Healthy mind: Therapy journal made from Kombucha leather


Hi all,

I’m Fay and I’m new here (nice to e-meet you :sunny: ). I’m a recently graduated industrial designer who’s participating in the Biofab Bootcamp of Glimps. It’s been really fun and educational so far!

One of the little projects I’m working on is a therapy notebook made with kombucha leather (or paper). The first step in the bigger story on healthy mind in a healthy body in a healthy world that I want to explore, more on that in the future :wink:.

The idea came from flipping the current problem of kombucha leather not being very durable to seeing it as an opportunity: where could this temporary nature be a value rather than a restriction? Since I am a notebook addict myself (I still keep a written agenda rather than an online one), the idea of a vanishing notebook intrigued me a lot. Because both writing and nature can be so therapeutic, I wanted to combine the two.

I envision that it works kind of like the wreck it journal, where you are encouraged to use, break, explore etc… the object as a way of healing or a tool for recovery. It disappears as you need it less. In the end the journal is gone, but you gained something far more valuable and permanent in return.

One of my first little experiments was just coloring a sheet of kombucha leather and then trying to write on it. I really love the texture, and it rips just like paper (which is actually very satisfying as well). I’ve been carrying it around for 3 weeks now and it still looks very good.

Using this idea as a starting point, I want to experiment with other materials as well, as I was hugely inspired by the bioplastics and biohacking workshop I followed last weekend. I also found this example of stitching leaves together which would be cool to try out as well.

Some questions I’m asking myself:

  • Can we create paper without using the standard, destructive approach of reducing everything to pulp?
  • Can we preserve or infuse some beneficial attributes from plants into the paper?
  • What natural glues or other ways of connecting can we use to create the pages and bind them together?
  • How long does the notebook last and can you play with/stear how it degrades?
  • Can we make these pages experiencable through smell, touch, by adding prompts and activities, . . .
  • Question for a later date but no less important: with what do you write in the notebook and how does it relate to the sustainable nature of the notebook? Can you use a pencil to avoid using toxic ink? Does it come with natural ink?

my imagination is going a bit wild, but I am really excited to start testing some stuff out and see where these biomaterials are going to take me. I’ll keep you all updated here as well!


I feel you. I have been experimenting with new recipes myself after trying materioms library… can’t stop making! Do you know of any other good resources to check out for recipes?