 and I didn’t even realize he knew of leather… of course I could hear Daddy Bear’s voice in my head quoting “Anchor Man” referencing his grand importance and his collection of “many leather bound books,” but stifled the urge to giggle and gleefully grabbed a deer hide I was given a while back and a stack of printer paper. DSCN8262Taking about 15 sheets of paper, I held them in the landscape orientation and folded them in half forming a book with the fold along the side, then I placed a wide ribbon along the back side of the fold (the front/top would be find too). Then using the longest running stitch, sewed one continuous line down the crease WITHOUT locking the stitch on either side (running the needle back and forth over the paper will just perforate it until nothing exists between the two halves… at least in places). Leave enough thread on either side that you can tie the thread snugly into a square knot on either side securing the stitch. After the binding was sewn a little voice proclaimed, as if it hadn’t been several minutes since the first proclamation, “…and it must look old!” DSCN8260 Okie dokie, old it is!  So out came the coffee reserved specifically for guests, and in moments, the pages where tan, and soaked, and sticking together.  After they were carefully picked and pried apart and spaced with paper towels, it was placed in the sun to dry, while making a mental note that all future adventure journals will have their pages stained PRIOR to binding… and hung on the clothesline to dry. DSCN8265Once the pages were dry and sufficiently  “old looking,” I smeared silicone all over the ribbon I’d sewed into the binding and affixed it to a rectangle of leather cut slightly larger than the paper on three sides, leaving one edge natural and a bit longer, as to allow it to fold over from back to front. Then the outer pages, both front and back, were smeared with silicone one at a time and affixed over the ribbon to the leather. The book was then closed and pressed with a heavy hardback to dry over night. DSCN8403 DSCN8407The following day, slits and a small rectangle where cut to allow the book to be fastened closed with a twig pencil I’d purchased in a lot of about 10 at Home Goods.    DSCN8267DSCN8426DSCN8427DSCN8430 DSCN8433 Little Bear was later presented with the adventure journal, which resulted in obvious pleasure, DSCN8432which waned when he opened it to find it…empty. DSCN8434

Here’s to helping fill our kiddle’s adventure journals!


-The Naptime Gnome <;’)

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