Wood cover books 3 ways

I love having nice, personalized books for all kinds of purposes and have tried making them a few different ways. Thought I’d share what I tried and the results.

#1: The super-easy way. A pre-made blank journal that already has a wood cover. Toss it in the Glowforge and engrave.

Material: https://www.jpplus.com/a5-wiro-plywood-cover-notebook
Settings: 1000/60/225

#2: The cheap way. Buy any notebook you like, measure the spacing between the spirals to add holes (circles or squares) to your a vector design, remove the existing covers and replace them with your wooden ones. This started out as a blank “sketch book” with nice thick pages of blank paper. You could just as easily pick up a journal from Target or Wal-Mart.

Material: HD PureBond 5/32" Walnut Plywood
Settings: PG Medium Walnut Plywood

#3: The homemade way. Punch your own paper and bind the book from scratch.


  • White 8x10" cardstock and a hole punch

  • Medium maple plywood for the covers, cut/engraved at the Proofgrade settings

  • Chicago screws from Amazon in two lengths, one long enough to go through both covers and the stack of paper, and a shorter length that only goes through the cover and the binding

  • Faux leather to bind the cover to the spine, laser cut to size with holes for the chicago screws, and some superglue as well. I used this saddle collection sheet cut at 245/50

Bonus: Kraft or chipboard books can be engraved too.

This was a kraft journal from Michaels, engraved at something like 2000/full IIRC. I lost the saved custom setting when Glowforge wiped out all the vector engrave settings that were saved with speeds over 1000.


The only problem I have with beautiful journal covers is my absolutely crap handwriting inside the books…so I never use them once I’ve made them.

Those would be too nice to write in. :smile:


That’s a very nice collection of notebooks!


I like explorations of techniques like this. Could you go into a little more detail about how you bound your own book?


OMG… it’s like you were in my brain and knew I was thinking about making journal covers. :slight_smile: Thanks!

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Love the chicago screws method - looks very classy

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These are great! I’ve bought some blank journals with the thought of doing something like this but never got around to it. Maybe this will nudge me to give it a shot!

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Great post and great work! So many ways to make a notebook! Love the GF!

Any specific questions? Maybe this will clarify. Here’s my SVG for the 100% handmade book. Anyone that would like to use it to make their own, feel free!

The spine and front cover, go over the leatherette, go over the stack of hole-punched paper, go over the back cover. Chicago screws hold everything together. I also brushed a bit of super glue on the leatherette.



Beautiful! Thank you so much!

Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

This is a great post. I learned a great deal —-thank you!!