Making a Fauxdori

This post is longer than usual. A few people have asked how I made my fauxdori, so here is a basic ‘how to’ post.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had plans to make a fauxdori to call my own. Well a few days ago I had a some friends over and we got to work. In one afternoon we made a total of four fauxdoris. They were all a little different, but the process for making them was the same.

Tooling leather untreatedWe made them from basic tooling leather. As I like to say, the leather is lower quality good leather. It is 6-7 oz and has a lovely stiff feel for a notebook cover. It was also my first leather project since I was still in school, so we didn’t want to risk spending too much money on a failed attempt.

The first step was cutting out the leather. We cut it with a rotary cutter and mat. I have a lot of cutting experience from my time cutting quilts, so this step was easy. The leather was thicker to cut through than fabric, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t a problem to cut it in a single pass. I made my cover 8.5 inches tall and 11.75 inches wide. I’d seen a lot of covers online that were 12 inches, but I thought they had a little too much overhang.

Leather, cover, and awlNext up was rounding the corners. I found a highlighter in our pen bin in the kitchen, and we used it as a guide to round the corners with a scalpel style blade. Once the corners were rounded, it was time to punch the holes in the spine. I knew I wanted two side by side elastics to hold notebooks and I needed one hole to hold the wrap around elastic.

When we punched the holes the leather was still untreated like the piece on the left. I punched my holes 3/8 inch from the top and bottom edge. The holes are 3/8 of an inch apart. The hole in the middle for the wrap around elastic is in the centre of the piece of leather.

Once the corners were rounded, and the holes were punched, it was time to dye the cover. I put on one coat of pure neatsfoot oil, then two coats of red dye. The first picture shows the cover while it is drying. The next two pictures show the cover, with the elastic threaded through, from the front and top.

Right now I have two large moleskine cahier notebooks in my cover (they are 5 x 8.25 inches). One in each elastic. I designed the cover to carry up to four notebooks, but usually it will carry 2-3.

Do you have a midori or fauxdori? How many notebooks do you usually carry around?

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