A wrap and a planner cover

I have been asked to make a matching pen wrap and a Hobonichi planner cover.

One of the requirements was to have a bird carved on the front of the planner cover I have found in my limited carving experience that it works better on thicker leather as I want the pair to match I selected some 2 mm shoulder.

After rough cutting the outside pieces I started to think about the inside which is baby pink nappa leather.

After cutting the backing piece I made a long strip of leather to form the pockets the design requires each pocket to hold four pens and the final one told hold a pair of spectacles.


Over the next few hours I formed pockets and sewed them in place eventually ending up with this. four pockets and a flap which needs to be as thin as possible to allow the wrap to roll.


Now the inside was well on the way I needed to look at the outside the fastening method chosen was a leather thong which needed to be attached to the outer shell.

A pen wrap requires a closure method. The owner wanted a thong so when I cut the outer piece to size I left a tab to attach the thong. #pencase #penwrap

When I cut the outer piece to size I left a tab on one end into which I cut a grove to accommodate the thong. I also cut another shaped piece from an off cut of the same leather which I thinned down to a third of its original thickness tapering to the rear where it would join the main body.

Thong in place I marked stitching holes down the centre of the thong which I have transferred to the tab. #penwrap #pencase

The pieces glued together, before gluing I marked stitching holes down the centre of the thong when I glued the thong to the front I transferred the stitching holes to the front piece with an awl. After fitting the rear piece I pushed the awl through from the front to transfer those holes to the rear piece too. I then rounded off the corners and used a stitch grove tool to make a grove for the stitches all around the wrap and planner cover which I had also cut to size.

Both pieces are from the same hide and in order to get as good a match as possible whatever I do to one outer I must do to the other. the planner cover needs to be soaked and sealed in plastic over night to prepare it for carving this allows the water level in the leather to even out.

This is my practice carving piece The picture is printed out on plain paper and transferred to the surface of the leather with a moulding tool a special knife is then used to carve the design into the surface of the leather more of that later


Now the practice piece was done I to started preparing the two pieces by cutting them to the correct size rounding the corners and the edges.


The final stages to prepare the leather for carving is to soak the pieces in cold water for a few hours and then wrap it in plastic sheet and leave it to rest overnight. This allows the water in the leather to even out. Leather workers call this process casing it allows the swivel knife to cut the leather and seal the edges in one pass.


Here are the two pieces ready for carving the pen wrap is on the top with the Hobonichi cover below


Here is the finished carving on the planner cover


And the pen wrap


The next step is the dying process








5 thoughts on “A wrap and a planner cover

  1. This cover is gorgeous! The bird is an absolute stunner, and I love the groove you have going around the edge of the cover, like a frame. It really pulls everything together. I have to admit though, although the electric blue is wonderfully vibrant, I like the bird carving even more on the pink – it looks positively ethereal there!

    One thing I’m not clear on: how does the closure work? I’m guessing it involves the two tabs on the sides, but how?

    I found your blog through Fountain Pen Follies, and I’m so glad because I’ve been missing looking at your lovely work since I stopped spending much time on pen forums several months ago!


    1. Hi Plume I am sure I remember you from FPN I am still trying to get the hang of blogging 😀. The idea is to give more detail here than I felt comfortable with on the forums.
      You are correct the two tabs are indeed the closure mechanism all they need to work is a pen there is a loop of elastic hidden inside the leather which I hope will allow different sized pens to be used.


  2. wow, you have a great memory! I’ve been off the forums in so long, and I was never one of the big posters, so that’s a nice surprise 🙂

    The blog looks great! I love the spare layout, it’s very unusual and does a great job throwing the focus exactly where it should be, on the photos and explanations themselves.

    That closure looks clever – the elastic loop would be hidden by the tabs then, right? I’m still not sure how the two tabs play into it beyond that, but it’ll probably hit me out of the blue – like getting the joke several minutes after everybody stopped laughing 😛


    1. I think we had a shared interest in writing slopes and had a conversation or two about them. I do plan on posting some writing slopes on here soon.
      The closures are a little more complex than that the tab covers about half of the elastic then there was a sleeve of pink leather around the elastic passing under the tab then the inner pink cover also had a tab which covered the remainder of the elastic.
      One closure is on the front and the other is on the back when you close the note book the two tabs line up and you pop a pen through and it holds everything closed well that is the idea.


  3. oh, I think I see now! A bit like this: http://bit.ly/1oQpcK6 but with an extra elastic loop on the inside to keep things more secure?

    And yes, we did have writing slopes in common! I was trying to find out how realistic it would be to restore one with no prior experience, and your posts really helped me gauge what the whole thing would involve…unfortunately before I could find a likely candidate Things Happened and I’ve had to give up on the project (at least, for now!) So I’m really excited to see what you feature here!


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