This summer I went to Berkeley (I'm Norwegian) and made some journals with my girlfriend's mother who's a bookbinder and printer.
I've always been interested in leather journals and thought I'd found what I was looking for when I discovered the limp-back Moleskines. But after only a few months it started to fall apart and everyone else had one. So I started looking for handmade journals but they all cost an arm and a leg, plus they always had some detail I didn't like (inspirational quotes, flowers and whatnot). When my girlfriend told me she used to get a handmade journal every Christmas from her mom - my head almost exploded.
Anyway, during this summer we bound a lot of books. Limp leather jourals with quality paper (Mohawk) and nice leather.
The first time around we just used some scrap leather, but next time we went to Frank's Leather and Hides in San Francisco. Here I found this nice, thick Italian buffalo hide. This hide was extremely thick and stiff but after beating it, stomping on it etc. it smoothened up. Then I used sandpaper on it to give it a more used look. This actually highlighted the creases I made and gave it a nice glow. Before starting the actual binding I treated it with renaissance wax. The paper was cut with a dull paper cutter to give it those rugged edges.
I attached some pictures below. Sorry for the bad quality and that they're so large. I tried to resize them but they came out almost just as big... And I was in a hurry after discovering this awesome forum
I don't think I'll ever buy a journal again. It can be a lot of work making them but definately worth it. It's easier when you have a pro to help you when you're stuck, of course. Next time I might make a smaller one that is more travel friendly.
P.S. I someone wants to trade, just let me know. I'm hopefully going to make more journals and I'm always interested in new pens or ink.
Edited by LamyDude, 05 December 2011 - 01:31.