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Notebooks With Available Leather Covers


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#1 cannon

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:04

As the title says, I am looking for a notebook that I can buy, place in a leather cover, fill up, replace, and repeat for many years by putting my current active unfilled notebooks in the leather cover to travel with. I also want the notebooks to be fairly durable so I can pass them on or store them for a very long time, meaning I think Moleskine is ruled out.

I know Rhodia Webnotebook covers can be found here: Inkleaf Leather Co.

Are there any alternatives with leather cover offerings, too? I just want a leather cover that fits a decently durable notebook. I am okay with it not working well with Fountain Pens, but it must work with Ball point and pencils.

Thanks for the help.

#2 matt385

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:15

For leather covers I just bought a refillable notebook from renaissance art. I also got their notebook which is very heavy course paper. It works best with a fine point nib or a ball point/roller ball. I am looking to replace it with a clairfontaine refill which I prefer.
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#3 hedera

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:03

Well, there is the Midori Traveler's Notebook of course: gorgeous leather covers in black or brown, comes in two sizes, and with all kinds of refills. :thumbup:
The refills themselves have a simple cardboard cover that I find to be quite durable, the paper is acid free (not mentioned by Midori, but someone tested it - can't remember where though) and, although that is not one of your requirements, it is heaven to write on with a fountain pen. :notworthy1:

Midori also has two storage thingies for the refills;
http://www.thejourna...4346#a1_2134346
and
http://www.thejourna...4305#a1_2114305

(links are to the Journalshop because I don't know off the top of my head a store in the US that sells them; no affiliation, happy customer, etc etc)

I keep meaning to check at Ikea though, I suspect they have a box or two that would be perfect for the refills.

The Midori leather covers are delicous, and age incredibly well.

#4 ObserveClosely

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 14:49

Well, there is the Midori Traveler's Notebook of course . .

+++1 on the Midori. You can also very easily make your own refills, using the paper of your choice. Which I have done, using my favorite sketchbook paper. The "Kraft" refill is also pretty nice for sketching.

US suppliers of Midori Traveler's Notebooks and all their refills and accessories are Maido Stationery and Resor Shop. I have ordered from both and both are courteous, but Maido is faster.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

#5 macaddicted

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 20:13

Since it hasn't been mentioned: Gfeller Casemakers

I have one for my Rhodia webbies. They're light weight and well made.
macaddicted

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#6 cannon

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 20:49

I do like the plain black notebook looks that Moleskine, Quo Vadis Habana, and Rhodia Webbies have. I don't like the big logo on the Rhodia, but I like the size because it is not so large like the Large Habana. I know Moleskine is very popular, but I just don't want to deal with early deterioration since they are known to be on the cheaper side for notebook quality (clever marketing of them to claim famous inventors like Da Vinci used their notebooks brand even though it didn't start until the 1990s).

I may just go with the Rhodia and a suggested leather cover to tote around, unless some other great suggestion comes up. Thanks for the help guys.

#7 SCPaul

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 22:42

You could also look at Pelle notebooks.

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#8 KrazyIvan

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 23:25

After losing contact with Mr. Duarte of Nicaragua, I can't recommend his covers anymore. I have an order from an Etsy shop that is taking way too long to get to me. It has been a month since I placed my order. My first Etsy order and still no sign of my cover. So maybe not such a good idea either. :headsmack:

#9 Octo

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:40

If you can find refills you like, you (or a friend) can easily make a cover for them. An inexpensive source of leather is used jackets from Goodwill or other consignment shops.

#10 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:05

Sully Leather journals, also Levenger refillables
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#11 cannon

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:32

I like the looks of the black notebooks like Moleskine, Habana, etc. I want durable and as little logo as possible. The Moleskines come in great sizes and look about right, but I want better quality.

At this point, I might just sacrifice on the logo side and go for the Rhodia Webnotebooks and the Inkleaf case. Unless there is some similar alternative with no logos. Quo Vadis Habana seems good, though the large is just a bit too large. Leuchtturm 1917 looks decent but they have logos on the pages right? I want blank.

Anyone know where to get quality Habana leather cases? I don't want to make it myself, I'd like to order. Or if there is a company who does customs, that would be fine.

