Leather field notes cover

I really wanted to learn more about working with leather after making the Marauder’s Map bookmarks. So when I saw this field notes template on instructables I decided to extend the same design to a Field Notes cover.

I knew I wanted to dye the leather, and I’d need to be able to stitch together pieces, but I had no idea where to start beyond that. I’d heard great things about the customer service at Tandy Leather, so I headed down to the store with a ton of questions, and picked up some 2-3oz veg-tan leather,gel antique, waxed thread, stitching needles, and edge kote.

I also looked online at some different engraved leather designs, and practiced using some of the glowforge’s designs. From there I realized that if the design had more lines and fewer large black areas it would come out a lot better, so I switched the “The Marauder’s Map” text in the castle to be black on a clear background:

Preview of the engraving; click the link below for high res version.

Here is a link to the updated design, if anyone wants to reuse it.

After finishing the design, here are the steps I took to make the actual notebook cover:

  • I masked the leather. This step is optional, but easier that cleaning scorch marks.
  • I sent the design to the glowforge, using proofgrade leather settings. I accidentally set the etch to draft quality, but this meant that it cut really fast, and I think it ended up looking great after dye was applied.
  • I applied gel antique (tutorial).
  • I saddle stitched the pieces together (tutorial).
  • I sanded down the edges and applied the edge kote.

I’m really happy with how it came out! I’ll definitely be making more notebook covers, and trying out clasps and pen holders next.

The finished product.

You can see my first attempt at applying edge kote to the edges. I could have sanded them down a bit more first.