Makers South A5 notebook cover review

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I have an addiction to pens, notebooks, and notebook covers, so it’s a bad idea for me to surf Pinterest because I always find too many items to add to my wish lists. I can’t remember if I stumbled upon Makers South notebook covers on Pinterest or elsewhere, but I do know that the moment I saw one online that I wanted to see one in person. Luckily for me, they sent me their A5 notebook cover and now I can share what I think about it with you.

What is it?

The Makers South A5 sized notebook cover that I’ll be talking about in this review is made of Herman Oak vegetable tanned leather. Makers South also sells covers made of Horween leather.

The Makers South A5 sized notebook cover has been designed to protect thicker notebooks like the Seven Seas Writer, Midori MD A5, Hobonichi Techo A5, Leuchtturm 1917 A5, Moleskine A5 and others.

Design and features


This is a no frills cover that has a simple but beautiful design. It’s basically a slip cover that protects your existing notebook.

The cover that I picked out was made for an A5 sized (5.8 x 8.3 in) notebooks like my Leuchtthurm 1917 dotted notebook that I’ve been using since May.

I went with the Herman Oak vegetable tanned leather because I like the raw look that gets better looking with age. Makers South offers other leathers too which you can see here.

The front of the cover is completely plain, no logos or anything other than the stitches that go around three sides. You can choose the color of the thread. I went with brown. You can see the thread colors here.

Other customizations that can be requested include elastic bands, pen loops, etc.


The Makers South logo is branded into the back of the cover.


The cover is made of three pieces of leather. There’s the main cover and two smaller pieces that are sewn to the cover and are used to create pockets for the front and back cover of your existing notebook.


“Installing” your existing notebook takes a bit of effort because you have to slide the notebook covers into the pockets in the Makers South cover.

You will also notice in the image above and below that edges of the cover are smooth and burnished. This provides a nicer finished look.


Once inserted, the A5 leather cover transforms your existing notebook into a rugged book that can travel with you on all your adventures, even if those adventures only happen in your office or home.


The Makers South cover worked great with my Leuchtthurm 1917 dotted notebook. The notebook still opens and remains flat which is one of my critical must-have features when I pick a notebook and / or cover.


This type of leather starts off stiff but gets software with age. Right now the cover won’t stay closed but that will change with use.

Final thoughts

Makers South makes gorgeous notebook leather covers that are pretty much perfect as far as workmanship and materials. I could find no flaws in the leather. But of course, with any leather goods you may find some marks, so you might not receive a 100% perfect cover. And if you do, it probably won’t stay that way  very long once you start using it. But that’s what makes any leather cover great… at least to me. I like the look of a well-worn leather cover and I can’t wait to see how the Makers South A5 notebook cover wears and ages over time.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Makers South. Please visit their site for more info.


Product Information

Price:$60 - $75
Manufacturer:Makers South
  • Will last forever
  • Perfect construction
  • Ability to customize with thread color, pen loops, elastic closure, etc.
  • None

6 thoughts on “Makers South A5 notebook cover review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Can’t wait to see this one in a few months of use. Like you, I much prefer them with a lot of character. Natural leather always has great character and in order for it to be “smooth and perfect” very unnatural things need to be done to it. So we much prefer the natural style leathers. Like wood, metal, fine wines and bourbon, leather gets better with age! Glad you enjoyed this piece as much as we did making it and I can’t wait to see it in a few months of use. It’s gonna look fantastic!

    Thanks again for the review!

    -Chrispian (Makers South)

  3. I’m a big fan of Leuchtthurm 1917 (I have a library of A6 size from years of using them). I like the A6 pocket form factor as it tucks nicely into my back pocket, jacket or inside suit pocket. I’m also a big fan of leather protection (I’ve had a nicely worn Saddleback iPad cover – I get compliments frequently and it DOES protect the iPad – AMHIK).

    Aside from adding some panache to the Leuchtthurm notebook (which is by and large very durable), it appears to add an unnecessary amount of bulk in thickness to the notebook. Is that noticeable to you?

  4. should you want to accelerate the patina of aged leather…
    rub snoseal (beeswax based shoe waterproofing) into the leather
    the friction of rubbing melts the product
    afterwards let everything sit for a few minutes
    then buff with a soft cloth
    the initial application will add a couple of years visually and you will have a non-sticky waterproofing on your cover

    I often use a heat gun which adds even more patina or careful heat from a gas stove burner (the carbon from the flame adds even more age)

    I’ve done this for decades for folks who wanted a “natural” undyed look

      1. julie-
        that looks interesting especially the oil’s fungicidal properties

        as long as it absorbs and doesn’t leave a residue it should work

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