This is my writing / notes journal.
I had been beta testing The Secret World mmorpg, and I thought that having a notebook to write down all my clues and quest notes would be handy, and add to the the over all immersion of playing such a story driven, puzzle based game. So i bought a journal.
This started out as an ugly, generic, mass-produced writing journal that I bought from a Target store for $15. I have had this very old, oiled cloth canvas, military mail bag (i'm only guessing about the mail bag part). It had canvas straps, brass buckles, large 1 inch brass eyelets, and even a brass chain accross the top. All very old, and worn, and cool. But as cool as it was, it wasnt practical for anything. So after 10 + years of taking up space, I cut it all up and used it to make that notebook look like it does in the image.
I drilled holes in the cover to put in real alluminum rivets to hold the straps in place, and everything else is mostly affixed with various types of glue. I know it's cheating to do it this way. But I had fun with this "mod", so I don't care!
Gorilla Glue (the foamy original kind) was used to attach the main piece of canvas to the cover. I sanded the original cover a bit so the glue would stick well, and the foam nature of the glue helped add extra volume and texture to the cover at the same time. Then I used the rivets and super glue to affix all the straps. The edges of the canvas were coated in super glue to keep fraying under control, and then i used a sanding dremel bit to smooth the hardened glue back down. The inside of the covers were torn up pretty bad from drilling through them for the rivets, so the problem areas were attacked by the dremel as well, and then Elmers school glue and more super glue were used to put a nice new piece of black card-stock paper on the inside to make everything look good again. And that's mostly all the nuts and bolts of it.
Lots of ironing was done of the canvas bits. And I also used bleach to lighten the straps before they were put on, and then the straps were painted lightly with a watered down black liquid shoe polish in some areas to help make the weathering look more natural around the buckles and rivets.