June 5, 2016


Ok, before we start, to make things clear, this tutorial is mostly about stringing an already made notebook / passport / boarding pass holder. In this tutorial, I'm using a passport / boarding pass holder from a brand called Labrador and converting it into a MTN just because I know I wouldn't use it either wise. But before I get to it, here's a little background of the items used etc:

If you're like me, you like using original items. And when I mean original, I mean a Midori Traveler's Notebook and not a 'fauxdori'. I hate copies, and I have a strong dislike of handmade items (including my own). So when I got myself a leather boarding pass holder from Stickerrific, I had no plans to covert it to a traveler's notebook - not until I started playing with it today.

This boarding pass / passport holder is made from a brand called Labrador. I got it on the Malaysian Stickerrific site, and after coversion, it turned out to be around AU$80 - which is around the same price as a MTN kit. The only difference was - it has pockets. I wanted it in tan. but unfortunately, as they didn't have it in stock, I settled for a grey - which turned out to be a great choice.

Fast forward to a Sunday afternoon: I love my camel MTN, I really do, but the lure of pockets and the grey of the Labrador passport holder was enough to put me into my DIY mode. I had the strings and hardware needed to create a new TN, and all I really needed was to poke holes into the leather, so I thought why not? What could go wrong, after all?

So off to work I went. There really isn't much you need to create a TN style notebook if you already have one premade to size. If you have an extra MTN lying around (and chances are, you do), I'd recommend you using the holes already made as a template. Because that's basically the easiest thing you can do. Of course you need to measure it out eventually to make sure you're centered, but trust me, you'll take a whole load off if you just copy.

Anyway, here's a step-by-step method of how I went through making one (with pictures, of course!):
1- Get your stuff together: ruler, pencil, poker, needle, elastic, TN hardware

2- Measure / trace out the holes onto your new TN:

3- Poke holes through your marked areas. You'll need 4 holes, two at the top and two at the bottom

4- Thread through your elastic (probably the most difficult stage!):

5- Insert your hardware:

6- Tie a knot at the end:

That's really all you need to do. Here's a look at the end product (with two notebooks inserted):

The only fault I have with this is the weird placement of the pen holder. I am highly tempted to cut it off if only to reduce the bulk, but I think I'll just live with it for now. Apart from that, I'm currently obsessed with it. I never thought I'd replace my MTN with another - especially a home made one - but I love it to the nth degree. You should give it a go if you have the chance. I promise, you wont regret it!


  1. Great tutorial!

    I would like to share another trick: If you poke 2 holes side by side about 0.5mm apart instead of one on the upper part and the lower end you can thread 2 (or 1 long) string through them and thus fit 2 notebooks inside. From the outside it only makes for a slightly different appearance whch I do not mind.

    In my original MTN I added those extra holes left and right next to the original ones and now my MTN holds 3 notebooks whithout dealing with the original strings.

    I did use the original repair kit and its elastic bands as the colours match nicely.

    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for the extra tips! I actually thought about putting two bands side to side as well, but I figured, there will be times where I put just one notebook in, and the extra elastic would just drive me insane. Not to mention, I don't think my altered TN will be able to carry much anytime soon without exploding. Hah!