Tag Archives: handmade

The Cape Horn Notebook, Made with Recycled Sails

Here’s something a bit different, a notebook that incorporates recycled sails and sailing rope:

“With the look, feel, and design of a traditional black notebook, the Cape Horn notebook reimagines used sails from the world’s most epic sailing expeditions as the ultimate storytelling tool.

The notebooks, which contain fragments of a sails that have traveled all the way to the southernmost tip of South America, aim to inject the dynamism of life at sea into everyday life.

Designed and created by Chilean designer Antonia Undurraga, herself an avid sailor, the notebooks merge two diverse industries – sailing and paper goods – into one product.”

Buy the Cape Horn notebook at Amazon.

The Cape Horn Notebook website has some interesting photos of the manufacturing process, much of which seems to be done by hand.

Source: Recycled Sails Get New Life With The New The Cape Horn Notebook – Crossroads Today



David Sedaris’ Diaries

David Sedaris has a new book out called Theft By Finding, which contains entries from diaries he’s kept from 40 years, including while he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. The diaries themselves are quite interesting– he made many of them himself and decorated the covers:

Read more at: David Sedaris: The IHOP Years – The New Yorker



Notebooks Made from Old Jeans

“Urusha Maher is a final year architecture student in Chennai and says that people automatically assume you’re creative when you tell them your choice of degree. Perhaps, that is why one of her friends handed her a pair of worn out jeans last year and asked Urusha to make something out of it. The result was a cool denim jacketed notebook, complete with a pocket to carry your phone, pens and other trinkets, just like your jeans!”

Read more at: Don’t know what to do with old jeans? This Chennai girl will make you a notebook out of it | The News Minute


Hand-Embroidered Notebooks

That’s not just an image of embroidery, it’s actual stitching:

“Check out these hand-embroidered notebooks that feature designs ranging from anatomical and natural to geometric and macabre, then try to make your own!”

Source: Hand-Embroidered Notebooks Are Almost Too Pretty to Use | Make:

Journal Junky

It’s always cool to see someone turn their love of notebooks into a business:

“Nicole Watkins knows firsthand that faithfully writing in a journal can change your life.

“I’ve been journaling since I was a little girl. I loved that connection between the hand and the mind and writing would always get me through sad times and happy times,” Watkins said.

She called herself a journal junky, buying up paper to record her life. Until she had the idea to save some money by making her own journals. Then Watkins took a brave step further. Why not make journals for others to write in?

Now she’s built a thriving online business, Journal Junky, operating out of her West Asheville home, and making her first ventures into nontraditional book publishing.”


Visit her Etsy shop at this link!

Source: Asheville woman’s journals turn tough times into success

Notebook Addict of the Week: Allister

Allister emailed me to share this photo of his collection, which is one of the most attractively arranged ones I’ve seen!

alistair addict

Allister also makes notebooks:

“Last year, I decided to take this passion a little further and opened an Etsy store selling Japanese notebooks that I hand-make myself. That way, I can experience that delightful feeling of holding a brand new and freshly made notebook in my hand every day. (… without my home exploding from a sea of notebooks, since they get sold and have to be shipped away 😛 )”


That is a great way to deal with an addiction, and they’re beautiful notebooks! Thanks for sharing, Allister!

Notebooks by Mazzottibooks

Mazzotibooks is a bookbinding and letterpress studio in London. They make some unusual notebooks with wooden covers and sewn tape bindings. I thought this one was particularly beautiful:

At £55.00, it’s also particularly expensive! But if you want something handmade and special, it might fit the bill.


See more at Notebooks – mazzottibooks.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Tina

This week’s addict is a blogger and urban sketcher who also hand-binds her own notebooks. Here’s some of her hand-bound books:

She’s also used a Rhodiarama notebook as a travel journal:

And I love this shot of her travel sketching kit!

You can read more on her blog about the handbound sketchbooks and how she used the Rhodia journal, and much more! Lots of great drawings and reviews of materials.

Thank you for sharing your addiction, Tina!

Review: Soundless Soliloquy Notebook


I bought this notebook from Soundless Solilquy’s shop on Etsy over a year ago. It just looked like a nice simple notebook with some attractive colors available, so I decided to give one a try. It’s a very cute and handy size that manages to be very pocketable, more substantial than a Moleskine Cahier or Field Notes, yet slimmer than a softcover Moleskine or most of the other pocket notebooks out there. Shown below with a hardcover pocket Moleskine for size comparison:


I picked a 3.5 x 5.5″ pocket notebook with a gray faux leather cover. It’s very understated and plain– no branding on the outside, and even inside, the logo is in a sort of textured clear gel (I’m sure there’s a name for this, but I don’t know what to call it!) so you might miss it if you’re not paying attention.


The corners are neatly rounded, and there is a black ribbon marker. The sewn binding opens nice and flat.


Inside, the paper is a cool bright white. It feels fine to write on, but show-through and bleed-through were a bit worse than average. The paper didn’t feel particularly special– it could have been regular office printer paper. If you’re used to Moleskine paper, Leuchtturm paper, Clairefontaine/Rhodia paper, or anything else a bit more upscale, you might find this paper a little underwhelming.


What I do love about this notebook is the size and feel of it, and that it seems very carefully made. I seem to remember paying $20 for it, but the price on Etsy now is $25– either way, it’s high for what it is, especially since the cover isn’t real leather. I do believe in paying a bit more to support small scale craftspeople, but in this case, I think something more like $12-15 might be reasonable. I don’t think I’ll buy another one, but I like this one enough that it will be in my “to be used someday” pile. It’s also worth mentioning that Soundless Soliloquy offers to work with you to make a customized perfect journal– if you could specify upgraded materials with this level of skilled and careful binding, that would be worth paying some extra money for!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Emadam

This week, we have someone who is not just addicted to notebooks, but addicted to making notebooks!

“i follow your page for some years now and finally managed it to make some
photos of my notebook collection. well it´s just a part of my collection and
it´s a mixture of used and new notebooks but: they are all made by myself. 🙂

by now i have so many notebooks that i started a little shop to sell some of them.

i hope you like the photos!

greetings from germany,



Many of these beautiful notebooks are for sale in her Etsy shop. Thanks for sharing your addiction, Emadam!