DIY Midori Style Traveler’s Notebook | Sea Lemon

Published by Darron Toy on

The idea behind a traveler’s notebook is to
insert saddle stitched booklets, up to 3 or more at a time, and when they are full, take
them out and archive them after you’re done traveling. Then you can use the same cover
and refill it with new saddle stitched booklets. You guys have been requesting a traveler’s
notebook tutorial ever since I started my channel, so I figured it’s about time I finally
made this video. For your reference, I included all the supplies used in the video description
below. If you already have books that you made or
purchased and they don’t match the size that I’m using, feel free to adjust the measurements
of the cover so they match your booklet. To make my booklets, I’m using 12 sheets of
8.5 x 11 inch paper, saddle stitched together with thread. To learn how to saddle stitch,
check out one of these tutorials here. One is using staples, and the other is using thread.
Either one will work for this and I will include the links in the description below. I also
included some lined paper in these notebooks. If you want to do the same, check out this
video to learn some DIY methods for making your own lined paper. After binding the pages together, trim the
edges so that the width of the book measures to 5 1/4″ (13.3 cm) and the height should
stay at 8.5″ (21.6 cm). This will give them a smooth edge and allow the cover to still
have enough width to hangover when it’s full of booklets. Now that I have some booklets made, it’s time
to make the cover! For this, I’m using vinyl but you can also
use leather. Start with at least a 12″ (30.5 cm) piece, it’s fine if it’s a bit larger.
The back of vinyl is usually plain fabric, so I decided to make it more interesting and
glue it to a thick piece of 12″ x 12″ (30.5 cm) scrapbook paper using heat n bond ultrahold.
This is an iron-on adhesive and I’ll include a link to where you can find it below. For this particular cover, I chose to use
iron-on adhesive instead of liquid glue because it prevents air bubbles or wrinkles from forming
when you’re opening and closing the cover. This step is optional, you can just leave
the material as is. But I do think it makes the cover less floppy and more fun to look
at. Use the paper as a template to cut out a piece
of adhesive. Place the textured side down on to the back of the vinyl. With the Iron
set to medium, iron each area for about 8 seconds. Then peel the top layer off. Now
iron the scrapbook paper on top of that, going over each area for about 8 seconds. Next, trim it to be 11.75″ (29.8 cm) by 9.5″
(24.1 cm). I decided to add round corners by tracing a marker cap. Now measure out the binding holes. In the
center, mark 1/2 inch from each end, then 1 inch, and mark the middle. To make the holes, you can use an awl or a
japanese screw punch, which you can learn more about here. Now let’s add the cord. I’m using this elastic
cord that is 2mm thick and 1 yard in length. I’ll include a link to where I purchased my
elastic cord in the description below. Pull the cord through like this in the center.
And make a loop that is about the width of your book. Thread both ends through the next
hole on each side, and then through the remaining holes. Now place your booklet in the middle
and tie a knot, keeping enough tension on the cord so the booklet stays in place. Cut
the excess off and you now have a traveler’s notebook! To add more booklets into it, use another
piece of elastic cord that is about 19.5″ (49.5 cm) long,
wrap it around the spine of the booklet and tie a knot. Then slip a booklet in on each side. And when
you want to remove them, just slip off the cord and take them out. You can really customize this notebook and
make it just the way you want to fit your travel needs. If you found this tutorial helpful,
click that like button and let me know what you think in the comments below. If you make
your own notebook, I’d love to see pics, so feel free to share those on my social links. For more tutorials, be sure to subscribe and
check out my channel, Sea Lemon. Ready for another project? You might like
to try one of these here. If you can’t click on the annotations, check
out the links and more information in the video description below.


Daphne Liang · March 9, 2016 at 2:52 am

Is it okay if I plan to use these for school notes sometime in the next few years?

Tina L Roman · March 9, 2016 at 5:11 am

Really enjoyed making one of these for my munchkin. We couldn't find a vinyl we liked and he's really into Transformers. So, we found 2 patterns of cotton fabric and used Iron-on Vinyl on the right side of each piece. To keep it from being floppy, I used cardstock in between the 2 fabrics with Heat-N-Bond on each side. It came out perfect on the first try, and the munchkin loves it! He now has his own Transformers traveler's notebook. Thank you for an awesome tutorial!

mostlymakeup · March 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm

I just found your channel and I cannot cope with the amazingness of this

Ideffix_Cat22 · March 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm

lovely videjoe 💖 😄🌟

Nish Oke · April 4, 2016 at 6:11 am

very nice idea

Joyce Winchenbaugh · April 6, 2016 at 7:43 pm

I love this channel!

