Last weekend I wrote a review of the Lyra and Co fabric fauxdori that arrived in all its fabulous unicorn glory. Just before I wrote that post my leather fauxdori from Ink Bandits on Etsy also arrived that week too – but I didn’t look at it too much since I wanted to not do a comparison review of the Lyra and Co one. No, I can’t believe I was that controlled either!
This one that I bought from Ink Bandits was the first fauxdori I had wanted to purchase since I caught the travelers notebook bug. I did my research, weighed the pros and cons of various suppliers, read reviews on how they worked and what notebooks to put in, and then I decided that my first purchase would be a leather cover from Ink Bandits. The owner, Dibs, is lovely. Since this would be my first ever travelers notebook cover, I was having trouble selecting the size I would need once the notebooks were secured inside. Dibs helped answer all my questions and in the end I settled on an extra wide regular which would take 21xm x 11cm notebooks.
Considering these are bespoke, it arrived about a week after I ordered it which I thought was really quick. It was packaged beautifully in tissue paper and, I don’t know if you can just see on the label on the picture above, it came with a handy mini page marker which is now keeping the place on my monthly calendar. I thought that was a really cute touch.
And so, the cover
Well, it is lovely.
I ordered the aqua colour and a couple of silver charms to go with it, and its just… lovely.
Someone in a Facebook group when I was doing my initial research, described the leather as ‘buttery soft’, and this is the perfect description. It feels gorgeous. If you’re expecting a stiff leather then this is not for you. This leather is soft and flexible, and very tactile with its natural matt finish. I found myself wanting to stroke it… a lot! It looks like the kind of leather that will wear well and change over time as it gets used. And I mean this in a good way. It will get scuffed and marked, but it’s leather and those marks will make it unique and beautiful, just like our laughter lines.
So the quality of the leather that you get is really very good. The cover itself quite basic, with four spine elastics for your notebooks. No pen loop and no internal pockets, but it does come with a cardboard insert which you can use to to house all your planner essentials. But then, its beauty is in its simplicity. It’s a beautiful natural leather cover for your notebook inserts – nothing more, nothing less.
As mentioned, I bought this standard cover in the extra wide version, but unfortunately for me who carries around four 5mm thick book inserts in her travelers notebook, I found that even in extra wide this cover did not quite cover all my books completely.
When opened out flat, end to end this cover measures 26cm wide.
My notebooks also have tabs and these also stick out from the side. Of course, if you carry fewer than four notebooks, and/or if your notebooks are thinner than my 5mm thick ones then you’ll be absolutely fine as the pictures below show:
The thing I have learned regarding sizes and notebooks is that, while your notebooks might be a certain thickness, and while you can try and judge how much your cover will wrap around them, the elastic spines will also make your notebooks thicker at the spine too – which in turn increases the amount of the cover that then has to wrap around them which can draw it further back from the edges of your books. I noticed this in my Lyra and Co extra wide cover (which measures 28.5 cm wide when laid out flat) as the elastics in that are quite thick and sturdy, but definitely isn’t something I thought to take into account when researching my sizings. My Lyra and Co extra wide is big enough to accommodate this, and although the elastics in this Ink Bandits cover are relatively thin, it’s just enough to make the cover creep from the edge of the notebooks. For me this is a shame, but not necessarily for someone else who doesn’t pack as much into their TN as I do.
So, it’s really just about preference really. Personally, I prefer to have all my notebooks and tabs sitting snuggled inside the cover so that they are all protected. However, if you don’t have tabs, and if you don’t mind your cover not coming all the way to the ends of your books, or if you’re not so much a crammer-inner as me (I blame my previous life as a newspaper planner for this!), and if you are looking specifically for a soft leather cover, then this one is simple and elegant. Perfect.