Sunday, 30 December 2012

Making a case for Field Notes or Moleskine notebooks

This is going to be a long one, but I think the end result is fantastic and although there are quite a few steps, there's nothing particularly challenging.

What we're going to make is a cardboard case to hold one thick notebook (say a Moleskine pocket) or several thin ones, like Moleskine Cahiers, Field Notes books, or home-made notebooks of the same popular size, which is 14cm x 9cm. If your favourite notebooks are a different size, you can easily adapt the measurements.

First, find a piece of card that is at least 222mm square. The front or back of a large cereal box would do, or you could use a file folder.

You are going to mark some parallel vertical lines in pencil. Using the straight left edge as your starting point, draw the lines using the measurements shown.

Now draw some horizontal lines. Use the top edge of the folder as your starting point.

Next you're going to cut out the big cross shape marked below in red.

Here's what the piece looks like once you've cut it out fully.

What you have to do now is score all the remaining lines. Fold along the lines you have scored and you'll have this:

Note that I have drawn faint pencil lines to find the exact centre of the large panel and punched a small hole there. That is so I can thread through some elastic to keep the case fastened. This is the type of elastic you need:

It is called hat elastic because it is used to keep hats in place. If you've ever worn a party hat with elastic that goes under your chin, this is the stuff they used. You need to cut a 240mm length of it. Thread if through the hole from the back and tie the ends in a knot that will sit inside the case.

And it's ready. Pop your notebooks inside, fold it up and stretch the elastic round the case.

If you prefer a more elaborate fastening and you have the appropriate equipment, you can use some card offcuts to make discs and punch some holes in them.

Use brass rivets and some thin string to make a string tie fastening.

The finished case can comfortably hold two or three of my home-made cahiers:

If you want a case that can hold more then simply increase every 10mm measurement in the template accordingly.

You can now decorate the case. I've always loved the look of manila card covered in travel stamps. A collection of rubber stamps and different coloured pads is costly, though, so I cheated. Can you tell how?

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