Mother of Chaos · April 9, 2016 at 7:02 am

I want to tell you, I really like your tutorial videos. You don't UM and UH through them like some other people do in their videos (it's really annoying); you give the instructions in a clear, concise manner, with very little incidental commentary, which I appreciate.

Bojoura Stolz · April 29, 2016 at 9:46 am

Hi Sea Lemon, I've got a question. I would love to start to use and make my own Traveler's Notebook. I am bullet journaling like crazy and would love the seperat system of a Traveler''s notebook. But how can I bundle all my inserts at the end of the year. Can I stitch them together somehow? I thought you might have a wonderful idea. Love your video's. Hope you can help. Best regards, Bojoura

katrine leber · May 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm

i think i can do this. thanks so much.

Jade Savwoir · May 12, 2016 at 4:36 am

what size eyelets did you use?

Prerika Narang · May 15, 2016 at 8:52 am

awesome diy

Prerika Narang · May 15, 2016 at 8:53 am

i'm definitely going to try it

Catherine Dooley · May 19, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Will you make another one of these

Nashiely Vazkez · May 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Ur canal is terrific!!! Congratz

TrinityZS Studios · May 28, 2016 at 8:05 pm

that's so cool i can make chapter books

Kp3129 · May 30, 2016 at 4:36 am

Where did you learn all of your (as Napoleon Dynamite would say) "sweet skills" at? How are you with a bow-staff? I am pretty good especially when I fight Wolverines…Can you make a Bow-Staff? lol

Omileti · June 1, 2016 at 6:16 pm

I really enjoyed this video! Really! could I use Fabric as well? It might have to have some sort of insert inside though to make it tough. Thanks for posting this.

ItsTheLittleThings · June 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

I absolutely love this idea, going travelling round Europe in a month with my boyfriend and I love that we could keep it all together but have our separate notebooks, love it and will be making one before we go!:) X

Елена Шаргородская · June 10, 2016 at 12:56 pm

You're really marvellous. Thank you very much!

Jenny Q · June 11, 2016 at 9:38 am

This is the first video of yours I've seen and it was great! You made it look so easy, I can't wait to make one 🙂 I've subscribed and can't wait to watch all of your other videos!

Grace Dickey · June 13, 2016 at 3:27 am

do you think you could use perfect binding booklets rather than staddle binding?

gaurav sharma · June 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

not only you are so talented- you are so pretty 😍

hi · June 23, 2016 at 6:16 pm

you are amazing in making video's! you talk so clear and a little slower than others so i can completely understand it. its really helpful for foreigners to understand thank you! 🙂

Yrsa de Roos · July 11, 2016 at 6:24 am

can you use normal strong not stretchy cord?

Emily Faithe · July 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

I have been devouring your videos!! I'm thinking that this template would make a really great writer's notebook. That way I can have tiny booklets for different categories of notes and catalog those when they're full. Brilliant job!

Aquarellina · August 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

that's amazing

richardwealth · August 26, 2016 at 7:51 am

Simply love this video! You put info like everything in here. Love that black notebook, the colors pops!

Pinas Travel · September 9, 2016 at 7:47 am

diary notebook next please

Super Gaming · September 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm


Maryloo Varytimiadou · September 25, 2016 at 5:04 pm

hello..i want to ask you what type of leather/vinyl do you use and a link where i can buy…thank you ❤

Moriah Gottlieb · October 31, 2016 at 5:20 pm

this tutorial is genius
love your channel and all your videos!
do you have an idea maybe for a hard back version? cause i hate floppy 🙁

Autumn Salyards · November 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Do you think instead of using scrap booking paper on the back, using craft foam would help it be sturdier?

Frances P · November 23, 2016 at 5:37 am

Can you find vinyl in a fabric store or on amazon? I need some soon and I don't know where to get it for cheap.

Miss Nicola · November 26, 2016 at 3:37 am

Thank you for your video, very useful

he limei · November 28, 2016 at 7:26 am

brilliant idea and happy I find this vedio.and if you want some other vedios .Highly recommend this :

Maybees · December 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

sehr schönes Farbspiel 🙂 nice colormix

Chloé-Tabat Surya Śivá · December 27, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Very creative and useful. Thanks.

jude moop · December 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Can u send us a link to where u get ur vinyl/ leather

susica3 · January 18, 2017 at 11:22 am

OMG! So beautiful! Do you sell them also? It is hard to find these DIY materials here in Brazil…

Deborah viner · February 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

thank you for the video very helpful I'm wondering what other materials such as primed canvas would work … what do you think?

