A notebook is an excellent companion to bring along with you. In our case, as designers it is almost a necessity. I’m the kind of person who enjoys journals and notebooks and often find myself over spending on moleskin and various other sketchbooks. This was the case for everyone in our team. Every person was carrying multiple different books for different projects.
We wanted to reduce the clutter and have something that would allow us to be more organized and consolidate everything together so we don’t have to carry a thousand different books.
Doing a bit of research online we read about the Midori Traveller’s Notebook. A Midori is a notebook system – a journal system which basically consists of a leather cover and an elastic cord into which you can place multiple books at once. It is a very interesting system that has gained immense popularity over the past few years and the perfect solution to our problem.
You can buy the official Midori from Jet Pens for $50 but we decided to turn this into a fun little DIY project as a break for everyone in our team.
DIY Midori Style Traveler’s Notebook
1. To start things off, you need to get the leather that would make the cover of your Journal. Try to get a high quality leather that would age well and last for years. Dharavi in Mumbai is one of the largest leather markets in the country. A quick trip helped us get some good quality leather.
2. Next you need to decide the size of your Midori, I suggest using universal sizes so you can easily find books or even simply staple a few sheets together and put them in.
We decided to make in 2 sizes – A5 and A6. Make sure to measure the leather at least 15% bigger than the size of the notebook so the books don’t come out when folded. For example, if you you choose A5 which is 148 x 210 mm, cut out your leather in size 170 x 235 mm. It’s ok if your leather is a little bigger, you can always trim it off in the end!
3. After cutting the leather, you need to now make 5 holes in the center seam for the elastic cord.
The first hole will be right in the center of the seam, followed by 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom.
4. Now it’s time to put the elastic in. Take a long enough piece of your preferred elastic cord and divide it in half. Take the loop half of the cord and insert it in the the middle hole leaving the loop to come out of the other side.
Make sure that the loop is about the width of your book so it can act as a lock when you close the book.
5. Now put each end of the elastic through the holes on each side and then though the remaining holes on the other side as well.
6. Finally now tie off the ends together to create a holder for the book to slide in.
7. To add in additional books, simple take another piece of elastic cord. Wrap it around the spine of the 1st booklet and tie a knot. Then you can slip a booklet in on each side!
This is perfect if you want to have separate books for different projects.
So there it is! our own version of the Midori Notebook is ready. It is absolutely easy to make and ingenious enough to help you maintain all your notes into 1 proper system.