Faux Leather Mini Travel Journal

I love making journals but had never made a travel journal with removable signatures. I wanted a flexible cover and started researching faux leather techniques. What fun.

I started with a heavy craft paper that came from the inside of a wrapping paper roll. It was sprayed with a mixture of glycerin and water (1 to 5 or 6) and when soaked through, crumpled into a ball, opened up and crumpled again, again, then smoothed out. I sprayed it with diluted sepia ink and some expresso-colored chalk spray (odd find at a tag sale). I kept spraying until I was happy with the color and then smoothed it out and let it dry. A warm iron helped turn it back into a flat piece again. I tried rubbing with distress ink before I ironed, but the ink was too dark and it just didn’t look right so I used the plain side.

I glued a piece of fabric to the inside for stability, it was quite sturdy, but it’s paper and I was afraid it would tear or wearout. But the silly thing curled up with the fabric side out! But a coat of gloss gel, a little distress ink on the edges and spine area, a coat of matte gell because I didn’t like the gloss.
Some gluing and stitching and the cover was finished. I even impressed myself.

The signatures are a collection of gelli plate prints, maps, art paper, grid paper, ephemera, etc. etc. I made 4 signatures and they are held in the journal by elastic bands in the binding. You can slip out or replace the signatures. I added little prompts to a few pages for fun. If you want to see more of the page spreads, check out the Mini Handmade Book Swap link at the bottom.

Check out the gallery for more goodies and more pictures of the journal. Mini Handmade Book Swap - March 2021 GALLERY


This is REALLY cool! You do some of the most amazing stuff!!

This is wonderful! :blush:

Such an interesting technique! And the resulting faux leather is fantastic. Love it!!

My goodness this is so dang cool! You’re really put a lot of thoughtful planning and it shows!

This is super cool! Your talents are endless it seems!

thanks for sharing your technique…it really does look like an old weathered, leather journal…

And, allowing the signatures to be replaced as they get filled up with journal writing, art, etc, is a very nice touch…

love the depth of your process in making your projects…quite inspiring and lovely to see the finished projects

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Thanks for sharing your process. Looks fun and easy to do. And the final result looks gorgeous!

What a gorgeous little book! Your intensive, stepped process definitely paid off!

Whoa! This is very cool! I love the look and texture of it.


Super cool! This is a treasure on its own.

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It looks so real; I want to touch it. Also, any journal with a chocolate pocket is :ok_hand:t2:.

Such a fantastic result - thank you for sharing the how-to :smiley:

I love how well thought out this is. Great work!