23 July 2014

How to make a Van der Spek A5 Organiser.

So today I'm going to show you the making of a Van der Spek A5 Manager custom made organiser, this one is with nappa leather a dark brown exterior (Chiocolatto - 6202) and light brown interior (Cuoio - 6208)

The method of construction is very similar to the Standard size we showed last week, but with some differences to the internal layout and the pockets.

Again a big thank you to Petra Van der Spek for sharing this series of photographs with us. Some of the processes are shared with the Standard size, but only shown in one post or the other, so in a way there is an overlap between the posts. Revisit the 'How to make a Van der Spek Standard organiser' to fill in the gaps as it were.

Picking the precise part of the leather to cut the single piece outside cover.

Mr Van der Spek hand cutting the leather with a template. 

The components for the A5, dark brown on the outside, golden brown on the inside.

The press is used with the metal template to cut out the individual parts and in this case cut the slots.

The credit card slots interior leather, the metal assembly is the cutter used in conjunction with the press to accurately cut out these complicated parts of the interior.  

By using this sort of machine cutting you get repeatably parts 

The inside rear cover with the slot where the zip will be. 

Thinning the edges of the leather for gluing and later sewing

The interior components and the closure strap. 

The liners for the pockets and credit card slots. 

The zip is inserted.

Held with some glue before it is then stitched.

Gluing the pocket liner below the zip. 

Creating the other credit card pockets 

Hand cutting the liners. 

Adding the liner for the lower pocket

Assembling the card slot liners

Adding the liners to the credit card section. 

All of the liners have been added to the credit card section. 

Applying glue to the edge of the stiffener

Lining up the stiffener and the foam liner. 

Folding the leather edge over on to the inner liner

Applying glue to the edge before the interior is assembled

Joining the rear inside cover to the spine component. 

Joining the front inside cover to the spine component.

Stitching the credit card slot pockets. 

Stitching in the zip, as well as the stitching of the other pockets. 

The internal components are all stitched with the dark brown thread that matches the external leather colour. 

Adding the lower pocket to the upper credit card slot pocket section. 

Adding the Van der Spek 'tag'

Stitching the edges of the credit card pockets section

Preparing the outside cover

Positioning the clasp on the outside cover, using a template to align it accurately. 

Sewing the clasp to the outside cover, the outside uses thread colour that matches the internal leather colour.

The interior is complete and the 35 mm rings are there to be added too. 

Placing the interior parts on to the external cover. 

Applying some glue to hold the two sections in correct registration before sewing. 

Carefully lining up the interior assembly over the outer of the organiser. 

Applying glue to the edge before folding the outer edge over the interior before it is stitched.

Applying glue to the edge before folding the outer edge over the interior before it is stitched. 

Stitching the front and the back together. 

The closure is stitched the back cover and edge stitching is continues.

The organiser is finally stitched together. 

The finished organiser. 

And if you too would like a customised Van der Spek organiser made for you, you can find out more details on the Van der Spek website and also in the fans Facebook group.

Again thank you to Petra for all of the photographs.

Coming up tomorrow a review of this particular organiser and the chance to enter a competition to win your own Van der Spek Standard organiser.


  1. Awesome photos and so much to do to make this beautiful product. I love it. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Steve. It's fascinating to see these binders take shape.

  3. it is fascinating to see how perfect hand-made things can be.. lol! impressively skilled people!

  4. Lovely to see such craftsmanship and care in making these organisers. If Filofax could return to this level of quality, re-introduce Krause rings, and beef up the choice of diaries and leaves, I am sure they would also see an uptick in their business fortunes. From the look of these organisers, Van der Speckdeserve every bit of their increased sales.

  5. Is anyone else finding that when they post a comment, the first one just disappears, and its only the second one that stays? or is just me and my lack of skills? :(

  6. Really great post on an amazing process. If this doesn't make us appreciate these beautiful binders even more... I have zero sewing skills so I'm beyond overwhelmed by what they do and can't wait to experience my own hopefully soon to arrive Van der Spek binders. Thank you for another interesting read!