• Peter at Start Bay Notebooks

Some Weird and Wonderful Leather Notebook Covers

A quick look at some of the bespoke leather notebook covers that I have made over the years.

Sketching from Start Bay Notebooks

I thought I ought to mention some of the terminology used - some of it is universal but I'm not sure if I have made some of it up myself.

Wrap Around Cover

This is where the leather forms the front and back in one piece and wraps around the spine.

Sandwich Cover

This is when the leather front and back are two separate pieces and and do not to form any of the spine.


This is when the binding itself is formed by manufactured discs and the paper pages are punched using a discbound punch in order to fix them to the discs.

Bespoke A5 in etched leather including the discbound system.

Chic tan leather leather that is etched to my drawing with a standard closer cord.

I included a discbound system that I fixed to the inside of the leather spine by threading waxed thread through the holes in the discs and tying it to the inside of the cover.

This could only be done using discs with holes and the Atoma discs without holes in the centre are unsuitable for this.

This shows the inside of the cover with the discs fitted.

Sandwich Cover on a Pith Notebook with a Ranger Strap Closer

Pith Notebooks are made in the UK and are really good quality. I clad the cover with a sandwich cover of chic tan croc leather (croc only by name - it's standard full gain leather with the pattern embossed). As this is a sandwich cover it doesn't cover the spine and Pith leave the spine open, which I really like.

A5 Cover using the Limited Edition Rustic Legend Leather with a Ranger Strap.

I've used some really good leather over the years - it's all full grain, vegetable tanned leather. This is one I got by mistake - I called it Rustic Legend and it turned out to be one of my favourites. This is a traditional wraparound cover with a Ranger Strap.

Sandwich Cover for an A5 Discbound System

The front and back cover are separate pieces of A5 Midnight Blue Leather fixed to reinforced discbound punched pieces of card and the spine is only created from the discs themselves.

Wraparound Cover for an A5 Landscape Sketchbook

I've made a few covers for landscape sketchbooks. It's quite unusual to see covers like this for a landscape book and I guess it's because the demand would not be great enough to warrant volume production costs. Fortunately, when you hand make them this is not a factor so I made some.

The closer for the cover is the one for the sketchbook itself which is then wrapped around to the front of the leather cover. This is the inside of the cover showing how it works in landscape form with one of my isometric landscape sketches.

Standard TN size Cover from bespoke etched leather with a Ranger strap.

This is a standard TN size (210mm x 110mm notebooks). It's etched with a kind of fantasy drawing that was done for me by a cartoon illustrator. The photo doesn't really do it justice. I dyed the leather with a black dye but made sure you could still see elements of the original colour showing through.

I hope this run through of a few of the things I've made over the years has been of some interest. I also intend to blog about some of the weird and wonderful stationery I've acquired over time - some of which it is unlikely most people have ever seen.

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