Old leather organizer to new travel journal

Upcycling a much loved but defunct organizer

Back in the day (many years ago) I bought a beautiful leather Mulberry Organizer, it would go everywhere with me for many years. The refills consisted of really nice cream paper with sepia coloured lettering and lines. I really did like using it. As we all become more electronified, organizers and Filofaxes became less and less popular. Now we carry smartphones and tablets full of useful apps. Who needs such a thing anymore?

I was clearing out some stuff the other day and came across my beloved leather cover and it crossed my mind that I should find a use for it again. I even had the green cover that came with it all those years ago. I had used moleskin notebooks for some years as journals. In more recent years changed to the quality alternative The Stamford notebook. Hand stitched in Stanford Lincolnshire with paper made in Cumbria, Britain. More recently I had decided to keep a travel journal as well but hadn’t got round to organizing how and in what?

upcycledTravel/Art Journal

Anyway, it occurred to me that my leather organizer would make the perfect travel journal and give it new life. The paper will need to be good as I use a fountain pen and watercolour paints. A5 was the perfect paper size for my organizer. I chose sustainable made in the UK. I would have to make the 6 holes myself. That was easy as I had a good 6 hole punch. The one I had was Rapesco, worked well (adjustable for US size paper too) and the hole alignment was perfect.

It needed cleaning, so I sponged the leather to remove some surface dirt. Using a mixture of warm water and a mild Castile soap. Do not get the leather too wet and allow it to dry completely. Use a leather feed or some neutral shoe cream polish, remove excess with a soft cloth. The result was really good.

As the journal gets full I will remove the pages, bind them together and store. Adding new paper ready for my next adventures.

Check out the prices of vintage Mulberry organizers on eBay. On the US site, these organizers are listed between $100 to $300 and on the UK site £80 to £200. It all depends on the type of leather and condition of your organizer. You might even consider selling your old leather organizer.

Let us know in the comments whether you still have your organizer and if you use it.

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