I am looking for a brand I can stick with forever through all my replacements.

Thanks for the help.

Edited by cannon, 08 February 2012 - 07:40.


#12 januaryman

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 14:37

Thanks to this topic I found that Renaissance Art now has a composition book cover in leather! Yea! Now I can add some class to the Staples Sustainable Earth notebooks I carry around with me. I ordered one at once upon finding it. The rustic was good enough for me, but there are three options. There's even a link to a YouTube video showing how to distress your cover for a more interesting look. (no affiliation)
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#13 CAG_1787

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 17:35

Levenger sells a leather cover for Moleskine, which would presumably (but no guarantees) fit similar sized notebooks like the Luechtterm.

Link
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#14 rackom

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 17:43

If you are a bit DIY oriented, you could try make your own. I am in progress with mine. You can buy leather on eBay (I had one from friend of mine). Other materials cost about 3€/$4 and 4hours of work. Photos included:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Papers are removable and could be stitched together in 1hour, usable without leather cover too.

#15 SCPaul

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 16:40

I forgot Doane Paper also makes a leather cover.

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#16 NeelsK

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 19:57

I posted my current solution in this thread. Dont know if this is the sort of thing you meant or if you are only looking for covers.

#17 KrazyIvan

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 20:14

Here is my collection so far.

Posted Image
Leather Notebook Covers by IvanRomero, on Flickr

From left to right:

1. Renaissance Art Pocket Moleskine Cahier cover with a doane paper notebook inside. It holds in a notebook similar to how a Midori does.
2. Beastly Leather (Etsy) Moleskine Cahier Cover with a generic notebook inside. It only works with Cahier sized notebooks. Field Notes and doane paper will work. Rhodia small Webnotebook is too big as well as the Pocket Moleskine.
3. VadeMecum Leather Pocket Molekine Notebook Cover. Works with Pocket Moleskine, Rhodia Small Webnotetebooks and similar sized notebooks. Too bad Jduarte is not responding to emails. :unsure:
4. Lands End Passport Wallet repurposed as Notebook Cover. Has a doane paper notebook inside.

Edited by KrazyIvan, 10 February 2012 - 20:16.


#18 penocd

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:00

This might be sacrilege in this crowd, but I had a custom cover made through a leather shop for composition books.

Comp books?

The comp books are a standard sizes and readily available. The system works well for me. Some comp books are more fp friendly than others--my best luck has been with the Office Depot brand, which I buy on sale during the Back-to-School season. I know the quality obviously is not the same as Rhodia, but allows for a standardized notebook which can easily be archived once completed and has been my system for the last 3 years.

To get an idea of how much to expect to pay, I bought my cover for $55 from Texas Shoemaker in southern California.

#19 bogiesan

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 13:59

I like the looks of the black notebooks like Moleskine, Habana, etc. I want durable and as little logo as possible. The Moleskines come in great sizes and look about right, but I want better quality.
At this point, I might just sacrifice on the logo side and go for the Rhodia Webnotebooks and the Inkleaf case. Unless there is some similar alternative with no logos. Quo Vadis Habana seems good, though the large is just a bit too large. Leuchtturm 1917 looks decent but they have logos on the pages right? I want blank.


I thought the Rhodia Webbie had been un-logoed due to customer squealing.
The Leuchhturm has a light gray name on every page, true, but they're also numbered.

Barnes and Noble once had an in-house line of journal refills that fit into leather wraps. They came in various designs and standard notebook sizes. You can still find the refills on the shelves but the leather covers seem to have gone out of production. I bought many for friends back in the 90s and they can still get refills. They are not hardcover but the paper is actually pretty good.

I'll give another nod to Gfellers Casemakers in Meridian, Idaho. Full dicsclosure: the owner and chief craftsman is a client of mine. I produced their Moleskine cover video and we're working on more. Steve's leather and work are as good as tey get and, with his level of craftsmanship, you will get EXACTLY what you pay for.
I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

#20 cannon

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:57


I like the looks of the black notebooks like Moleskine, Habana, etc. I want durable and as little logo as possible. The Moleskines come in great sizes and look about right, but I want better quality.
At this point, I might just sacrifice on the logo side and go for the Rhodia Webnotebooks and the Inkleaf case. Unless there is some similar alternative with no logos. Quo Vadis Habana seems good, though the large is just a bit too large. Leuchtturm 1917 looks decent but they have logos on the pages right? I want blank.


