Several years ago I began using a traveler’s notebook. When I first bought it, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not, but over time I’ve grown to love it! I particularly love the idea of being able to use several different styles of notebooks such as a writing notebook, a sketchbook, and a calendar, and other assorted notepads – all wrapped up neatly in a lovely folder.
The standard size traveler’s notebook is about 4-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and is the perfect size for carrying with me when I go on photography excursions, when I’m traveling, and even for everyday use. I can sketch, take notes and reminders, and capture all my creative ideas wherever I am – all in one place.
Over the years I’ve even designed many of my own creative inserts and accessories with lovely imagery and words to keep me inspired.
I’m happy to share that I’ve now designed a range of printables that you can use to create your own creative traveler’s notebook. The Creative Artistry range of printables in traveler’s journal size can be found here in my online store, and includes an art journal, inserts including lines, grid and dots, pocket folder, and journal cards – more than enough to make your own beautiful Creative Artistry Traveler’s Journal.
But what good are inserts without a cover! So here’s a free tutorial showing you how I make mine. I hope you enjoy!
How to Make Your Own Traveler’s Journal Cover
This traveler’s journal cover is made using Peltex which is a rigid heavyweight stabilizer. This stabilizer is perfect for making these types of journal covers plus you can sew through it easily.
The journal cover is very quick to make. I used some of my hand-dyed fabric and I left the edges raw because I like them that way. However you could use any type of fabric at all and turn the edges under if you prefer. Just add a bit more seam allowance when cutting the fabric, then turn it under before sewing.
Gather Your Supplies
- one piece of double-sided fusible heavyweight Peltex 72 or similar cut 10-1/2″ wide x 8-3/4″ high
- two pieces of fabric cut 11″ wide x 9-1/4″ high
- sewing machine
- eyelet hole punch and setter
- elastic cord
Center one piece of fabric on one side of the fusible stabilizer and iron with a hot iron.
Center the other piece of fabric on top of the other side of the fusible stabilizer and iron with a hot iron.
Using a sewing machine, sew all the way around the outer edge of the stabilizer two or three times. Trim the fabric around the edges to 1/8″ then roughen up the fabric a little to fray it.
Measure halfway across the top edge, from one edge of the stabilizer to the other, and put a pin marker at 5-1/4″ which should be the halfway mark. Measure 1/2″ down from the top edge of the stabilizer, and using a sharpie or other type of black marker, make a mark 1/4″ away from the pin marker on both sides. The distance between the marks should be 1/2″. Do the same along the bottom edge. Measure half-way down from the top edge and make one mark along the center.
Using an eyelet punch, punch five holes over the sharpie marks.
With the right side facing up, use an eyelet punch to attach the eyelets. I made 3/16″ eyelets which are quite large, but this will let me add an extra band of elastic if I want to add extra notebooks.
Cut a length of elastic cord approximately 20″ long. With the inside of the cover facing up, thread the cord through the top right eyelet to the outside, then back inside through the top left eyelet.
Thread the end of the elastic through the bottom left eyelet to the outside, then back inside through the bottom right eyelet. Make sure the elastic is taut but not too tight, then tie off in a knot. Trim the ends. This is what the inside looks like.
This is what the outside looks like.
Cut another piece of elastic cord 14″. Thread both ends through from the outside to the inside and tie off in a knot. Trim the ends. This is the closure band.
I threaded a word band through the elastic before I tied it off.
Wrap the closure band around the cover and adjust the elastic bands if necessary.
Attach the inserts
This is very easy to do, but a little difficult to explain, so here goes …
Cut two pieces of elastic cord 17″ long. Tie the ends in a knot to make two circular elastic bands.
To join two inserts together, open one insert halfway and wrap an elastic band around it.
Open the other insert halfway and slip it through the elastic band at the back of the first insert.
The two inserts are joined with an elastic band.
Open the cover and slip the second insert underneath the elastic on the left side of the cover.
To make a three insert notebook, simply open another insert halfway and slip it underneath the elastic band on the right side.
To make a four insert notebook, join the two inserts with the spare elastic band, and slip the second insert underneath the elastic on the right side of the cover, in the same way as the first two.
Wrap the elastic closure around the notebook and make any final adjustments to the elastic bands. They should be taut without being too tight.
Now I have a complete traveler’s notebook for my creative adventures.
An art journal with lots of lovely painted pages.
A writing notebook.
A folder to hold loose papers.
A sketch notebook with blank pages.
Phew! That’s it! I hope you have fun making your very own creative journal!