“Don’t worry, I’ve helped people through every mistake,” Amanda Parramoure said, as she helped a customer bind a book last spring.

Parramoure has quietly been going about her business of making leather journals and teaching others how to do so since she moved to Provo from Wisconsin last year. Most of her business has been in festivals and markets, such as the Freedom Festival, Springville Art City Days, Salt Lake City’s Farmer’s Market, and the Ogden Valley Balloon Festival to name a few. This Christmas, her workshops may be the saving grace for locals wanting to give a homemade gift that lasts longer than a plate of cookies.

Ready-made journals can be found on Parramoure’s website, myleatherlegacy.com. In her workshops, customers can experience journal-making for themselves and tell gift recipients (or themselves) that the journals were made with their own hands. Parramoure works with templates and pre-cut covers to facilitate book-making for those who never mastered the craft in a formal class or on their own. The journals are done with a “long-stitch” binding style and are 4.5 inches x 7 inches with 150-192 pages, depending on the workshop.

At the festival booths, the process begins with customizing some choices of material such as lining paper, cover color and charms, then there was folding, cutting and deckling the paper filler and then some intricate stitching.

“The needles are blunt for children, so you need to apply a little more pressure,” Parramoure said.

The workshops will have a more standardized journal to accommodate teaching many people at once, but for recipients who appreciate time as much as gifts from loved-ones, the results are just as customized. The journals run about $45-$60 each, whether customers choose to buy or make the books (for exact pricing see the website).

Parramoure started book art in her 20s when a friend’s father decided to invest in a bookbinding business that accommodated Parramoure’s schedule as a new mom. She learned how to repair and line scriptures and other time-worn books.

Now, mothering a 2-year-old again — and three other children — has inspired her to do more e-commerce and making sure she still gets out in the community to share the joy of creating these journals. She still does book repair from home.

Parramoure finds her materials from a variety of sources — Michael’s, Walmart, etc. — but the big-ticket items are locally sourced. The leather, for example, is mostly from Tandy in Orem. Her workshops this holiday season are in Bountiful (Wednesday and Nov. 19, and in Springville on Nov. 20.) For information and signups for the Springville workshop, visit wildhorsetimber.com/collections/makers-co/products/leather-journal-workshop.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Parramoure is always looking “forward,” channeling Utah’s commitment to industry to new business developments. In the works are a 15-minute book for kids and how-to videos and DIY kits for crafting journals at home.

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