Travelers Journal - Notebooks

DIY Travel Journal

Hey Bujo fans! How are you doing on this fine and lovely day? Are you taking some time to plan all your grand adventures for the next week… or maybe beyond 🙂 Since your clicking through my site, it seems you’ve gone on the search for something new… oh and I am excited to tell you about my new obsession. 

Have you ever followed someone online and loved almost everything they recommended and then felt like a complete follower! Well I am currently having a moment of that. If you’re into bullet journals, either a long time follower or new fan, you have probably heard of Kara from She is a woman of good taste and brilliant Bujo style. 

She recently purchased a travellers journal, which I’d heard about a while ago but I was having trouble finding anything to tell me exactly what it was. Then I saw her video and it so perfectly explained it and I decided it was a system I needed to get into! 

I am currently using a turquoise blue Leuchtturm1917. Recently I decided that having one book for EVERYTHING was just not cutting it, and I needed to branch out of the one notebook system. So I went to Chapters and bought a set of 3 Moleskine Journals with paper covers. They actually fit perfectly into my LT1917 and I have been just carrying them around all stuffed inside one another. It was working fine, but it was messy and inefficient. So this is where the traveller’s journal needed to come in. 

The  Travellers Journal

You don’t need to be a world traveller to use one of these systems, you just need to be someone with a love of notebooks and a habit of writing everything down. The Travellers journal refers, more specifically, to the outer cover of the journal system. The covers are often made of good quality leather, vinyl or sometimes fabric. The spine is laced with 2- 4 elastic bands with another wrapped around the outside to hold it all together. You then loop those elastic around any journal, notebooks or note pads you want. Refills are easy to make and when they are full they can be easily removed and archived. 


Store bought VS DIY 

When I heard about the system I automatically started following the links to all the recommended brands and Etsy shops. The products were beautiful! Most of the sellers were using top quality leather, some were focused on offering a vegan product. The Journals came in a dizzying variety of colours and sizes, with options for engraving, adding pockets or personalizing designs. They looked like there had been hours of time and effort put into their creations, and rightly so the artists had priced them for what they were worth… which was mostly out of my current price range, and that was before taxes and shipping were added. 

So me being the ever crafty person that I am, I set my heart on creating one for myself. I bought a 3$ fabric place mat from Jysk, some elastics and eyelets from Micheal’s and set at it. In less then mins I had my very own travellers Journal, all filled up with my varying notebooks! But HOW you ask?!  Well let me tell you 

Travelers journal DIY


The Supplies 

Step One: gather all the supplies. You will need: 

  • Fabric, leather, a vinyl placemat… whatever matterial you think will work best for you 
  • Eyelets
  • Elastic cord

Step two: Go through your husbands garage and find all the tools you might need. 

  • something to poke holes 
  • a hammer 
  • scissors 

Step three: Pimp your journal 

  • charms with clips to add a little pizzazz! 
  • iron on patches 
  • really anything that will tickle your fancy 

Putting it Together 

This project was a whole lot easier then I thought it was going to be and I think that the materials will really make all the difference. If you choose to make this out of leather and you do not have a proper leather punch, you’re not going to have a good time. Work with what you know or do the research you need before hand. 

I chose to use a fabric place mat that was already stiffened. I laid my LT inside of it, with the four other notebooks I wanted it to hold. Make sure that you plan for change, the possibilities on additions are endless so account for room to grow.  My cover sits about a 1 cm longer then my journal the whole way around when it’s full so it keeps the journals covered and protected. Journals come in all sorts of sizes so make sure that you make it a size you can either easily get or make inserts for. 

I cut the place mat down to size using my rotary cutter and quilting board, and re stitched the edges back together. One of the benefits of using leather is that there is no need for a sewing machine.

Now it’s time to add the eyelets. Find the center of the spine and mark a spot at the top and bottom of your journal. I added a whole on either side of that, but this depend on how many elastics you want to have running through it. I needed 4. You then need to mark your holes in the middle for the elastic that wraps around and holds it together. 


The eyelets were a lot easier then I thought they would be and I had all 8 in within 10 minutes. The trick is to be really sure that they are all the way through the fabric to start, and then hit  them hard and straight on! Take a couple practice shots on the pieces that you cut off. It’s worth it!


Now run your elastic through. You need one that goes around the outside and 2-4 that run up and down the spine. These should be tight enough that they aren’t flopping around but not so tight as to be pulling on the edges together. Remember, you still have to fit journals in there.

The Journals 

Like I said, I am using an LT1917 and it’s still got a bit to go before it’s filled, so thats the first book that I add. With the thicker heavier journals, it’s a good idea to thread the elastic through the spine and tie it off there. This just makes the whole thing feel a little sturdier. I filled the other 3 elastics with thin, paper covered, Moleskine notebooks and one smaller book that I picked up at Micheal’s for 2$. If you don’t have any small notebooks you can always make your own by folding over a couple pages and stapling them together.

What you use all these different journals for is entirely up to you and the possibilities are endless! For me I plan to continue to use my LT1917 for my Monthly and weekly planning. The small blue blank notebook for is for random thoughts and moments of creativity, pen tests and quick notes. The things I don’t want to commit into my journal. The Pink Moleskin is my Blog Planner and the Purple Moleskin is my Business Planner 

I would like to add on a Fitness Planner as well but is that over kill? Can you ever really have to many notebooks? What do you think? Comment below! 



 Free Printable Bullet Journal Layouts



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  1. gorgeous! I love travel journals and love the DIY idea!


    1. It was so fun to make!

  2. The flamingo’s fabric is just so cute!!!!
    Loved this DIY idea 🙂

    1. thanks! I’m pretty in love with it

  3. very clever. I love that you decided to DIY a cover. That make is extra special every time you use it.

    1. And I really do love it. A nice leather one would be great in the future… but this is perfect for now!

  4. i love travel journals. they are the best way to remember what you did on vacation!

    1. I can’t wait to travel with mine, right now it’s just enabling my need for more journals!

  5. Great job! I love the colors and pattern you chose! Perfect for summer 🙂

  6. I love it!! I can’t wait to make me one. Although right now I have about 4 journals that are all the size of my LT1917 so I am not sure how well they would all fit in a travels notebook. I am going to have to think about some smaller notebooks when I use up the bigger ones I have for my Etsy shops (two journals), my blog, my bullet journal and then just a regular journaling journal for thoughts. A travelers notebook is definitely in my future though and I actually have the prefect fabric for mine. Oh now, I am excited to make one as soon as I am feeling better and can get off this couch.

    1. That’s a lot, do you carry all that around at once? If you want to get into the bullet journal you can carry small notebooks around to take notes in and then transfer it to the big ones maybe?

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