What Are Printables?

what are printables // tortagialla.com

Over the years, I have shared so many printables on this blog. I wanted to go back to the foundation and share the basics to answer the question, what are printables? I hope that this will help those who are beginners and just getting into printing from home.

We will talk about what are printables, why you might use them and how to use them. I also share a whole bunch of places to find free and paid for printables, for a variety of uses. You can also check out all my blog lists to see the printables I share on a regular basis!

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DIY Passport Size Midori Traveler’s Notebook and Inserts

DIY Midori Traveler's Notebook

After posting my rainbow paper free printable last week, I had to dive right in and make myself some journaling inserts. I’ve been seeing many artists using a very small sized journal for quick ideas and notes. Since I’m always running short on time, I figured a smaller notebook would be more approachable for my time constraints. The idea is that I would still get creative time in, just in small spurts.

pocket traveler's notebook insert

So first thing I did was print out the rainbow paper to create a cute little passport sized notebook. I basically took the measurements of the official midori traveler’s notebook passport size. It’s pretty simple to fold papers in half and create your own journaling inserts and notebooks – easy peasy. I stapled my book together, but you can also pamphlet stitch by hand or run it through your sewing machine.

passport size traveler's notebook with insert

Once I got into making inserts and decorating the cover as well… I made a couple more with some cute papers I already had on hand, they are old Prima Marketing notepad papers. Once I had the inserts in hand, I realized that I needed a traveler’s notebook cover for them – duh!

Midori Traveler's Notebook elastic

I decided to use a luscious dark brown scrap piece of leather and make my own midori traveler’s notebook. I lined the inside with decorative paper to give it a bit more weight and structure. Then I punched holes, set eyelets to reinforce and strung through some pink elastic I had on hand. I realize the elastic is way too thick, but it’s the only kind that I have in my stash already. One day I’ll have to change them out!

I’ve posted before my DIY adventures with traveler’s notebook if you are interested in more of the DIY details: midorifauxdori DIYfauxdori to journal.

I’m happy with how it all turned out and started my first spread with just a little collaging of bits and pieces. Nothing too intensive and I’m realizing how nice it is to have a small sized journal to work in. It’s easier to get a page done and sometimes, that’s all I have time to do, a tiny little creative break!

Consider using a smaller journal if you are looking for some creative fun, despite lack of time! If you enjoy printables, sign up for my weekly newsletter for new designs, links to freebies and the latest news. Enjoy!

BTW, if you like the “love is out there” piece in my spread, it’s actually a free wallpaper printable I posted here.

Write a Letter – Send More Mail – Make a Difference with Rainbow Stationery


Write a letter with rainbow stationery to make a difference!

There have been a lot of crazy, shocking and sad news lately in current affairs. Often I stay pretty quiet about such topics, because I really just don’t know what to say or do. One feels so small and helpless at times. But I’ve come to realize that we must all do whatever we can – however big or small it might be.

I’ve been thinking about how writing a letter can make such a big difference. It’s no surprise that formal communications are always written – it makes more impact! If you want to voice your opinion consider writing to your representative as LetterMo.com posts here. Write a letter and send more mail, because I believe it can make a difference.

I decided to do my part and also design some printable stationery to get you writing as well! I realize that I can do a little more by sharing more printable stationery – something that I love to create. So please enjoy the rainbow stationery download below and #sendmoremail.


Rainbow Stationery LETTER

Rainbow Stationery A4

For those outside the USA, you can also write letters to promote happiness and positive action. That also makes a difference in this world – and I think that’s why there has been such a trend of sending #happymail because it really does make folks happy. Think of your recipient and how it can change the course of their day! Small gesture, big return.

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Summer Haze Printable Wall Art


Today I really needed to create something and post it. I’ve been on a bit of a low lately, frustrated with not producing as much as I would like and wondering why I can’t be more grateful for the wonderful life that I have. It’s hard to NOT focus on the stuff we are missing or wanting… sigh.

So I’m trying to break through the blues by creating something – anything – and sharing it here. It’s all about the heat wave – so here is a super colorful and bright, for the love of summer printable. What do you think?

It’s simple and not really an earth-shattering, change the world kind of thing. But hey, it’s what I can do. Create something from nothing. And share it.

I hope you enjoy!

Summer-Haze-PrintableSummer Haze Printable LETTER

Summer Haze Printable A4

If you like printables, then be sure to check out my library of printable stationery on HappyPrintClub.com.

