For those of you who are unfamiliar with the travel notebook system, let me briefly describe how it’s assembled and why I love it so much.
A travel (or traveler’s) notebook is generally a collection of small notebooks attached to a larger cover with elastic cords. Most of the travel notebooks I’ve seen have at least four elastic cords running down the inside spine of the larger cover. This would accommodate up to four notebooks or a combination of notebooks and pocket folders. To insert a book, open it with equal parts on the right and left side and slip it underneath a cord. It’s such a simple idea and perfect for “writaholics” like me who prefer paper instead of a keyboard! It’s also nice having multiple planners and journals in one place which can be taken anywhere. From watercolor and sketch paper, to lined, dotted, or graph paper, you can find perfectly sized specialty notebooks available almost everywhere from many different manufacturers. Currently, I have my notebook system set up with a budget planner, a calendar, and a mood tracker. I got an undated calendar from A.C. Moore and use the plain papered notebook for a mood tracker. I have a Jane Davenport “butterfly” journal cover (just a more creative name for a travel notebook cover) and I have covered my books with pretty scrapbook paper, stickers, ribbon, and washi tape. I also purchased some additional pockets and a journal “girdle,” which is a pouch attached to a wider elastic band that slips around the front cover.
I have to say I really enjoy working on my notebook everyday. I’ve watched tutorials on how to make them and have seen similar handmade ones on Etsy. As I would now consider myself a traveler’s notebook “addict,” I decided it was about time I made my own. Given their rise in popularity, what a perfect project to get involved with!
The first step I took was purchasing a laminating machine. I didn’t need anything fancy, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. After doing some research online, I purchased a Scotch Thermal Laminator for around $20 at a local Target. It is easy to use, heats up quickly, and does it’s job nicely. Next, I needed to purchase some elastic cord to hold my notebooks and pocket folders to the cover, as well as some additional travel notebooks to decorate. I have plenty of scrapbook paper, so I was all set and ready to go!
I chose coordinating Tim Holtz Wallflower papers for my first planner. Using my travel notebook cover as a guide, I made my measurements and added creases to the paper where I would later fold after laminating to create a “book” to attach my other notebooks to. This makes for a much sturdier cover. (Not only will it keep it’s shape better, but it gives more of a spine for the elastic cords to attach to). I used a lace edge punch to add a little more detail to the corners. I made sure that the paper I used for my cover was double sided because both sides are seen. I also used coordinating paper to create a four-part folder, with a pocket on the front, back, and two inside. I used my Jane Davenport pockets for overall measurements, but I added two additional pockets to mine to hold more. These pockets are great for holding stickers, washi tape, receipts, and other small items that aren’t too bulky.
For inside the front cover, I wanted to add a couple of pockets for additional storage for planner accessories. To make the pockets more interesting, I used paper doilies that I cut in half in two different colors. I added some pretty floral washi tape to accent the top and overlapped them slightly alternating the colors. I added some fun paper clips to the pockets and some miniature clothes pins as page markers to my three notebooks. I chose an undated calendar, a plain white paged notebook, and a task notebook and decorated them with coordinating paper. Next, I added some plain labels to each notebook cover so the lucky recipient 😉 could name the books whatever they liked. The last few things I did was add some cute document folders for additional storage on the back cover, decorated the cover and inside notebooks with pretty feather and lace stickers, and added a pen holder. I didn’t want just any old pen for my notebook, so I purchased some pretty peacock feather pens I found on Amazon. I just love the cool colors of the feather (which can also double as a tickler when your toddler needs to be entertained, by the way)!
I hope I inspired you to start your own travel notebook. If you like what you see here, please stay tuned for my Etsy shop “TeapotsAndPansies”. I’m currently creating away with the intent to open my shop sometime this summer.