I’ve more or less settled on the Baron Fig Confidant as my preferred hardbound notebook. The combination of value, size, and paper quality make it an excellent choice for my day-to-day work. That said, I’m pretty rough on my notebooks, and cloth covers like the ones that Baron Fig uses can eventually look pretty grungy, especially if you’re carting them around in a bag full of graphite dust, ink, etc. I’m all for a little Wabi-Sabi here and there, but I don’t go through notebooks that quickly, and I’ve been in the market for an attractive leather cover that would both look great and extend the life of my Confidants.
One-Star Leather Goods, run by Keegan Uhl, has been many people’s go-to source for custom handmade leather products for years. Keegan emphasizes durability, craftsmanship, and using top quality materials, offering excellent leather products at a fair price. You may have seen reviews of Keegan’s pen sleeves (particularly for the Kaweco Sport), wallets, and recent collaboration with Nock Co. on a leather Fodderstack. So when Keegan reached out asking if I’d like to review one of the Confidant covers in advance of his “holiday rush,” it really was a no-brainer.
This particular notebook cover is entirely handmade in chestnut harness leather from Wickett & Craig. While I generally prefer brown or cordovan leather, the Confidant cover is also available in black. I’ve carried the cover for the past month or so, and while it’s accumulated a few dings and scratches here and there, that’s part of the charm. Leather goods will not stay pristine. Scuffs and scratches add character as your notebook cover takes on that worn, “vintage” look. In order to maximize its life, Keegan recommends that you apply leather balm periodically, which is relatively inexpensive and sold by One Star Leather. (Note: A jar will last you a long time - a little goes a long way.)
Those of you who use hardcover planners may want to consider investing in a leather cover to ensure your book makes it through the year intact. Also, if you’re not a Baron Fig user, worry not, because One Star Leather offers many more options for notebooks made by Hobonichi, Leuchtturm, Nanami Paper (Seven Seas), Moleskine, Midori, and more. I chose to review one of the more basic notebook covers, but others are available with card pockets, pen loops, snap closures, etc.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
One-Star Leather makes an exceptionally sturdy and attractive leather notebook cover that will age well and should last a very long time. I look forward to enjoying this one for years to come. You can order One-Star Leather products through the Etsy storefront or directly from the One-Star Leather website. Keegan’s pricing is extremely reasonable. The leather Confidant cover reviewed here costs $75 and comes preloaded with a lined Baron Fig Confidant notebook ($18 value).
Earlier I mentioned the “holiday rush.” Because One-Star Leather is a small operation, you need to provide plenty of lead time if you want to have your product by Christmas. If you are interested in a custom item, be sure to place your order by Thanksgiving.
Disclaimer: I received the product featured in this review free of charge, for review purposes. Many thanks to Keegan and One Star Leather Goods. I’m an Etsy affiliate, so because One-Star Leather’s store is powered by Etsy, all links here are affiliate links.