If you’re at all into notebooks, sketchbooks and stationery, you’ve probably heard of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook.     It’s made in Japan.  People mod them in all sorts of ways and talk about them at length on message boards and social media.

Here’s a store where you can see the entire line of covers,  a huge selection of paper inserts and accessories.  The popup said “close out sale 40% off everything”.  If you really want an actual Midori, this would be the place to get it!  They list between about $50 and $60.  Goulet Pen Co. carries the basics.

It isn’t supportive enough to be a sketchbook cover.  But it works as a notebook or journal.  The ingenious design is the elastics that make it possible to hold 2 or even 3 notebooks in the cover.  Organizational mavens love that.

However, my thought is, “I can make that”.  Once you’ve figured out the system of elastics, it’s just an overpriced small piece of leather!

I’ve had this piece  of leather for ages.  I was going to use it for a costume piece in which I have long since lost interest.  At about 2mm, it is just the right thickness for a Midori-like cover.  I have a lot of bookmarks for tutorials and other modifications.  Many people call the DIY Midori the Faux-dori.

I mostly used this tutorial  Ray Blake is so generous and has made lots of inserts for Midori style books    Unfortunately, they are mostly designed around European size paper (A4).

Here is another one

This one has some specific suggestions the others don’t: use only vegetable tanned leather; he used 4mm thick; sanded the rough side; My leather piece was purchased so long ago, I have no idea what sort of leather it is.

This one has a different system for the elastic.

As you can probably guess by now, I made one.  It was very easy and it didn’t take long.  Of course, I already have a good collection of leather working tools from having made some costume pieces (cough, Jedi belt, cough, cough).  I made it to fit either the Moleskine cahier or Field Notes.  The former is easily found just about anywhere and are relatively

The best thing is I didn’t spend a dime.  I used materials I had on hand in my stash.

About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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3 Responses to Faux-dori

  1. vickilou92 says:

    I just stumbled on Rays tutorial the other day and have this on my list…they are so cool!

  2. miatagrrl says:

    Great DIY-dori! My “Stefano” is exactly the same, except the inner pockets make it stiff enough to support my sketch paper.

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