DIY Leather and Gold Leaf Notebook


DIY-NotebookIn case you haven’t noticed, I’m waaaay into gilded leather these days. I’ve got all of these awesome materials in my DIY supplies, just staring at me, waiting for me to make something awesome out of them. So I kindly obliged. And now I have the cutest notebook in town! Wanna make one? Gather your materials:

  • a piece of soft leather, 8″ x 5 1/2″
  • about 15-20 pieces of paper, 7 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ (I used a mix of lined paper, graph papers, and blank paper)
  • upholstery thread
  • sturdy needle
  • scissors
  • pen
  • ruler
  • ModPodge
  • 2 small paintbrushes
  • gold leaf
  • bone folder
  • tweezers

Start by folding the pieces of paper in half so that they create the shape of the book. I folded mine one by one using a bone folder so that they had nice clean edges.


Thread your needle with the upholstery thread and wrap the leather cover around the pages. Insert the needle through the leather and the pages, from the outside in. Make a large knot on the outside of the leather to hold the thread in place. Continue sewing the binding with stitches about one inch long. Depending on how much paper you use, you may need something to help the needle through all of the layers. (Pliers may be useful in either pushing or pulling the needle through. Just be careful!)


When you reach the end, knot the thread around itself, again on the outside of the leather.



Fold the pages under so that the front cover is isolated. On one edge (or in any design you like), paint on a layer of ModPodge. Gently lift a piece of gold leaf with the tweezers and set it down on the ModPodge. Allow it to grab on, and use a clean, dry paintbrush to pat the gold leaf down. Let dry for 20-30 minutes, and use the dry paintbrush to gently brush away the excess gold leaf.




Ta-daaaa! Now when you jot down notes, people will wonder how you got so cool as to have a golden notebook. This thing is going with me everywhere. Have fun! xoxo




  1. Kryn on said:

    I’ve never tried using gold leaf (I’ve always thought it was grossly expensive, although I’ve never actually looked at the price…hmm?) But anyway, you are making me want to try it!

    • chelsea on said:

      Hi Kryn! I got my gold leaf at a local craft store and it came with 25 sheets for about $15. I think you can find it even cheaper online — it was kind of an impulse buy! But I do have to say that a little bit goes a long way — I’ve used mine quite a bit and I’ve found that if you’re careful, you can really make it last.

  2. I really love how this turned out, it looks like something straight out out of a pricey stationary store!

    • chelsea on said:

      Thanks Kelsey! I’m pretty stoked about it. 🙂

  3. Becca on said:

    First time commenter, but long time follower. Where do you get your leather for these projects? I’ve been looking around my town and can’t find any at all! Thanks in advance!

    • chelsea on said:

      So glad you commented, Becca! Thanks for being a reader. 🙂 I live in LA and I actually found a little leather shop that’s local to me. It’s kind of a one-off thing. Not sure where you are, but I know that JoAnn Fabrics has a small selection of leathers (or faux leather), or you could always do an online order and probably have much more selection. Good luck!

  4. Anna on said:

    I love making my own DIY notebooks! They’re just so uniquely YOU. The gold leaf really adds a nice modern touch to this!


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  9. chenuli on said:

    seriously , i’ll die to try this but i can’t find the leather!!!!! help ,please !!

    • Andrea on said:

      – best way is to use up-cycled leather from secondhand stores !! Low cost and it is a awesome way to use old coats/ skirts !

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  15. Sventiksha on said:

    Can we not use those metallic-y acryllic gold colours instead of the goldleaf?!

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