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     Tuesday, October 03, 2023
For men, women, and teens

Where to get awesome handbound notebooks & handmade paper

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A selection of handbound hardcover notebooks

There is something so personal and wonderful about a hand bound hardcover notebook - holding it, writing in it, planning.

Alternatively, if you're looking for some loose-leaf eco-friendly paper just to jot things down - a grocery list for example - then handmade recycled paper is definitely the way to go.

If any of these sound good to you, then head over to the RivalMoonBooks store on Etsy.com where owner Emilio carefully handcrafts these products and other items as well, which I'll mention a bit more about below.

It's great to know that you're getting something beautiful and unique that you just can't find in the big-box stores. The handmade nature of these items mean they're a lot more sustainable too, so if you're moving toward more a eco-friendly life, this is the way to go.

Emilio shared a little with us about his store and what they do:

At Rival Moon Books, we believe you should find as much joy in using our products as we do in making them. Every product we sell is designed and made from start to finish, by hand, in-house. We're committed to unique, quality products. And strive to meet those demands in an eco-friendly fashion.

Here I'll cover a few of my favorite items at RivalMoonBooks. I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable the prices were when I shopped there - since these are handmade, you might expect them to be pricey, but they're not! They ship anywhere in the U.S.

Hand bound notebooks

Hand bound hardcover notebooks with a choice of interior

What I love about these hand bound hardcover notebooks is that besides selecting from several art designs, you also have choice of interior page style. You get to pick between lined, grid, dots, and blank. This is a huge help, because you can therefore customize the notebook for your needs. This will vary depending on whether you want to use it for regular writing, create spatial plans, do bullet journaling or use it as a sketchbook.

Emilio makes these by hand - he prints the interior sheets according the page style you selected and then folds each interior sheet into 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" pages. He sews them with 100% cotton thread coated in beeswax, and then puts the cover on, which is chipboard wrapped in the laminated art that you chose. This is something so personal and wonderful that you will never want to try mass-produced notebooks and journals again!

Handmade recycled paper

handmade recycled paper from RivalMoonBooks

Made by hand from scraps of bookbinding projects, junk mail and old homework assignments, this handmade recycled paper is as recycled as it gets! This is even more eco-friendly when you consider the fact that no bleach, chlorine, or detergents are used in creating this paper.

You can expect a wonderful buttery-soft texture with some subtle natural variations in each sheet in color and thickness. This is by far one of my favorite products from RivalMoonBooks due both to its extremely high quality and its complete eco-friendliness.

Handmade personalized notepads

Handmade notepads from RivalMoonBooks

These handmade personalized tear-off notepads are perfect for when you need to jot down a few brief notes. Often a sticky note is too small but letter-size paper is too big - and who keeps a stack of letter-sized paper tucked away in an easy-to-access place anyway?! Instead you want something that you can tuck away until it's needed, and the optional personalization adds an extra-special touch. By the way, if you don't select the personalization option, it will simply default to saying "Notes", which is fine for general purposes.

To be super-productive, consider getting a few of these personalized for different purposes - perhaps put one on your nightstand with "errands" and one in the kitchen with "groceries" and one near your laptop with "to do".

Hand bound hardcover gridded notebook

hardcover quad ruled notebook with space theme opened hardcover hand bound notebook showing quad rule grid

A hand bound notebook makes a wonderful gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. As a quick example, how about your father? There's no need to stress or worry what to get him this year - simply get him this hand bound hardcover gridded notebook. Voila! Now you're giving him a place to sketch out his hobby plans with a pre-made square grid. This idea will work well for any type of hobby that requires a bit of spatial planning, whether it's woodworking, gardening, home improvement, model railroads, or electrical projects.

Hand bound hardcover LGBTQ+ notebook

LGBTQ+ hand bound journal

I particularly appreciate that this hand bound hardcover LGBTQ+ notebook is not just about waving around a rainbow-flag-themed item. No. Besides the well-known rainbow flag, RivalMoonBooks offers options for specific LGBTQ+ flags, such as non-binary, intersex, and plenty more. I particularly loved that the asexual flag was included here, which is otherwise not easy to find. This is good news for Aces.

In particular, using a specific flag allows the LGBTQ+ person to be able to signal it in a way where those in the know will be aware of the meaning of the design, yet without necessarily making it the first thing that everyone notices about the person.

This notebook is available in two styles - either a fully wrapped cover design or a smaller flag. You can also optionally add your own personalization, for example your pronouns.

The bottom line

If you enjoy unique handcrafted stationery and handmade recycled paper, then you should definitely take a look at RivalMoonBooks on Etsy.

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