Jun 242014

I saw some binders listed on Ebay a while ago.  I told myself I didn’t need one, but I added it to my watch list.  I kept going back and having a peek.  I suppose it was inevitable that I contacted the seller , Elena, to ask for more information about them.

So, the first step was to choose the font I wanted.  I went with the top right.


She then sent me a preliminary sketch along with sample leather swatches



This morning….my parcel arrived!  The rest of the photos are in my Stationery Gallery (link is in menu at the top of this page)

the binder has arrived

In summary

  • The whole process after my initial questions started on June 2nd
  • Her sketch was done on 5th
  • I was shown sample leathers on 6th and chose the ones I wanted
  • After making the final choices, I paid on June 7th
  • 12th June she told me that it was finished and would be shipped the following day, and sent me some photos 🙂
  • 24th June – my binder arrived.  This was a reasonable time considering it was from Russia.

Overall, I’m totally pleased with my purchase,  Elena was friendly and helpful throughout the whole process.  The quality of the leather is beautiful.  The ring mechanism is good.  The attention to detail is impressive – I particularly like the covering over the ring mechanism, and the addition of the bookmark is handy.

I would recommend Elena’s products to anyone who asked.  A 5***** seller.

You can find her Ebay store here or visit her Etsy store here

Jun 102014

Part 1 of this project diary can be found here

Part 3 of this project diary can be found here

I’ve still not decided whether to have fixed or floating mechanism but it was pointless doing 2 images.  The basics would be the same if I go for the floating option “Plan A”, the holes would just be up along the part of the cover that will form the spine.

joining layers

Some bling has arrived.  I saw these green diamante rivets when I was looking for some plain ones.  If I don’t get to use them on this project, I’m sure there’s plenty of other things screaming out for some 🙂


June 9th update :  I’ve gone with “Plan A” and I’ve recycled the hard plastic cover of an old notebook to make the part that the ring mechanism will attach to and slide into a slot in the inner cover.  At this point, I’ve also decided against using ties to hold it closed and will use a popper stud/snap tab instead.  These are on order from China.

At the time of writing, all of the required components are here except for the popper studs and the metal corners.   Time to crack on.  Next job is to figure out the inner cover layout and put it all together.  As this is faux leather I’m sure my sewing machine will cope with it.

May 282014

I’m probably in over my head.  I’ve probably lost my marbles.  BUT I’m willing to have a go.   Yes, I’m going to make my own organiser binder from scratch.  This post will document the start of the journey.  Future posts will be linked.

I’d been looking at the ring mechanisms available to buy for a while, thinking it would be great to take on the challenge of making my own.  I took the plunge and ordered a set from Norwood Sevenk who have a store on Ebay.  I also ordered a leather offcut, again from Ebay.

ring mechanism

ring mechanism

Nice ring closure – no gaps

blue green leather

This is the swatch photo from Ebay – as I write, I’m still waiting on delivery

While I’m waiting, I’m getting some ideas in my head of how I’m going to build it.  For starters, it’s going to be a fold over journal type outer cover with a leather lace to hold it together.   After doing some research into sewing leather I have totally abandoned that idea as I don’t have the equipment needed and I have no intention of ruining my fragile Toyota sewing machine.   I’m going to have the leather outer, cut to size and then have a secondary inner binder part that will have the workings attached and any pockets.

I’ve made some preliminary drafts in Photoshop.  I’ve done that rather than several sketches on bits of paper as I’m a digital artist by nature so it’s perfectly natural to do it this way 🙂

Here are my first couple of digisketches….


outer cover

Idea for the outer leather cover

I’ve also had the idea to jazz it up with some metal corners….also “on order”.

Whilst photographing the innards of a vintage Day Runner organiser today, I remembered that the ring mechanism on this isn’t fixed to the binder, but it’s on a piece of semi hard plastic that slots into a sleeve on the binder inner.  This gave me the idea to possibly do this on mine – “Plan A”, or if not, it will be attached in the normal way, to the part that will be the spine – “Plan B”.  The lines I’ve added to the below image represent where the fold lines will be but the image is not to scale.

inner cover

I’ve also marked where I may put a full length slot and 3 card slots on the left hand side.  For the inner material, I have some faux leather that is in a dark green colour.  Very malleable and also sewable (if sewable is a word) 🙂

Update May 29th – my leather offcut has arrived.


I’ve had a rethink on the fastening.  I was going with a lace wraparound tie, but have now decided on a snap tab fastener.  Have gone with a gold colour to match the metal corners and I may sneak in some green diamante rivets somewhere too.



May 152014

Isn’t it amazing that it can take up to 2 weeks for a letter posted 20 miles away to arrive, but this package was posted in Japan on Saturday and arrived here 4 days later on Wednesday!   Typically for me, the postman delivered it just as I was going out so I had to wait several hours before I was able to enjoy it 🙁

You can see the Grand Opening plus some inserts I made for it in my Planner Gallery

Akiko Binder