Moleskine – make it your own

The “basic yet classic Large Plain Moleskine notebook” is one of my favorite notebooks to use as a writing journal. A.k.a. my diary. I like the black cover because it is slick and simple, but this time I felt a need for a more colorful cover. So I pimped it, what else is there to do when you crave colors?

I used some of my round stickers to alter it and make it my own. Now it looks like something I might have owned when I was ten, but I still like it even though I’m 30+ now. Some things never change, and stickers still rock.

Altered with stickers classic Large Plain Moleskine notebook, photo and decorating by iHanna

I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot… and memory is important.
Judy Collins

When I first tried the plain Moleskine notebook I did not like to write on the silky pages, but I got used to it and now I love them. The 240 pages in a Moleskine Notebook are cream colored, thin and smooth to write on.

Moleskine spelled out for you, photo by iHanna

I am always looking for blank pages (no lines) in a notebook, because I like the freedom it presents me with. It is too bad that there are so many cool notebooks that only come with lined papers if you ask me. When I was younger and I used a pencil and lined paper. Then at some point as a teenager I converted to ball point pen and blank pages. First I used a lined papers behind the notebook page as a guide, but these days I never bother with that practice. My lines are not always straight and the letters not always correct, but I just keep writing.

What are the most important thing when you get a new notebook? have you tried the Moleskine Plain Notebook yet? They are pricey but I like ’em and they last a long time (3-4 months for me).

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16 Responses to Moleskine – make it your own

  1. linda says:

    I think it’s always good to put your mark on a journal, no matter what you choose in the end. So it really becomes personal! Since I started making my own journals, its easy to incorporate the paper I like to use, such as watercolor paper, painting papers or generally heavier-weight paper. I realized that I like making journals that don’t have that many pages as well! I like being able to “finish” a journal in a shorter amount of time…it’s less intimidating when there aren’t sooo many pages :) I usually have multiple journals going, so I don’t really finish faster, it’s just separating different topics, themes or interests…how I like to use them. Or maybe I just like to make them… hehe!

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m addicted to them, won’t use anything else! I have a whole section on my blog for them and was recently interviewed by moleskine’s blog.

  3. I love your cover. I have used them for art journaling and sketching but not for writing. Paper seemed to thin, but I may have to rethink that and try one for writing. I use the small cahiers in my purse for notes. I like that I can take them on a walk. They slip in a pocket easily. For me I love a journal with no lines. Its hard to find them here. I see all these beautiful covers and I am dismayed when I open to find them all filled with lines… When I use the large sketchbook, I always alter the cover, it makes it mine that way.

  4. i love moleskine! my fave is the watercolor sketchbook.

  5. MissKoolAid says:

    I always look for the blank page journals. And now, I check that I like the texture and weight of the paper. I have resisted the call of the Moleskine so far. Mostly because I’m trying to use up all the bought journals I have before acquiring a new one.
    Your cover does remind me of my childhood diaries but, like you, I still love stickers even at 30+, as you say.

  6. Chris says:

    I got a moleskine for the Sketchbook Project, but I haven’t used them much. I haven’t started this one, but when I worked on a previous moleskine, I thought it would be too fragile, with the thinner pages than I’m used too. But it held up under all sorts of abuse! I really like them. I won’t be as afraid to work in this new one for the project.

    I have a lot of un-used journals. And several I’ve made myself that I’ve used. It’s funny how I’m so hesitant to use the journals I didn’t make myself. I prefer the unlined ones, too, but I will just gesso over the ones I have that are lines. I often have to do that, anyway.

  7. Helena says:

    When I was in Norway, then I thought about buying one Moleskine, but it didn’t happen… and I am a poor writer anyway :-) For cra ft-ideas I use my own journal that I made some time ago… In Estonia they don’t sell Moleskine (probably because of the price) and therefor I have no need to think about how good it would be…. :-)

  8. Pam says:

    I love moleskine… I have quite a few of them and I have different criteria depending on what I am going to use it for (other than collecting dust because I am afraid to use them)… if I want to be able to be free to draw or collage or art journal as well as write I get a plain unlined book. If I want to keep lists or track something, I usually get the quadruled reporters style book. If I want to just write a journal, without sketching or collage of any sort, I get lined books. I find I feel wrong about collage or paint or drawing on lined papers… i’m just weird that way.