Make Your Own Midori (Fauxdori) Traveler’s Notebook


I’ve been looking into paper planners recently and kept seeing the mention of Midori journals and notebook inserts. Although it’s been around for a long time, I never actually understood what it was. The Midori Traveler’s Notebook is basically a leather cover with elastic bands inside that enable you to slip in and out saddle stitched inserts. This means that you can use the same journal cover over and over, just swapping out your notebook insert inside.

Of course, the original brand name is Japanese and not the cheapest on the block. People have copied the idea and often go DIY, calling them fauxdori. Although the Midori was originally intended for travelers who would swap out inserts for every trip, nowadays people use the same idea for all kinds of purposes. Everyday sketchbook artists, planner addicts, list makers, diary writers, bullet list journalers – you name it! The system is so flexible, it’s just a great way to keep a perpetual journal for any topic or hobby.

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try my hand at making a Midori (fauxdori) Notebook. There are lots of tutorials out there and definitely some variation in regards to sizes and how the elastic band is bound into the cover. But ultimately, all you need is durable material for your cover, the elastic band material and some basic bookbinding tools. All the other details are sort of up to your preference.


After rummaging in my stash, I decided to use the dark blue leather for my first fauxdori notebook. Unfortunately, the leather is not a very thick and quite floppy. I know that not everyone has access to leather, but you can definitely consider any kind of material that will hold up to be a cover. Whenever I want to strength my cover material, I just cut a piece of cardstock to size and glue it to my leather. Besides adding strength, it’s a nice way to add a pop of color and design to the inside of your journals.

Since I live in Italy and we use A4 paper, I decided to size my notebook accordingly. You can see a bunch of note system page sizes here and decide what you want to go with. Depending how thick and expansive you want the notebook to be, you’ll have to calculate enough width for the spine area. I would have preferred to make mine wider, but I’m limited by the size of the patterned paper that is 30 centimeters wide.


I cut my paper to size first, then glued it to my leather with standard white glue. After everything dried completely, I trimmed my leather to size and made some measurements to punch the holes for the elastic band. I ended up purchasing some colored elastic that you usually see with these types of notebooks – but I didn’t realize 3mm is actually really thick. I think it’s too big because I had to punch really large holes to get it to fit through.


I punched a hole in the middle of the spine for the wrap around part of the elastic. You might have seen that some journals have the closure cord separate and knotted on the back, but I don’t like the idea of having a bump under the writing area of the notebook pages. Now comes the part that tripped me up a bit in the process. I realized that the cover has to be much larger than your notebook insert size from top and bottom, because you have to punch holes for the elastic and the notebook has to slip in. How close did I really want to punch these holes to the edge of the cover? Especially since my cord is so thick, I was risking weakening the whole cover structure and possible tearing through use.


In fact, with all the wrangling I ripped the paper lining at the bottom of the cover as shown in the picture above. Below you can see a view of the finished cover from the outside.


In the end, it wasn’t a total loss, because I just had to cut my notebook insert paper down a 1cm to fit into the cover. I suppose it’s not too shabby for my first try.



Of course, from the hands-on experience I immediately wanted to make another fauxdori with a few improvements. Instead of punching holes in the cover to string the elastic through – reducing the size of the insert that can slip in, I wanted to try wrapping the elastic over the top and bottom of the cover. Of course, it depends on you having a strong enough cover material to withstand that pressure, so this second attempt uses a heavier weight black leather.


I also added a little strip of leather with the wrap around part of the elastic, so the pressure wouldn’t rough up the notebook papers on contact, when closing it up.


Obviously, all this has to be tested with tried and true usage, to see what really happens. I ended up with two fauxdori covers to test out… perhaps will carry it around in my purse to see how the wear and tear goes.


Coming from a bookbinding perspective, I know there are lots of variations possible in terms of where to punch the holes and how many strands of elastic to include, depending how expansive you want your notebook to be. I’m thinking of horizontal row of holes and needing more width for the cover in general. Or maybe even using slits instead of holes.


Lots to consider and think about… not to mention real-world testing.

Well, since I have a whole lot of material available, I will be making more of these to try out some variations in construction and sizes for different purposes. I’m thinking that personally I would definitely use this system for notebooks in my purse, because it’s usually quick notes and things I jot down, not necessarily to be kept forever. It seems the kind of usage that makes sense for something that can be perpetually swapped out.


Have you tried to make a fauxdori? Did you run into any issues or would you opt for traditionally binding a journal?

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