April 9, 2015

Guide to Faux Doris: The Cover

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about my Foxy Dori and other favorite planning tools. I was excited to talk about and hoped others would interested in reading about it... but I never expected the reaction I got! I can't tell you how many people have bought one or told me they're planning to get one soon. I didn't discover traveler's notebooks, but I'm thrilled that I got to introduce the book blogging world to them!

After buying two more, I figured I'd do a follow-up post to share additional uses for a traveler's notebook. When I realized there were still some general questions about them, I decided to expand it into three parts:

Part One: The Cover
Part Two: The Inserts
Part Three: The Extras

In today's post, I'll cover the basics - what it is, how you can customize it, and how you put stuff in it. Tomorrow, I'll focus on how you could use it, including what goes inside! I'll share insert options and other fun accessories that you could include in yours. And next week, I'll share some fun extras that you don't need but might want.

Although it seems a little confusing, a faux dori is just a leather (or cloth) notebook cover. When you buy one, you're purchasing what you see above - the cover with elastics inside and an elastic closure. You'll then buy whatever notebooks (inserts) or other accessories (folders, etc.) that you want inside. It's almost like when you get a three-ring binder! You'd get the binder, and then you'd buy notebook paper, dividers and more.

It depends on the brand! The Midori brand is not really customizable, but many of the faux dori brands do allow for customization. Here are some of the things you can choose with Foxy Doris (the following photos come from the current Foxy Fix Etsy listings, but the colors/options are subject to change):

LEATHER / There are three Foxy Dori leather options: Custom Color, Bay Leather and Wanderlust. As I explained in my first post, they differ in thickness, texture and flexibility. My Wanderlust (black one in top picture) is the thickest, most textured and most flexible. The custom colors (blue and tan above) are thinner but also stiffer.

SIZE / The size you get depends on the size of your inserts and how many of them you want inside:
  • The smallest sizes fit 3.5 in. x 5.5 in. notebooks: Pocket Slim (1-3 notebooks) and Pocket (3-6). 
  • The medium sizes fit 4.5 in. x 8.5 in. notebooks ("standard"): Regular (1-4) and Regular Extra Room (4-6). 
  • The larger sizes fit 4.5 in. x 8.25 in notebooks (May Books): Slim (1-2), Wide (3-6, but I don't like more than 4 in mine) and Extra Wide (6+ or 1-3 A5 notebooks). 
COLOR / There are seventeen color choices for your cover! I have Paradise (10) and Sand Dollar (17).

ELASTIC / With Foxy Doris, you get to choose the elastic color. There are seventeen options! I have the black elastic (Q) on two of mine, and the mint elastic (N) on one.
BINDING / There are three options for the inside binding: single strand, double strand and quadruple strand. I have one with a double strand, and two with a quadruple strand. You can fit more notebooks/inserts than the number of strands inside, but I would take the number of notebooks you want to have inside into consideration.

STRAP / You can choose to have either one or two straps to close your Foxy Dori. I only have one strap on all of my Foxy Doris. The elastic is run through a hole is in the middle of the back cover. Some people prefer two if they have a ton of stuff inside though, but that's up to you!

STAMP / There's also the option to have a stamp and monogram on the cover. None of mine have a stamp, but lots of people get one. Browse #FoxyDori or #FoxyFix on Instagram to see pictures!

As I said in my first post, these leather notebook covers were first created by a company called Midori. If you buy anything else, they're typically called "faux doris." I've highlighted Foxy Doris because that's what I have (and love!), but there are more options. I've included some below! If you decide to purchase a Foxy Dori, keep in mind that her shop currently restocks every morning at 8 a.m. ET.

That depends on how many inserts and strands you have inside! If you have the same number of strands as you have notebooks, it's super simple. You just open the book to the middle (where you can see the thread or staples depending on how the insert is bound) and wrap it around the elastic. Boom! You're done.

But what if you have more inserts than strands? That's not a problem! You will need some type of rubber band (I have the Midori refill bands), but these file bands are a cheaper option if you can find them.

I'm going to use my Paradise Foxy to show you how this works! In this example, here's what I want inside: four notebooks, a folder, a business card holder and a dashboard. (I'll explain these terms tomorrow!)

I opened the first notebook to the middle, opened the second notebook to the middle and slid a rubber band around both. The two notebooks are now hooked together. Then, I slid the two attached books around an elastic. In the second picture, you see the back of one book and the front cover of the second book. You should be able to see the black elastic in between the two.

Next, I take the third notebook and open it to the middle. It wraps around the elastic - just like you do when you're just using one notebook per elastic. As you see in the second picture, you've now got three notebooks wrapped around one elastic! I want this in the "back" of my Foxy, so I put it on the second strand. 

Everything else will go on the first strand! Aside from the fourth notebook, everything else I want to put inside is very thin. Instead of using rubber bands, all of these items can basically wrap around each other. If you're looking at the second picture, you'll notice the notebook at the very center. I've then wrapped the folder (horses) around the notebook, the business card holder around those two things, and the dashboard around all of it. The first elastic strand will be in the center of the notebook.

You can see everything I've got inside in the first picture! You can hopefully see the two "main" elastic strands, as well as the rubber band holding two books together. And when you close it all, it's not even stuffed. There are lots of people who decide to put even more notebooks inside, but that's up to you!

NO! The most difficult part is probably deciding on the color! It's a lot of options, but most are simple decisions depending solely on your preferences.  Remember: you can put as little or as much inside as you want. For example, you could easily put just two books inside - and nothing else! There's no reason you have to stuff yours with inserts and accessories. And if you still need help, this video is a great resource for getting started.

You know what's even better? You can change your mind as often as you like with this type of notebook. If you find you're not using a certain insert, you can just take it out. Tired of a folder? Swap it out for a different one. Not working for blog planning? Use it for life stuff instead. It's that simple.

Ready to put stuff inside your faux dori?
Tomorrow's post is for you!


  1. I really wish I had a reason to buy these, but at the moment I only use one notebook as a planner! Definitely keeping these in mind for when my life is a little busier or the next time I travel, though!

  2. Obviously, you are the queen of Foxy Doris (and totally a trendsetter). I've loved using mine since you talked me into getting one - and definitely think I'd invest in grabbing more in the future :) Love the details you've shared in this post, H!

  3. I am confused on the insert size for the extra wide Foxy Dori --- does this mean it will fit (6 or more 4.5 in. x 8.25 in notebooks" or 1-3 A5 notebooks). Thanks :>)

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