How to Make a Sketchbook

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What better way to personalize your sketchbook than to make it yourself? When you make your own sketchbook, you have complete control over the quality of the paper, dimensions, cover, binding and thickness. These little sketchbooks are treasures even before you fill them with your precious drawings. They also make wonderful, heartfelt gifts. Not an artist? You can use them as journals, scrapbooks, homemade recipe books or even appointment books.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 large sheets of drawing paper
  • Fabric or carpet tape
  • Cardboard (medium thickness)
  • Large needle
  • Heavy thread
  • Glue
  • Fold each sheet of the drawing paper in half horizontally. Then fold in half again, this time vertically.

  • Stack the sheets with the folded edges at the top of one side. Even them up.

  • Using the needle and thread, sew a straight line down the folded edges of the stack, on the long side. This will be your binding. If it's easier, poke holes through the paper before you sew. This might especially be helpful if your paper is very thick. Sew until you get to the end of the line. Then sew back up to the top, using the same holes you originally used.

  • Cut out two pieces of cardboard for the covers. Glue them to the front and back pages of the sketchbook. If you'd like, cover the cardboard with special paper, fabric or wallpaper before you glue it on. Put the sketchbook under a pile of heavy books while the glue dries.

  • Cut a piece of fabric or carpet tape the same length as your binding. Carefully place the tape around your binding. This strengthens your binding and adds trim.

  • The edge of one of the short sides of your sketchbook will still be in folds. Using a ruler, slit the folded edges of the paper open. This gives your paper the hand-torn look you see in older books. For a crisper look, use scissors or a razor blade.

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