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DIY Hand Bound Leather Journal

DIY Hand Bound Leather Journal

I don’t know about you, but I love the feel of a leather journal. It’s so soft, mysterious and full of promise! You could fill it with all sorts of stories and thoughts.

If you want to make your own leather journal you can use my tutorial! These really aren’t that hard to make once you figure it out and they make wonderful gifts!


Supplies: 1/4 yard of Faux Leather or Vinyl, Embroidery Thread, Needle, Awl (or you can use a sharp needle to poke holes), Paper (I used newsprint), Paper Trimmer, Paint and Paintbrush (optional)

1. To start with you’re going to be needing to prepare the paper part of the journal. Cut your paper to 9″x6.5. Fold them in half so they they are 4.5″x6.5″ I put 8 pieces of paper in each stack so that when folded in half you have 16 pages.

Create 3 of these 16 page booklets– these are called “signatures” in book binding terms.

2. Cut a 15″x7″ piece of your leather for the cover.


3. Poke a hole about 1/4″ in from the top edge and one from the bottom edge on the inside crease of your first signature. Poke the holes in the leather as well, placing them about 5″ in from the side.

4. Cut your embroidery thread into a 5″ piece. Separate your embroidery thread into 3 strands (you don’t need all 6) and thread your needle.

5. Leaving a couple of inches on the inside of your signature, poke your needle through the hole in your paper and leather, going out through the leather.

6. Now go back up through the leather and paper signature going through the bottom hole.

7. Tie to the opposite end on the inside of the paper signature. Your first paper signature should be stitched to your journal about 5″ from the side now.

8. Repeat with the next 2 signatures, placing them about 1/4″ away from each other.

9. Cut a 20″x1/2″ strip of leather. Stitch one end to the far side of your leather (the side that wraps around to the front.


10. When you close your journal up the leather should wrap around to the front and to close it wrap the strip around a couple of times.

11. You can also paint the cover like I did. I sketched out a cute little fox and then filled him in with acrylic paints.

You can add as many or as few paper signatures as you like, but I think it looks best with at least 3 of them.

Have you ever made a hand bound leather journal like this? I’d love to know if you used my tutorial!

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