Personalized Hand Bound Travel Books with Custom Maps

| Taylors, South Carolina

Star Seller.

This seller sets a shining example for providing a great customer experience, with a history of 5-star reviews, on-time shipping, and quick replies to any messages they received.

Announcement    Featured in Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the best travel journals to bring on your adventure! Be among the thousands of happy travelers worldwide that keep their precious memories in these unique books.


Last updated on Nov 16, 2020

Featured in Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the best travel journals to bring on your adventure! Be among the thousands of happy travelers worldwide that keep their precious memories in these unique books.



All Items

Cindy Leaders

Contact shop owner

Cindy Leaders


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
See reviews that mention:
Quality 215 Shipping 198 Customer service 252


About FreeRangeBookbinding

Sales 6,207
On Etsy since 2007

Bookbinding: A Love Story

Some time in 2007, I became obsessed with handmade books. Exposed spine coptic bound books, to be precise. I saw a photo of one online and became absolutely driven to learn how to make them.

I had to make books.

Had. To.

I bought half a dozen instructional manuals to try to teach myself, but as a kinetic learner, I just couldn't get the process from a flat page. (Have you ever looked at knitting instructions? Stitching instructions for books are very similar. Yeah. Not happening.)

I finally gave up on teaching myself and searched the internet to look for a class somewhere close to me. I stumbled upon a place I'd never heard of: John C. Campbell Folk School.

They had me at hello.

It was a lot of money to spend on something that seemed a little frivolous in light of other pressing demands of the day. But in May 2007, I spent a week at the Folk School learning how to make books. Little did I know what a life changing week that would be.

I got home, bought basic bookbinding supplies and immediately set up a shop in my home office. I had no plans whatsoever, even then, to make a business out of bookbinding. I just had to make books. I couldn't stop.

By the end of the summer, the books were really starting to pile up. Like, literally. Around that same time, I heard about a little website called Etsy. I decided to give it a try.

Years later, the office is now the studio, and I work at making books full time. I'm still obsessed.

I have to make books.

Have. To.

In 2015, I came full circle and taught a week long class in bookbinding at the Folk School myself. I turned out five new bookbinders that I think are a little obsessed themselves now. It's contagious. After great reviews, I was invited back in 2016. You can read about it at my shop website.

If you got this far, thanks for listening. Buy handmade.

Shop members

  • Cindy Leaders

    Owner, Designer, Creator

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Nov 10, 2020
Frequently asked questions
Can you pinky swear promise I'll get my book in time for [insert Important Occasion here]?

Well, no. I can only personally guarantee a ship date, not a delivery date, since once I mail it, I'm not in charge of when it's delivered. Unless I bring it to your house. Which I'm happy to do if you live in my home town. Otherwise we both have to trust to USPS to do its job in a timely manner. I offer upgraded shipping on every item, so please go with your own personal trust level in the postal service to get it to you in the available time.

A lot of your travel journals look kind of the same. Can you explain the differences?

I've pared my shop down during a big life transition of selling and moving house, so all of my books are currently one design -- my compact versatile travel journal. The only thing that varies is the cover. Hopefully we will settle back down in 2021, and I will begin offering my full range of products again.

Can I return my item if my plans change?

Probably not with rare exceptions. You'll see in my policies that custom or personalized items may not be returned. This includes items that are custom made for you, even if they are not personalized. Unless your book is listed as "Ready to Ship," I'm making it just for you, and it is not returnable.