Troy Torrecampo · February 10, 2017 at 10:25 am

can I use scrapbook paper?

Anxiety! At The Ball · February 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm


(sorry, I had to.)

Claire Biermann · February 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

you. are. fantastisch❤

Little Gay · March 13, 2017 at 3:40 am

do you have to use elastic cord, or can you just use yarn or something

Mubeen Jahangir · March 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

which books to stich do you perfer for beginners

Sunny · April 7, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Hi, just want to know can I use jeans except scrapbook paper.
I'll be glad if you answer.

Thank you 😊

Lisa Crofts · April 19, 2017 at 1:53 am

You always deliver the goods. Excellent youtube! Just what I needed.

N2TW 2 · April 27, 2017 at 3:23 am

I like ur style of threading it.
Haven't seen that style used before.

Kride Mertvyy · May 4, 2017 at 8:45 pm

why im unsuscribe if i already subscribe???? I like a lot tour videos Sea!

fedupwithusernames · May 7, 2017 at 10:24 pm

I don't understand why this is for traveling specifically. What is the advantage of using it?

leong kahseng · May 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I like your video…I'm gonna make one for myself

Laura Welz · June 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Is the vinyl you used a "decor" vinyl? I'm looking at hobby lobby and michaels and I'll I'm finding is self adhesive vinyl.

Martha Ibarra1965 · June 3, 2017 at 12:35 am

I can do this, TFS you made it look so easy.

vlynny · June 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm

are there any good ways to bind single sheets for a TN

Esmasmile · June 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm

why is it called a traveler's notebook? 😀

Cecilia Baker · June 27, 2017 at 2:38 am

simplicity at its best and I love the ease of explaining thank you

One person · July 4, 2017 at 10:18 am

Midori means green in Japanese

MegGreen5Twilight · July 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

Really liking the video although I admit I cheated and only used one layer for my journal and I also made mine a bit wider so that it particularly wrapped around on one side but it was really useful to have your video as a starting point to give me the confidence to create my own journal and knowledge that I could then build upon to create a journal more attuned to my own preferences. I also really like how it gives people the ability to experiment by giving people the base knowledge for creating their own travellers journals that they can then build upon to create journals in different styles and sizes so they can see what suits them without spending a hundred or so dollars on something they might not like. So thank you so much for the tutorial. 🙂

Tip for those want to make a different journal size and thus don't know how much elastic to use or simply don't have a big hole punch but do have needle with a large eye hole laying around. Try copying the way Sea Lemon threads her journal but instead of starting in the middle start from one end and work your way to the other side, simple double back on yourself on the centre hole and hold the string to keep the loop then check how large you want your loop to be like Sea Lemon did by looping the elastic round the journal before continuing to thread the elastic through the remaining holes. Once done shift the position of the cord around a bit till it's all laying flat, adding the book will also help the fabric lay flat, before cutting and tying the elastic off once you're happy with it.

To find a large needle try looking to see if you or anyone else in your family has one of those needle kits that always have a heap of different needles of all sorts of sizes in them or try looking in places like Big W. I was able to use a large Mattress needle from a Home Needle kit. I did have an awl to get me started on the hole but the needle was so sharp that I likely didn't need it.

You could also use a large plastic wool needle, or whatever they are called, you'll simply have to get the hole started perhaps by making a small hole with a knife (be careful you don't make it to big) or the biggest needle you have then using a pen or pencil to enlarge it? I haven't tried it so that's just a suggestion since I don't know if it'll work.

Also for threading the needle if you need to use a needle threader but only have one of those flimsy needle threaders that are common in most sewing kits make sure you hold on to the place where the thin metal is connected to the threading device and take it slowly since pulling to hard will be more likely to pull the threading wire out of the device instead of threading your needle.

Louise · July 16, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Your method for doing the outside elastic loop and inside for the books all with one piece is so smart! I love it!!

TheDiamond DRAWER · July 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm

YEEAAAHH, no ones going to make this

Юрий Москалюк · July 25, 2017 at 9:40 am

Спасибо большое;)

Ahmet Ekinci · August 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm

What's the name of the cabinet you're covering for your notebook? Also where can I find it.

