Leather is forgiving to work with -- it doesn't fray, so there's no need to finish edges, and if you purchase a 1/16-inch or thinner hide, it can be fed through a sewing machine. You'll need sturdy poly-cotton thread, a leather needle, and a Teflon pressure foot, which will keep the leather steady. Raise the tension according to your sewing machine's instructions, and make the stitches slightly longer than you would with fabric, to prevent the leather from tearing. Mark lines by scoring with a bone folder before sewing.
Tools and Materials One hide (5 1/2 square feet) leather
Sewing machine equipped for leather
Leather hole punch
1/2-inch binder rivets
7-inch 6-ring spine
Grommet kit or elastic cording (optional)
Leather Planner How-To 1. For standard refills (6 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches), use a rotary cutter to cut a rectangle of leather that is 10 3/8 by 7 1/8 inches. Mark the midpoint of the length, and score with the bone folder. For the closure, cut a 3 1/2-by-1-inch tab to fit in a 3-by-1/4-inch strip.
2. Cement a 1/4 inch of the tab halfway up the inside of the back cover of the planner; let dry, and then sew. Cement the strip halfway up the outside of the front cover; let dry, and sew ends. For side flaps, cut two 3 1/4-by-7 1/8-inch pieces. Cement them on all but the inside long edge; let dry, and then sew all around, leaving a 1/4-inch border.
3. Backstitch at start and finish. Place the spine on the halfway point, mark each hole with a pencil, and punch out marks with a hole punch. Align bar over holes, and stick rivet posts through each one; snap the cap pieces onto posts from the other side. Position rivet setter over each rivet head, and pound them into place with the mallet. Fill binder with paper inserts. Use flaps to store loose items.