I finished the journal I was making for my son. The cover is made from a brown paper bag - can you believe that? Looks remarkably like leather. Basically, you paint it with brown paint, then crumple it up and smooth it out again, and rub rubber stamping ink over it, and this is how it turns out. I'm really pleased with the results. I modified the pattern somewhat, and here is the front cover:
This is inside the front cover - it is lined with black wool felt, and the tag reads "Joy is not in things; it is in us."
Three of the inside pages:
Close up of the spine:
Close up of my closure (one of my modifications to the pattern):
My son is a writer, so I filled the journal with lined pages. I'm making another one similar to this one for an artist friend, and that one will be filled with various kinds of art papers.