How to make a Midori Travelers Notebook

DIY: How to make a Midori style Traveler’s Notebook for under $5!

I have been big time down this whole planner, journal, organization rabbit hole lately. And one thing that is amazing to me is how expensive the Midori Traveler’s notebooks are. There’s no doubt they’re beautiful, and the simple design is so attractive. I love that you can swap in and out any notebooks that serve your immediate needs. But at 45 bucks a pop, I just can’t drop that money for something that I know I can make myself in under 10 minutes.

The best part of making your own Midori style traveler’s notebook is that you can make it in any material, any color, in leather, or vegan materials, however you like.

For this project I used marine grade vinyl ($2) and a sheet of $.29 felt from the craft store. You will also need a fine tip marker, a hole punch, a ruler, an X-Acto knife, and about a yard of 2 mm elastic cording. Shopping links are down below.

Since I intend to insert the standard Midori style notebooks, I went with the measurements for a standard traveler’s notebook plus a little extra so that when the cover wraps around their girth, it gives them a little extra space so the paper doesn’t extend past the edge. You can use this project for any size or type of saddle stitch or staple-bound notebook. It is super easy to make those yourself.

First decide whatever materials you want to use. Make sure that they’re  something that will have a little stiffness to them so your cover doesn’t flop around. I used a 9″ x 11″ piece of marine grade vinyl. Glue the felt to the inside of the vinyl using a spray adhesive like Super 77. Make sure you do this part outside and in a well-ventilated area.

Once you’re confident that the adhesive has dried well, go ahead and cut the edges using an X-Acto knife and a metal ruler so that everything is nice, clean, straight and squared up. As I mentioned before, I am using a 9″ x 11″ measurement to accommodate the standard Midori travelers notebook, but you can adjust for any size notebook that you like.

Once your edges are cut, you will want to fold your notebook cover in half as though you were wrapping it around your notebooks. Find the middle fold, or what would be the spine. Then you will want to use your hole punch to punch a series of five holes right down that fold line. Your first punch will be 1 cm from the edge and then another right next to that, also 1 cm away. Do the same on the other end of the spine. Then punch one final hole right in the middle of the spine.

If you would like your notebook cover to have rounded corners, use something like a pen or marker cap as a guide and cut around it.

Now grab your elastic cording, any fun color you like. Measure it out so that it is twice as long as your notebook is tall and then add twice the width of your notebook.

Push a loop of elastic through the center hole from the back to the front as shown below.

Working from the center hole of the spine outward, take one end of the elastic and thread back to front again. Repeat this for the opposite end of the spine.

Now come front to back with the very outside holes on the top and bottom of your spine. Then tie the ends together so they are taught but not overly tight. You want just enough tension so that there is no slack in the line.

When you’re done, the front side of your notebook cover should look like the photo below.

Use that inner loop of elastic to wrap around your notebooks, and use the outer loop as a closure to hold your notebook shut.


A couple of days ago I made another faux Midori style traveler’s notebook out of stiffened felt. If you would like to receive your own traveler’s-style notebook that I made by hand, leave your comments below and share this post. I will to someone at random next Sunday.

I hope you enjoyed this DIY! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a note below.



Martha Stewart screw punch

X-acto knife

Marine vinyl

Elastic cording

Stiffened felt

*These are Amazon affiliate links. They don’t cost anything extra for you to use, but Amazon does put a couple of pennies in my account, which is nice. 🙂 Thank you!