i wish i were crafty enough to do this on my own!
November 10, 2008 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Customized/personalized sketchbooks/journals as a gift?

One of my closest friends is embarking on a little trip/adventure soon. It's totally out of her comfort zone, and I'm incredibly proud of her. She has, also, been through a lot in the past year and a half - bad relationships, eating disorders, and lots of self esteem issues. She's on an incredible (I believe permanent) upswing. She's, well, back.

Her birthday is coming up in about 3.5 weeks. I would like to get her a personalized sketchbook/journal that she can take with her, and draw as needed or write in during her trip. I don't want to just put her initials on it, but include a quote, or lyric, or something personal.

I'd like to not spend more than $40-50 (because I'm kind of a poor grad student), but there is some wiggle room.

Are there any sites do you recommend? Where should I look? Where are companies that do services like this (in this time frame)?

posted by raztaj to Shopping (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Try putting in a custom order request on Etsy (via the Alchemy section).
posted by divabat at 7:16 PM on November 10, 2008

There are some beautiful etched moleskines on Modofly. They may do custom jobs too- there's a link at the top for custom orders. You could email them and ask if it's possible in your time frame.

Or, you could buy a notebook and write your note to her with a nice pen. I think she would appreciate the gift either way- it's nice and thoughtful.
posted by Mouse Army at 7:44 PM on November 10, 2008

I heartily second Alchemy on Etsy, or searching Etsy in general for folks whose styles you like and starting a chat (all great people there!). I think that can be accomplished well within your budget.

However! You ARE crafty enough to do this. Can you think of her favorite color? A topic/theme relating to her trip? That quote or lyrics you like for her? Those are all great starting off points for collage - the best way to spend an afternoon destroying magazines. This has been a hugely successful formula, every time I've employed it:

A few old copies of National Geographic (or similar) + scissors + Modge Podge + blank journal = Amazing personalized art piece!

Together that should run you maybe $30 tops (depending on the blank journal you decide on) and a few hours of your time. You don't have to cover the whole journal - maybe just find a great shot of an elephant, or a tree, or the sky, or whatev - and modge podge that onto the cover, copy those lyrics on the inside cover with a sentiment about wishing her a great trip and hey done!
posted by nelleish at 6:27 AM on November 11, 2008

I bought a custom handmade book from this studio and I love it. I gave some vague specs and she did the rest, it turned out perfect. She was extremely easy to deal with and charged me less than buying a commercially made book. I would definitely deal with her again, should the need for a handmade book arise again.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:16 AM on November 11, 2008

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