I thought the Rhodia Webbie had been un-logoed due to customer squealing.
The Leuchhturm has a light gray name on every page, true, but they're also numbered.

Barnes and Noble once had an in-house line of journal refills that fit into leather wraps. They came in various designs and standard notebook sizes. You can still find the refills on the shelves but the leather covers seem to have gone out of production. I bought many for friends back in the 90s and they can still get refills. They are not hardcover but the paper is actually pretty good.

I'll give another nod to Gfellers Casemakers in Meridian, Idaho. Full dicsclosure: the owner and chief craftsman is a client of mine. I produced their Moleskine cover video and we're working on more. Steve's leather and work are as good as tey get and, with his level of craftsmanship, you will get EXACTLY what you pay for.



I believe the paper is no longer logo filled, but the cover still has the logo embossed large, front and center. It seems like a great pick, but I would prefer a low-key logo instead.

#21 RevolverOcelot

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:56

This might be sacrilege in this crowd, but I had a custom cover made through a leather shop for composition books.

Comp books?

The comp books are a standard sizes and readily available. The system works well for me. Some comp books are more fp friendly than others--my best luck has been with the Office Depot brand, which I buy on sale during the Back-to-School season. I know the quality obviously is not the same as Rhodia, but allows for a standardized notebook which can easily be archived once completed and has been my system for the last 3 years.

To get an idea of how much to expect to pay, I bought my cover for $55 from Texas Shoemaker in southern California.


There's also the Levenger Notabilia series, which are upmarket comp books and have a separate leather cover (you can put drugstore $1 comp books in the $100 leather cover I suppose).

#22 nunez

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:18

I'm surprised no one mentioned the Heirloom covers. Is he still making them? i've been away for a while.

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#23 jimhughes

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 19:31

Steve:
Rumors say that Tony at thewellshavedgentlemen. May be restarting his Heirloo, Covers project. Renaissance Arts in Santa Fe, makes a Composition Cover in Leather for about $40.00-$50.00 each. They make a ton of notebook covers as does inkleaf. ( Bogie on FPN) or Gfeller. Usual disclaimers apply. A very satisfied customer of all 4 companies mentioned, Jim

#24 AfterMyNap

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 21:36

I would encourage you to first fall in love with a notebook, buy many, and then seek the ultimate cover for it. Because I am a huge fan of Renaissance Art, I can say that one of Arthur's leather covers will last for the rest of your natural life and it will become an important part of you. :) The others are, of course, all very nice, I'm just partial to the leather that arrives looking and feeling as if I just found an old friend.
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#25 OakIris

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 00:14

When I have the money, I would like to get one of the journal covers from Oberon Design; I have one of their covers for my Kindle eReader and I love it. Here is an example:

Posted Image

They have various other designs, mostly Celtic in origin, and each cover is handmade, very sturdy and well made, IMHO. I have read that their journal paper is not especially fountain pen friendly. but you said that was not that important to you. You can also replace their "notebook" with one of your choice, I should think. Oberon Design Journals

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#26 cannon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 22:25

I would encourage you to first fall in love with a notebook, buy many, and then seek the ultimate cover for it. Because I am a huge fan of Renaissance Art, I can say that one of Arthur's leather covers will last for the rest of your natural life and it will become an important part of you. :) The others are, of course, all very nice, I'm just partial to the leather that arrives looking and feeling as if I just found an old friend.


That's what I am planning to do. I will spend a month or two using the book alone before deciding if I am ready to get the leather cover. I just don't want to fall in love with a notebook that doesn't have a nice leather cover available should I fall for the notebook.

#27 bbodson

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 16:03

I have the Moleskine cover and the "large journal" from Oberon Designs. I really like them both. The moleskine is a fit for the Moleskine large journal, and the Oberon Large Journal is a fit for the Rhodia Webbies size 8.25 x 5.5.

http://www.oberondes...oduct_list&c=27
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#28 januaryman

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 16:25


This might be sacrilege in this crowd, but I had a custom cover made through a leather shop for composition books.

