I don't know what it is about the Midori Traveler's Notebook but once I learned about them, and saw examples of them filled, I had to have one. But I also knew that it was a pretty simple system comprised of leather, elastic, and stuffed with paper that can be taken out and refilled once used up. Why pay $60+ for the cover and various inserts when you can make one for half that price?
I can't take credit for knowing how to make these or for coming up with the idea to make it. There are a ton of tutorials online. But now that I know how easy it is to make, I do plan on making more and trying out other styles with different types of leather.
The leather cost me about $12, the elastic bands cost about $2 (both from Michaels.) You can use a hammer and nail to make the holes and a needle and thread to push the elastic through the holes. The cover costs under $15, and is reusable. The pack of Moleskine Cahiers cost $11.66 on Amazon. You can find them for cheaper if you shop around, but that's a pretty good deal. So, in total, a sketchbook like this would cost $25.66 at most. You can cut that cost down if you want to make your own inserts from paper you already own. Still, it's much cheaper than a Midori and you can feel proud that you made it with your own hands!
What I do like about using Moleskine Cahiers is that when you take them out of the leather cover, they have their own cover and they are so easy to store away on a book shelf or in a drawer. The money spent on them is worth it, in my opinion.
I can't wait to see how it ages and distresses. I'm sure I'll be sharing updates on how this holds up and what I draw on the inside!