Making a Midori Style Travelor’s Notebook

Made myself a “Faux-Dori” today. It’s a knockoff from a Japanese style notebook called a Midori. It’s very cool. Essentially a piece of leather cut to size and elastic thread to hold several notebooks together like a graph paper one, a calendar, a plain paper one….Whatever one’s imagination can come up with. There is a center elastic inside to slip a notebook in by opening the notebook to the middle and slipping it into the elastic. More notebooks can be added by using another elastic to put in the centers of the other two notebooks, closing them and slipping one of them under the original notebook and on the side of it.

There are several videos on Youtube about making them and the notebooks to go inside them. Midori can be viewed and ordered from the Goulet Pen Co. and they offer all sorts of accessories.

This Youtube video is a great demonstration for making your own:

This video has an excellent tutorial for making notebook inserts:

I used a piece of gold colored leather that I bought at a local Hobby Lobby. After completing most of the steps, I felt my notebook cover was too flimsy. So I cut and fitted some tan colored 1/8″ foam sheet inserts for the front and back, leaving a 1/2 inch in the middle, and glued them in. This gave my notebook the perfect stiffness it needed. My daughter Karen donated a couple of charms for my book marks. I think it adds a little class.

I made some special notebooks for my faux-dori using the instructions in the second video. I made one with graph paper for Notes, Thoughts, & Ideas and one with ivory 100% cotton rag paper for Sketching. I made my cover a size that would accommodate the small moleskine notebooks that come 3 in a pack with cardboard covers, so I have put one of those as well in the notebook for Journaling. I added a pen holder that attaches to the back with adhesive that I purchased at Dick Blick’s. I will probably add other things as I figure out how to accomplish it.

If one would make a faux-dori one of the sizes of the Midori Traveling books, he or she could order accessories for it from the company. They offer a small “passport” size probably 4″x 5″ and the regular size that looks to be 10″x6.5″. I’m just guessing from the pictures I saw of them. It would be best to go to the Goulet Pen company website and check them out. They have all sorts of neat things like a detachable pen holder, credit card holder, plastic pockets, elastics etc.




Supplies To make Faux-Dori Cover:

* Thick piece of Leather, Cowhide or Suede big enough to cover the dimensions desired (~$7)
* Black elastic thread ($1.50)
* Leather Thread or cord for bookmark(s) ($1.50)–This is optional.
* Sturdy Large eyed needle and a piece of strong thread.
* A healable mat for working surface.
* Sturdy Olfa Knife or Box Cutter or X-Acto knife and blades
* Metal ruler
* Sharpie Pen
* Scissors
* Optional: Bead or Charm for Book Mark
* Piece of 1/8″ foam sheet for adding bulk and stiffness to leather cover if desired, in matching color and Glue. I used spray adhesive and worked to get any creases out. Cut to size. One for front and one for back but 1/2″ narrower than front/back for more “give” room in the middle (spine).
* Optional: Pen Holder(Not shown in Pictures): $4 for adhesive elastic attachment

Supplies for Notebooks:

Card Stock for covers
Heavy Thread
Large Eyed Needle
Healable surface to work on
Paper Cutter/Trimmer and Metal Ruler (Olfa Knife/Box Cutter/X-Acto Knife if no paper cutter is handy)
Desired Paper

I spent about $11 (leather, elastic, leather thread, foam sheet) to make the cover. I already had everything else to make it with. Buying the Midori would have set me back $50 and I would need to buy their specially sized notebooks to go in it. Whether you buy their book or make your own, I still think it is a pretty good investment and something a person would enjoy for a lifetime.