DIY Traveler's Notebooks Tutorial

This is the Part 2 of 2 posts on making a DIY traveler's notebook with a gold foiled cover.


Check out Part 1 - How to Apply Gold Foil with a Laminator here

If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably know that I'm a true notebook junkie.  So far, this is the process that I "perfected", as least for my personal planning, logging & journaling purposes, with the help of simple tools & materials.

You will need:


  1. Print the layouts that you need from the ListLab Printable Traveler's Notebook Basic Bundle double-sided in A4 white paper. Need ideas? You can see at the bottom of this post the different notebooks that I made for my Midori. I like printing 11 sheets for each layout + 1 ivory blank sheet as my lining to get a total of 12 sheets. 12 is the number of sheets that my stapler can handle. If you have a heavier duty stapler, you can stack more pages.

The printables are sized for Standard Traveler's Notebook like Midori Standard. Just remember to use the correct file version (letter size or A4) based on the paper that you will use & print them in 100% or "actual size" settings so that the back print will land exactly aligned with your front page print.

Note: Some printers do not print exactly from the edge so the front and back print is not 100% aligned. If your printer is like this, I suggest you use the "no crop marks" version (for Standard & Cahier sizes only) included in the printable set. The layouts are designed with border margins enough to cover a little misalignment.


2. No A4 paper? You can still use Letter size paper like the kraft cardstock I used for the cover but you'll have an extra step and that is to cut 1/8 in. on both long sides of the paper. You will also need to attach the cut sheet centered to your A4 size paper with a washi tape so that it won't move when it's time to staple.


3. Stack your cover, lining page & 11 sheets of printed white paper. Set your long arm stapler to 5.85 in length. Staple at the center of your stack and at about 1 1/2in - 2 in from the top & bottom of your page.


4. Use the staples on your stack as your folding guide. You can also use a bone folder for this purpose. Just remember to use a padding like a thick cardstock when using a bone folder so as not to damage your cover.


5. Mark (I just make a tiny score using a cutter for this.) & measure 11cm at the top and bottom of notebook and cut the excess using a metal ruler & cutter. Use light but firm strokes to get a clean cut.


6. Use a corner puncher to soften the edges.


7. Enjoy your freshly made notebooks!


Here's a preview of the different notebook types you can do with the ListLab Printable Traveler's Notebook Basic Bundle.

Update: I also made a condensed version of this tutorial that you can quickly reference when making inserts here