Oh leather… my fickle friend. It’s a beautiful material and I love how it turns out but it can be a little hard to work with. Of course, that doesn’t stop me… the results are worth it! Especially for a project like today’s… where we’re just adding a pretty iron-on decal to an existing leather notebook.
It’s actually a travelers notebook I whipped up a while back for an upcoming cruise. I love to take a new notebook to scrapbook my trips… filling them with photos and journal notes as the trip is happening is such a special momento. And I wanted to set this baby over the top by adding a bit of fun to the cover… so let’s whip out the iron-on and pick the perfect design.
Of course, you can add iron-on to all kinds of leather projects… I foiled these stocking tags but iron-on would have been just as cute!
- Cricut Maker
- Standard Cutting Mat (that’s the green one! Even though I used the fabric mat for this project)
- Fine-Point Cutting Blade
- Weeding Tool
- Scraper Tool
- Metallic SportsFlex Sampler
- Mini Easy Press
- Cricut Access SVG: Once Upon a Time
- Leather Travelers Notebook Cover
Step 1: Pick your Design from the Cricut Access Library
For the cover of this travelers notebook I had absolutely no design ideas. Since my brain was empty I headed to the Cricut Access Library for a little inspiration!
I typed summer, travel, trip into the search bar and started sifting through all the options. I love how the access library has so many designs that are ready to go… you don’t have to do anything to them. Just cut them out and you’re good to go.
I didn’t find what I wanted doing a travel search so I went back to my bookmarked projects to search the SVG’s I already know I like… and found this little Once Upon a Time SVG. Technically it’s a cake topper but I simply sliced off the bottom cake topper bits and volia! Travelers Notebook Decal!
I thought it was the perfect little design for a trip of a lifetime.
Step 2: Cut your Materials
Now that we’ve fixed up our little fairytale design let’s load our cutting mat with our blue iron-on. You can use any of the colors in the metallic sampler but I thought this blue worked well with my notebook accessories! Score!
Remember… when you’re loading your cutting mat the iron-on needs to be placed facedown. You’ll want the clear carrier sheet to actually touch the cutting mat and the back of the material to be up in the air.
Make sure to mirror your design in Cricut Design Space and your good to go! Your Cricut will cut your design (backwards) out of the back of your iron-on.
Isn’t that funky?!
Go ahead and cut out the entire design and we’ll move on to the next step.
Bonus: While I’ll show you step by step how to do this specific project (including all the Cricut Design Space parts) in the video tutorial up above you can check out this post for a full overview of Cricut Design Space. Hope that helps!
Step 3: Weed your Pieces
I feel like there should be a song for this part (like hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work we go? but weeding related!) There isn’t though so go ahead and grab your weeding tool in silence. Or make up your own song and leave it down below.
Whatever floats your boat.
If this is your first Cricut project then you’ve probably heard the term but you may not know what weeding is. Basically we’re going to remove all the negative space… the inside of the o, the top of the e, the inside sections of each letter we don’t need…
Anything we DON’T want to transfer to our final design.
When we’re done weeding the Iron-On sheet should look identical to the cut file in Cricut Design Space… but in real life.
Just go slowly so you don’t tear the iron-on at any point (that weeding tool is sharp y’all!) and make sure not to remove parts of the design we actually need (like the actual letters… those are important).
Work your way from the outside in if you’re not sure which pieces you need to keep… you got this!
Step 4: Apply the Iron-on to your Leather
For this project we’ll use our heat press mini… we don’t want to apply too much heat to our leather or it will start to discolor. The tiny heat plate on the mini heat press is perfect for this!
Set it to the first setting and then secure your iron-on to your leather notebook. Make sure it’s centered and straight… then use a bit of heat resistant washi tape to hold it in place.
We don’t want it moving while we’re applying the heat!
Once everything is secured and your easy press is warmed up go ahead and heat that baby up! Start in the middle and work your way towards the edge of the design. Perfect darling!
Go ahead and set the entire design aside to cool… once you can touch it without the surface being too hot go ahead and apply even pressure with your fingers across each of the letters. Pushing the iron-on into the leather with your fingers while it’s still cooling helps it to really bond.
Then carefully peel back the clear carrier sheet once it’s cool to the touch.
Remember that since iron-on adhesive is heat activated you can sometimes see adhesive residue from the iron-on on your leather. Typically you can only see it in bright lights (my Cricut Bright 360 is lighting up these photos so you can slightly make it out) but it’s not super visible to the naked eye.
If you’re worried about this you can do a test piece with a scrap of iron-on and a scrap piece of leather… it’s never been a big enough issue to bother me.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Volia! Now your travelers notebook is ready to roll! I cannot wait to fill it up with photos of my Alaska cruise!
It’s so much cuter than a blank leather cover!
Of course, I usually add a felt flower swag to the front but I use these notebooks as scrapbooks and I wanted something a bit more meaningful for this particular project.
I love how it turned out!
Either way I thought this project turned out super cute and I can’t wait to take it on my trip.
In the meantime you may want to check out the next post in this series where I use the cutest gardening SVG to make a custom Iron-On T-Shirt!
Or head back to the beginning and check out the full comparison where I apply SportsFlex Iron-On to 5 different materials for a side by side comparison.
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