I used brown kraft card (available from Crafter's Companion) which I sprayed liberally with a mixture of glycerin (available from your chemist) and water until I was able scrunch the card up. I did this a couple of times, each time massaging the glycerin mixture into the paper fibres. I then embossed the card using my Grand Caliber and a Sheena Douglass embossing folder. I can't remember what their particular names are but you can get them from Crafter's Companion too. I love her embossing folders and I have been having a good experiment this week on all the different things you can create with them.
Anyway I digress. Wait for the card to dry. I hung them over a rack in craft room overnight (it's pretty cold up here so it would probably dry quicker if I bought them downstairs!). Now the fun bit. Using distress inks and a blending tool, I distressed the card. On the brown one, I used Ranger's vintage photo and adirondack's expresso. The green one, I used adirondack pesto and lettuce (I'm note sure if this had any effect though as I started with pesto first) and finished off with a bit of vintage photo. You can use any colour you want. I am going to experiment with reds and blacks next.
Now how to get that shiny leather look and to give your notebook a bit of durability. Spray some Crafter's Companion Spray and Shine. Once you've sprayed it, rub it in a bit because you don't want it to be glossy shiny.
Ok, now you are ready to line your book with fabric.
Choose a fabric that has a fairly small print. Cut your fabric so it is oversized. Sheena suggested using a tacky glue. I used Pinflair book binding glue which I applied in stages and used a credit card to smooth out any creases or air bubbles. Then use a guillotine to trim. As I haven't got one (my next crafty purchase I think?!), I used scissors but it wasn't ideal. Another investment would be a corner cutter. Mine are not very accurate but I was very excited to get on. I should have marked them out first but went at it a bit gun ho!
On how to do the paper inserts, I suggest you have look at Sheena's YouTube tutorial. She will explain it far better than me. Here is a link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy56jzo9SqE. You definitely need a guillotine here too. My rotary cutter is OK for single sheets but anything more, it just can't cope. I think the paper I used was a little too heavy. Sheena suggests cartridge paper. If you are making a special notebook, you could look for some really nice, even handmade papers.
The only thing I did differently was glue a piece of ribbon down the centre (about halfway down the spine) and then sewed the signatures through that as well. When I get chance I shall get some metal charms and attach them to the bottom of the piece of ribbon. Next I'm going to try something a bit bigger. Sheena made a cover for her tablet. I'm thinking of using it to cover one of my jewellery boxes. I am definitely going to make more notebooks though. I think they will make cool gifts for people. Well done Sheena for another fab idea!
Well better finish here. Need to tidy up a bit - it's like a bomb has hit! Have a good crafty week.