Heike Hofstede · August 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm

love your tutorial videos. You show what is important and your comments and the way you describe all is easy to follow. Thank you very much….

Kelly DeBardelaben · August 30, 2017 at 2:48 am

Has anybody made a DIY Traveler's Notebook Using Felt???

Mari Fowler · September 9, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Love all your videos! Have watched this one almost 5 times in 2 weeks. Very professional, and to the point. Keep up the great tutorials!

ana carolina monteiro · September 22, 2017 at 7:13 pm

Hi. I'm from Brazil and I really like your instructions. It's very clear. Thank you very much. Ana Carolina

Laura Guerro · September 25, 2017 at 3:51 am

I'll go ahead and say I've come to prefer to saddle stitch with thread, so much sturdier.

Echo The Bat · October 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm

I looked at prices to see if it was worth it, and I was shocked, the cheapest one I could find was $26! Meanwhile this only costs $3.86

Abigail Bullard · November 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Really liked this tutorial. This is not exactly what I'm going to do, but it gave me VERY strong direction on how to make my own.

Grace Liaw · November 17, 2017 at 12:06 am

2017 anyone?

Endercreeper Mia · November 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

What else can I use the cover

sumaira tash-had · December 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Hi there!
Could you please make an extension to this video as to how to add additional pockets? Just like you did with the moleskin notebook?

Meganda · December 14, 2017 at 6:09 am

Wow, this was wonderful, thank you.

dragonotta · December 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

I love your voice, is so relaxing

Anita BRANTLEY · December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Instead of leather i used colored paper

Zhiyuan Ke · February 11, 2018 at 7:10 am

It is really helpful, when in emergency!😝😋

Zhiyuan Ke · February 11, 2018 at 7:11 am

Can we use double sided tape?

Isa Rebourg · March 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm

Very helpful tutorial, thank you very much!!

l iR · April 9, 2018 at 11:18 pm

Very cool 💞

Kila Jones · April 24, 2018 at 1:29 am

I love your video a lot

Mudassir Umer NEHAAL · May 14, 2018 at 9:54 am

I love you see lemon

Asdf Asdfg · May 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

what is your printer brand and model

Serene Chong · July 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

OMG genius

sumaira tash-had · July 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm

How to add a pen holder in travelers notebook?

M-T · July 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Just want to comment on a 4 year old video that this is really top notch tutorial.

My (purely personal opinion) only critique is the choice of colors. Shiny black on neon green, brown on pink……

Rose 'n' Pink · August 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm

Made one with wallpaper instead of vinyl and gift paper for the inside. Painted the wallpaper black and drew a red mountain. I didn't have any good elastic so I used a really annoying one ;w; I will replace it once I get a red elastic cord.

ItsJust Didi · August 13, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Hey I remember when I was nine I used to ALWAYS watch your videos. I wanted to make a travellers notebook and I remembered your channel. I want to know if I could use normal paper that I decorate myself with art pencils and use for the inside of the journal? I adore your channel and I would really like to make this. Please answer. I would appreciate it. Thank you 😊😊😊

Shuralee Lamb · August 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Yandere dev! Yandere dev lol get it hehe

John Lloyd Tuanda · August 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm

I wanna tell u that i need tutorial about Halloween inspired book

Kendall Duncan · August 29, 2018 at 5:48 pm

The second band to allow more inserts that is tied around the original insert keeps sliding forward. How can I keep it from doing this?

jaelynn kupahu · November 2, 2018 at 2:52 am

How well does the paper hold up?

Jordan Meyers · November 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

I just want to know… why is your channel called sea lemon? It's cool but why?🍋🍋

Morgan Angel · November 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Is there a way to make this with hard covers??

Barbara Richards · December 2, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Thank you so much! I've just made two of these, one for me and one for someone else, and your instructions were so clear and easy to follow.

Missy Knoll · December 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm

great tutorial, thanks! by the way, can that heat and bond product be used to bond the paper to a suede leather cover?

Nicoly Silva · December 22, 2018 at 6:37 pm


DragonEye · January 22, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Thanks, I use this for my figure skating notebook

Larry Glatt · May 13, 2019 at 7:40 pm


Adji Pahlevi · July 22, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Love it…

Mary D. Mazzoni · July 28, 2019 at 5:13 am

Very helpful/ Thanks!

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