When I got my Blue, I only got a blank notebook insert with the kit, and I neglected to order the usual accessories that one might like with one’s traveler’s notebook. I had been previously successful ordering accessories for my Midori Passport from pencils.jp, but this time I thought I would try making my own accessories first. If it failed, then maybe I’ll go place an order.
The first thing that usually comes to mind when accessorizing a traveler’s notebook is the zip pocket to hold various items such as stickers, sticky notes, and even pens. I went to my trusty local bookstore (National Bookstore) and found a few items that might be good candidates for such a project.
This is a clear zip pocket from Lihit Labs Aquadrops line, and it measures about 11.2x21cm (4.3×8.25″) which is rather perfect for the Midori regular size. The material seems to be sturdy and the zip mechanism is good. It comes in a variety of colors, and costs Php95. I bought a couple of these, in pink and blue.
I attached the pink one to a relatively small pencil case I found in the same bookstore. I just basically used some clear tape to connect the two cases, but giving ample room in between (about 1.8 cm or 0.75″) as I was planning this to be the outermost in my Blue. Here they are in action.
The pink Aquadrops zip pocket holds Post Its, a few sheets of stickers, and some other ephemera. This is the first one you will see when you open up the Blue. The partner pencil case is located all the way at the very back of the TN. This one holds the random pen that I sometimes slot in, some page flags and a few loose stickers, and some extra elastic bands.
I also wanted a few extra pockets in my traveler’s notebooks, the type that can be considered dashboards if I wanted it, or just plain pockets if I need extra flat things to bring along. I found these clear card cases of various sizes, also at National Bookstore. They come in the standard paper sizes (A5, A6, etc, B5, B6, etc) and the measurements are clearly stated in the cards that are inserted. These are not really very expensive; the A5 is Php13.75, the B6 is Php11.75, and the B8 is Php5.50. In this particular example, I used a pair of the B6 clear card cases to make a dashboard insert.
This is the finished dashboard insert. Again I attached the two sides with strong clear tape, but this time the separation is just 1 cm or 0.5″, as I was only intending this to go around a single notebook insert. The B6 size is quite wide, so I trimmed the outer edges, cutting out around 25mm worth of plastic. Here it is in action.
As I mentioned it goes around only one notebook insert, in this case the journal insert. As you can see the bottom photo shows the pencil case side of the first DIY zip pocket insert I made.
The third accessory I wanted to make is just a plain sort of sleeve that I can slide a card or something similarly sized in. I used the B8 clear card case, and basically just used a glue runner around the edges and attached it on the cover of an insert.
As you can see, here it holds one of my cute paperclips (this one was a freebie from @dolcesonline IG). It can also hold an ID card or any B8-sized item that I wanted to slot in. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect this can be removed and reglued into another location since I just used a clear adhesive.
Lastly, I wanted the option to replace the elastic closure of the traveler’s notebook. I found a couple of these colored elastics (still at National Bookstore, in their sewing materials section), which I unfortunately have forgotten how much they each cost. They should not have been more than Php50 each, I am sure. There’s a good amount of elastic in each pack, more than enough to make a few replacement elastic closures for your traveler’s notebook. What I did is to just measure the same amount of elastic as the one that originally came with my TN, which I took out and measured. I then made a simple knot, and threaded it the same manner into the back of the TN, and now I get a new elastic closure!
These elastics are not as good quality as the original one, but since I have a lot of leftover elastic it should be no effort at all to make new ones once the old ones wear out. I’m on the hunt for new colors now!
I keep my extra elastics in the pencil case insert. Just as a reference, here are the two adhesives that I used for this DIY post. A strong clear tape with a width of 1.8cm (0.75″) and my favorite brand of glue runner.
If you have any questions about any of these DIY accessories, just leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as best I can!