Handmade Sketch Book

Nothing like a $10 bouquet of roses to cheer a girl up. 

Okay, back to the drawing board, and out of this funk…

So, my little sketchbook that I carry around with me was pretty much full.

So, I decided to make a new one instead of buying one.

I used watercolor paper and the cardboard from the back of the pad.  I chose watercolor paper because it thick and won't bleed through when using permanent markers and can also hold up to getting wet and holding paint and other mediums.  (Sorry for the really messy work table — very distracting!)

I covered the cardboard in some pretty Japanese Paper from my wall of paper collection:

Putting glue on the cardboard.

Make sure the glue is evenly distributed to the edges of the cardboard with a bone folder.

Cut the edges off on each of the corners so that you can create beautifully mitered corners.  Make sure you don't cut too close to the edge or the cardboard will show through.

Glue down the edges, folding and tucking the paper in the four corners so that the paper lays smoothly.

Mitered corners.

The front and back covers.  Now comes the binding part with the front and back cover and the watercolor paper.  I have a Zutter Binding System, which basically creates a spiral type binding.  But first, I'm going to clean off my work table.

Here is the book all bound.  (Notice how clean my work table is now?) Also, notice at the top of the book.  I punched the wrong side.  No worries.  I'm just going to run a bit of ribbon through the holes.

The book didn't turn out perfectly.  In the future, I would make the inside pages a little smaller and not have so many pages so the binding wasn't so tight.  But overall, I'm pleased with my effort.

If you don't have a binding system, there are still plenty of ways you can create your own book:

You can use (from the top counter clock wise) 

  • a Crop a Dile, which punches holes through thick cardboard, plastic, and other challenging surfaces, 
  • a paper drill (which I purchased from Paper Source several years ago for $45, pricey, but it goes through several thicknesses of paper by rotating the tool back and forth).
  • a regular hand held punch (which won't go through cardboard very easily, just make sure the cardboard is fairly thin)
  • a two hole punch which is also fairly sturdy and can go through a few sheets of paper and should be able to handle cardboard.  

Use binder rings to hold your book together.  These rings are available at any office supply store.

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