The first time I heard of traveler’s notebook was from my friends Lyn and Plue. And I didn’t quite get it why, why would people want to bring their journal everywhere? And journaling every single detail of their life? I was quite curious about why people are going crazy over some notebooks in rubber bands.

Soon, I realized that there’s actually a huge community into this journaling, and most people are using the proprietary product – Midori Traveler’s Notebook. It’s a largish rectangle, of its own size. Hence you are limited to buying their proprietary accessories. I was excited to know more about the charm behind this, but unwilling to part my bucks for the expensive notebook, and it’s too big for my liking, while the passport size is too small for me.

Doremi in Japan

Doremi The Rubber Band Book  enjoying the Hanami!

After some brain-storming session with ParisB, I finally figured out that, it’s better than I take the matter into my own hands, and DIY one!

Since it’s a DIY, I had the freedom of choosing whatever size that suits my needs. I decided on A6 since it is not difficult to get the plain notebooks from local Muji, and it’s the best size for me to carry around.

And, my first generation of Doremi The Rubber Band Book was born! I took it to traveling in Japan, and I must save it’s one of the best things I brought! It’s used to hold my rail pass, tickets, brochures, receipts, and everything else!

Here, I will show you a simple DIY, and it’s actually not tough to DIY at all, the real challenge would be getting all the supply. Bear in mind that while the DIY cost may be high if you have to buy all the supply.

Doremi Ingredients

You will need a piece of leather larger than your notebook size, some elastic bands, belt puncher (not pictured), scissors or a rotary cutter (not pictured).

Measuring Doremi

Put 2 notebooks side by side to get an idea of how big your cover should be, but it’s safe to leave a buffer of at least 1cm on top and bottom, and 2cm extra at each side.  My first version was slightly undersized, hence this is my 2nd version.

Make a marking with a pen at the corner of the notebooks (as circled), and that’s where you will need to punch holes.

Punching holes for doremi

I bought a rotary belt puncher for the holes at the top and bottom, then leather puncher (looks like a nail) for the hole in the middle. For the hole in the middle, that’s where you are going to tie the strap for the book.

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As some of you might know, DIY is my kind of thing recently and I have always wanted a basic leather clutch, as a good basic clutch is versatile, long lasting, and almost never goes out of style.

With the need to have my own clutch without having to pay for the exorbitant price, I finally got around to DIY my own clutch.

I had 2 ideas of doing it:

  • Sew the clutch
  • Glue the clutch

Since I can’t operate a sewing machine, I depended my life on my mom!

Leather Clutch Tools

Choosing the leather:

There are a few points in mind when I was choosing my piece of leather:

  1. What’s the maximum thickness your sewing machine can handle?
  2. Cow skin tends to be thinner than buffalo hence it might be easier to work with.
  3. If you could only choose a color, what’s the best color to match your wardrobe?
  4. The size of the leather.

After considering the above factors, I got myself a piece of buffalo leather at about 4 sq ft, you will need about 2 sq ft for a basic size of leather clutch. The thickness of the leather is about 1.2mm.

I spent hours looking for a suitable zipper at 35cm,   but the best I could find was a 30cm. This also means that my clutch has to smaller than 30cm in length to accommodate the zipper.

[click to continue…]

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Shopbob Spring Sale 2015!

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