    Moleskines are pretty good for me, I usually take over a year to complete any book, if I ever do.

  9. Like Chris, I just got my first moleskin for the Sketchbook 1011 Project and so far I am really liking them. We are using the Cahier version, which from what I can tell is smaller and thinner than the bigger notebooks; I really like the simplicity of it and the pocket in the back. I did end up taking mine apart and rebinding it though, I wanted to paint the pages and they were just a bit too flimsy for me to feel comfortable doing it in the book. It was super easy to sew back up and I didn’t lose the creaminess of the paper so I am pretty happy so far. :)

  10. Danielle N. says:

    I’m a huge Moleskin fan. I love their watercolor notebook and their storyboard notebook. I’ve actually switched to a Border’s generic version of their plain notebook, b/c its cheaper, but the quality is definitely lower. I have to prep my pages with gesso or paint in order for the ink not to show through to the other side. But right now, this works for me.

  11. Ingrid says:

    i’m experiencing my first big moleskin for the sketchbook project (a little smaller than the one you show above, i think).. i’m not sure if i like it yet; i prefer something a bit larger, so i have plenty of room to play!

    i just noticed that you linked me in your Mega Link Love – thank you so much!


  12. iHanna says:

    Thank you for your comments! Saying “Moleskine” is kind of confusing since there are so many different kinds, and the one I was taking about is the notebook writing kind, it has thin papers and a green label. There are also the purle “sketchbook” kind with cardstock like papers inside, suitible for collage or painting. Anyway, fun to read what you all like to use!

    Ingrid, the booklet sketchbook I received has a red cover and it’s the exact same size as the “Moleskine plain notebook” with black cover that I’m writing my diary in – even though that one is thicker of course. :-) By the way, did you see that Connie posted about day 31 of July on her blog? You must submit your already published interview to her site now!

  13. The most important thing when I get a notebook is usually… the look. Before, I used spiral bound sketchbooks, pretty big, but now I use the big (as in the “normal size”) sketchbook or plain moleskines. I like to alternate between the two, because i’ve noticed I work differently depending of the model; in the plain I usually sketch a lot more because there are more pages, and in the sketchbook i take more time for my drawing, i paint more… It takes me 3 to 4 months to complete one, and I am filling the 23rd one right now. I am addicted to moleskines and havent found anything of the same quality (the paper and the binding) so far. Yes, it is pricey, but it’s worth it, and if you’re afraid to pay you can always find some lower priced on internet (amazon..).

  14. Johanna says:

    I keep several moleskines in different sizes all over the place. In my bags, my craft studio…I have stickers all over one of them, too! From cute stickers that I find to the silly labels on bananas. It’s fun, colorful and expressive in it’s own way, too! Happy sketching!

  15. Hannah says:

    I just got a set of unlined Moleskines for Christmas- as a writer and sketcher, I would like to be able to do both in these books- however, unlike iHanna I prefer lines when writing in journals. Does anyone have any ideas about how to create lines on some pages, while being able to leave some pages blank? I’ve searched everywhere for a rubber stamp that would allow me to stamp lines onto a page, but alas have found nothing. Any ideas? (I’ve thought of making my own linocut to use, but I am not skilled enough with a gouge to make nice, neat fine lines.)

    Thanks, fellow moleskiners!

  16. iHanna says:

    Hannah! My fellow blogger Traci Bunkers has very cool rubber stamps, one is called journaling rubber stamps and even though the lines will not go all the way over a page you could do rows in columns with it! I have one and I really like it. For me I would rather take a sheet of lined paper and put it under the page in your book, as the moleskine has see-through pages you will be able to write “on the lines” without actual lines! Try it out. Good luck!

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