DIY leather bound journal

There's something so Hemingway-chic about a leather-bound journal and something so nostalgic about a Composition book and this DIY combines them both! I had some scrap leather in our craft supplies from a thrifted leather coat - if I'm going to use leather I like to use thrifted or vintage - and comp books are at any drug store.

I still like to use notebooks for writing notes, sketching inspiration and designs or just journaling my thoughts.... still haven't found an app that's better than the real thing! Do a heart-shape cut out on the back like I did and gift a journal like this as a Valentine's gift to chronical all your romantic fantasies!

Prep It:
  • composition book
  • scraps of leather or pleather (vegan option)
  • scissors
  • gem-tac glue - or any glue that says it can be used on leather


  1. Open the journal and lay it flat on a piece of scrap leather to judge the size then cut your leather leaving about a half inch at the top and bottom and about 1.5 inches on each side where the book opens and closes.
  2. Glue the 1.5 inch of leather on the inside side of the front cover and let dry
  3. Flip the book over and fold the remaining leather across the entire back of the book - Tip: Make sure there is enough slack so you can close the book. Glue the leather down on the front of the book and the back of the book, leaving the spine unglued for flexibility.
  4. Cut a thin piece of leather to be the strap around the journal and glue it to the middle of the back of the book with the two loose ends able to loop around and tie in front.
  5. Optional: cover the glued area of the strap on the back of your journal with a cut out shape, I chose to do a heart shape out of a contrasting color. Glue the decorative shape in place.
  6. Let the whole book dry pressed in between a pile of books so the glue can set flat.
  7. Enjoy or gift it!