The modification has so far gone well. The stubborn curve is starting to come out of the pages and I’ve enjoyed the versatility and portability of this “frankenskine.” But shortly after starting to use it, I became aware that I did NOT refill this moleskine with the same paper I tested out in the weeks prior.

The paper I originally used seemed thinner and slightly off-white, whereas the paper I put into the book was a bright white and somewhat thicker (and as a result, stiffer).


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Photo © 2007 By the author

6 thoughts on “Frankenskine

  1. I always wonder at these things: It seems we could all use a quick class in simple bookbinding, it seems like fun once you catch on. I’d be so lazy though, I would just buy the watercolor notebook at the art store. Probably all the time that’s what I would do, buy a notebook at the store.
    But there’s something very cool about it. Beeswax and sewing, it’s pretty neat.

  2. Sophie,
    There are some good tutorials online (I believe this website has even featured a few) that do an excellent job of step-by-step simple bookbinding. Google is your friend. 🙂 The supplies are available at most local art supply stores and online. It wouldn’t take much of an investment in exotic materials to try your hand. (Not to say that there aren’t exotic, costly materials you could use; but for a starter project, you won’t be out a large sum.)

    Back when I worked an art school, I took a class. I loved the results, but I found all that careful cutting, folding, etc.(punching all the damn holes!!!!) to be astoundingly tedious. That said, trying it gave me a whole new appreciation for the hand bound books I’ve encountered. The class I took also taught how to make and cover a simple book board box with decorative paper — sounds dumb, but the results were astounding, and I’ve expanded on this project to make some fantastic gifts where the “wrapper” was as much the gift as the contents.

  3. If you follow that “Related Post” link above, you will see my pictorial on the Moleskine modification, as well as a link to the site where I obtained step-by-step instructions, which I’ll also provide here (copy and paste):

    Martha’s instructions on are very clearly written and the method given is not terribly tedious, in my opinon. The sewing can be a little confusing at first, but you just have to take it step by step and you’ll get the hang of it. I encourage anyone interested in this to give it a try.

  4. It does seem like a lot of work, but the potential is also endless. I was considering this recently to make a regular sketchbook for myself that was “me sized”. I have a spiral-bound 9×12 sketchbook, and that’s often too large. My Moleskine sketch seems a bit too small, at times. But with the bookbinding technique, I can make something to my own specifications, with my own favorite paper in it. Definitely a project to try on a rainy day when stuck indoors, and a useful skill to develop(the bookbinding).

  5. Does anyone remember in that movie “7” Kevin Spacey was binding his own notebooks. It seems that in movies constant notebook keepers are always serial killers–nobody else comes up with creative montage and compulsive writing. Just real sickos. It’s kind of funny.

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