Comp books?

The comp books are a standard sizes and readily available. The system works well for me. Some comp books are more fp friendly than others--my best luck has been with the Office Depot brand, which I buy on sale during the Back-to-School season. I know the quality obviously is not the same as Rhodia, but allows for a standardized notebook which can easily be archived once completed and has been my system for the last 3 years.

To get an idea of how much to expect to pay, I bought my cover for $55 from Texas Shoemaker in southern California.


There's also the Levenger Notabilia series, which are upmarket comp books and have a separate leather cover (you can put drugstore $1 comp books in the $100 leather cover I suppose).

Got a comp book leather from Renaissance Art leather. I think it's a new item. $40, and it fits nicely, looks good; the rustic brown is great as is, or you can self-distress it. I love the feel of the leather! Journaling has taken on a whole new dimension for me.
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#29 eherreid

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 21:49

If you do end up being OK with using composition books, I'd second (or more?) the Renaissance Art recommendation. I have two Renaissance Art covers for composition books, one a custom cover with a wrap and tie and pen loop and one just a plain cover. They aren't as polished as some of the other offerings, but I like them lots. I posted http://littleflowerp...mposition.html'>some pictures on my blog the other day if anyone would like to see more photos.

#30 OakIris

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 23:23

If you are a bit DIY oriented, you could try make your own. I am in progress with mine. You can buy leather on eBay (I had one from friend of mine). Other materials cost about 3€/$4 and 4hours of work. Photos included:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Papers are removable and could be stitched together in 1hour, usable without leather cover too.

That looks really nice. I've never worked with leather so I am not sure one I made would like as nice as yours, but I might give it a try. Did you use some sort of template for this or did you just make it because you knew exactly what you were doing?

This might be sacrilege in this crowd, but I had a custom cover made through a leather shop for composition books.

Comp books?

The comp books are a standard sizes and readily available. The system works well for me. Some comp books are more fp friendly than others--my best luck has been with the Office Depot brand, which I buy on sale during the Back-to-School season. I know the quality obviously is not the same as Rhodia, but allows for a standardized notebook which can easily be archived once completed and has been my system for the last 3 years.

To get an idea of how much to expect to pay, I bought my cover for $55 from Texas Shoemaker in southern California.





This might be sacrilege in this crowd, but I had a custom cover made through a leather shop for composition books.

Comp books?

The comp books are a standard sizes and readily available. The system works well for me. Some comp books are more fp friendly than others--my best luck has been with the Office Depot brand, which I buy on sale during the Back-to-School season. I know the quality obviously is not the same as Rhodia, but allows for a standardized notebook which can easily be archived once completed and has been my system for the last 3 years.

To get an idea of how much to expect to pay, I bought my cover for $55 from Texas Shoemaker in southern California.


There's also the Levenger Notabilia series, which are upmarket comp books and have a separate leather cover (you can put drugstore $1 comp books in the $100 leather cover I suppose).

Got a comp book leather from Renaissance Art leather. I think it's a new item. $40, and it fits nicely, looks good; the rustic brown is great as is, or you can self-distress it. I love the feel of the leather! Journaling has taken on a whole new dimension for me.



If you do end up being OK with using composition books, I'd second (or more?) the Renaissance Art recommendation. I have two Renaissance Art covers for composition books, one a custom cover with a wrap and tie and pen loop and one just a plain cover. They aren't as polished as some of the other offerings, but I like them lots. I posted http://littleflowerp...mposition.html'>some pictures on my blog the other day if anyone would like to see more photos.


The idea of using composition books is rather appealing to me - something that you can get at any office supply store instead of having to go miles to find a specialized art supply store to get "special" paper or order on line. Do others also have good luck with the Office Depot comp books? Are there other decent ones out there?

For those that use the Renaissance comp book covers, what exactly is the difference between the Rustic Leather and the Rustic Elegance cover? Nothing is explained on the web site, except that the Elegance is available in more colours. eherreid indicated that the leather for the Elegance version is a bit thinner, perhaps - not sure that more colours and less sturdy leather is worth the price differential. What do you folks think?

Holly