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Leather Desk Blotter

Give your workspace a professional look with this distinctive leather desk blotter from Gillian Stevens of Dewdrop Designs.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010


  • Stack (about 25 sheets) of blotter paper in chosen size (we used 25 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch paper for large blotter)

  • 110-point (1/8-inch thick) chipboard

  • Bookcloth

  • Craft knife

  • Scissors

  • Kraft paper or newspaper

  • White craft glue

  • Small paint roller

  • Heavy weights (such as cans, books, etc.)

  • Thin leather

  • Piece of 1/4-inch plywood or 1/4-inch thick board, cut to dimensions of paper

  • Colored base sheet of paper in same size as blotter paper

  • Double-sided tape

  • Stamps and stamp pad; silk screening supplies (optional)


  1. Cut 110-point chipboard 1/8 inch larger all around than the intended size of blotter paper. Cut a piece of book cloth 3/4 inches larger all around than the chipboard.

  2. Spread glue on one side of chipboard and press in place in center of wrong side of book cloth. Cut corners from book cloth, leaving about 3/16 of an inch of cloth at each corner.

  3. Place board on a piece of kraft paper or newspaper, book cloth side down. Spread glue on edges of book cloth with a small paint roller. Fold edges over board and press in place, smoothing out any air bubbles. Put board on a flat surface under heavy weights for a few hours to prevent warping while it dries.

  4. Cut two strips of chipboard for the side panels, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches wide and 1/4-inch shorter in length than the short sides of the blotter. Cut two leather strips, 1 inch wider all around than the chipboard strips.

  5. Apply glue to a chipboard panel and lay in the center of a leather strip. Press to adhere. Apply glue to one long edge of leather; fold over, press to adhere. Repeat for other panel.

  6. Place a colored base sheet of blotter paper on top of a piece of plywood or board cut to the size of the paper. On each short edge, place leather blotter panels chipboard-side up underneath the board. Wrap three sides of leather around short edge of board and base sheet. Use double-sided tape and glue to adhere leather to colored base sheet, creating pockets for paper to slip into. Place heavy objects over panels and let dry.

  7. Spread glue on the back of the colored base sheet and raw leather edges of panels, and place wrong side of book cloth-covered chipboard on top. Press to adhere. Turn over, remove placeholder board, and smooth base paper to remove air bubbles. Place paper stack inside blotter, and weigh down with heavy books until dry.

  8. Embellish paper with stamps or silk-screening, if desired.

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