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.