Notebooks are like DIY supplies; there’s no such thing as too many. Yup, we can see you nodding from here. Whether you’re storing DIY ideas or making checklists, notebooks are a must. Sometimes they’re so cool that they spark creativity by simply existing. This year, go back to school in style with a handmade notebook made of the dreamiest combo: wood and leather. PS: These guys are excellent for spicing up your 9-to-5, too.

Wood and Leather Notebooks


— leather

— balsa wood

— paper

— washi tape

— acrylic paint

— jump rings

— E6000


— ruler

— leather hole punch

— gel pen

— foam brush

— paper hole punch

— jewelry pliers


 1. Add strips of washi tape to the leather.

2. Apply an even coat of acrylic paint. Let it dry and do its thing.

3. Peel away the tape to reveal your pattern.

4. Glue a leather strip to the edge of a balsa wood piece.

5. Punch three holes down the side.

6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 one more time.

7. Punch three holes along the edge of the papers.

8. Stack everything together and attach with jump rings.


The awesome thing about this project is that you can make the notebook as big or as small as you’d like. Our finished notebook measured 5 x 7 inches. We used two 1 3/8 x 7 inch strips of leather and two 4 x 7 inch pieces of balsa wood. The leather overlapped the wood by 3/8 inch. While you can adjust these specs to your liking, make sure the paper is the same height and width as your finished notebook.


How fun is that triangle print? We made it by alternating diagonal strips of washi tape. Feel free to add your own spin and create your own design. You can even use multiple shades of paint for the ultimate pop of color.


We used 12mm jump rings for about 35 sheets of lined paper. If you want to use more, you’ll need bigger jump rings. The same deal goes for thicker paper such as card stock. Here’s a tip: place the punched leather strip on the paper and use the pen to mark the holes before punching. This will make sure everything lines up.


These notebooks are lightweight and refillable. Plus, who can resist the wood + leather combo? We’re dying over here.


Readers, what color and pattern would you create for your notebook? Let us know, below!

(Last photo by Nick Wolf)