Chris Davis at Davis Leatherworks creates lovely handmade leather items. He does card holders, belts, and wallets, but he’s probably best known around the stationery circles for his Simple Notebook Covers. Anyone who has seen the Midori Traveller’s Notebook has probably experienced the following steps:
Step 1 – Have the Midori Traveller’s Notebook catch your eye at your local stationery store
Step 2 – Pick up the Midori, feel in awe of the lovely leather and fall in love
Step 3 – Turn over the Midori, spot the insanely high price tag, immediately fall out of love as quickly as you fell in love
There are plenty of instructions floating around the internet to make your own faux-dori notebooks, but finding an appropriately sized piece of leather without having enough to make another nine or ten notebook covers locally was practically an impossible task for me. Lucky for me, Chris Davis sells his Simple Notebook Covers for around $20. At that price, he even includes a blank Fields Note notebook to boot! Chris makes almost everything to order, so be prepared to wait up to a few weeks to receive an order. Chris keeps a couple styles of leather on hand and once in a while he gets a few special pieces. I was lucky enough to snag one in acorn brown that caught my eye.
The notebook cover is designed to hold 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebooks and are made from a nice piece of hand cut leather with two thick rubber bands. The longer band wraps around the spine and holds the notebooks in place, while the shorter band wraps around the notebook cover to keep it closed. Replacement bands are available from Davis Leatherworks, two sets of replacements for $5. So far, I haven’t had either wear out, but at least replacements are easily acquired.
I was initially weary about the sizing. I was looking for something that would hold two of the Clairefontaine 96 page 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebooks in one go, as the two notebooks can be linked together with an elastic band and inserted into the cover. To my shock, the notebook cover manages to fit over both books, with the edges of the cover lining up with the edges of both books. For those using smaller 48 page books, there will be plenty of room to spare.
I’ve owned the notebook cover for many months now. It has bounced between my pants pocket and my backpack for almost an entire academic year. The cover has acquired a few scratches from rubbing up against the Velcro closures on my pants, but has held up well. I find the rubber band do a great job of holding the spine in place and doesn’t get in the way at all. I’m a little less thrilled about the smaller band. It does its job, but it has a tendency to pull the spine band around, which needs a bit of straitening every time the middle band is used.
Considering how common 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebooks are, the Davis Leatherworks Simple Notebook Cover is a candidate for long term use. I highly recommend this notebook for those who like soft covered pocket notebooks and want some flexibility on their choice of notebooks. The cover will do a great job of protecting what never notebooks are thrown at it, while looking great.
Simple Notebook Cover @ Davis Leather Works