View Full Version : Making sketchbooks from paper I like.

11-11-2010, 10:15 PM
Months ago, I was reading an artists blog and she recommended getting paper samplers to discover what kinds of paper you like working with. Since I was not entirely happy with Stonehenge for my colored pencil work, I thought that was a good idea. I found that Legion Paper (http://www.legionpaper.com/Sample-Department.htm) has samples of paper for sale. I bought 2 boxes of "drawing paper" samplers. It was so fun to scribble and erase, use pen and water color pencils on all the different papers. There was one that I found outstanding for the media I like to work in. It was Acquerello Portofino, a 140lb. hot press water color paper. When I went to order it, it was out of stock. It was out of stock for months and I was just about resigned to getting my second choice, BFK Rives. But, finally, the waiting was at an end and I got 10 sheets of it.


It was so pretty! :D I had decided that I should have sketchbooks of this paper so that anything I discovered for techniques or practice was applicable to a finished project. So, I took some of the sheets and figured out a couple of different size sketchbooks.


I folded and tore the paper so the edges were "rustic".


These are 8x10, 5.5x7.5 and 6x5. I'm thinking of taking half of the last pile and going with the original thought of a small 3x5 book.

11-11-2010, 10:25 PM
I decided to make the middle size first. I wanted a book that would open flat and had seen a ribbon sewn into an open spine book that looked interesting.


After I stitched the pages together, I realized I could have done it differently to avoid the line across the middle. Next time.

Then I used some black fabric I backed with tissue paper to cover 2 book boards 3/32 thick.


One is the inside of the covers, the other is the outside. I cut slits in the covers to allow me to weave the ribbon in and out.


Then I glued the ribbon ends and trimmed them off. I had glued a paste down to the pages and now glued the cover to the paste down.


And it does indeed open flat. :cool:


Thanks for looking. As I finish the rest of the books, I'll add to this thread.

11-11-2010, 11:09 PM
That is way cool, Debby! Last year my daughter and I took a little workshop where we made a book sorta like that (but not exactly, no ribbon!). I'm not sure what I did with mine. . . will have to look for it again now as this thread reminded me of it :)

Look forward to seeing your other books.

11-12-2010, 12:21 AM
What a great accomplishment, making your own books, and it looks fantastic. You will really enjoy coloring them up! :clap:

11-12-2010, 12:56 AM
:clap: Wow, that is a great book.:clap: Thanks so much for your description too, I'm saving it for future reference. Every so often I try to make a book, but none have been real successful. How do you attach the tissue paper to the material? Some kind of spray adhesive?


11-12-2010, 01:13 AM
Thanks for all your positive responses.

To answer the question about attaching the tissue paper to the fabric, in this case, I used wheat paste. I wouldn't recommend it. It was sloppy and got on the "outside" of the fabric. Then, when I applied glue to attach the fabric to the board, the paper tried to de-laminate. It turned out ok in the end, but was a bit of a bother while doing.

I have discovered a better way. Use the iron on stuff to apply appliques to "glue" the fabric to the paper. You can find it at any fabric store. I used it for another bit of fabric I was planning on using for the smallest book. It worked beautifully. However, I ran out of book board and have to order some before I can continue to finish the other books I have waiting. :D

11-12-2010, 04:59 AM
What a cool idea! A good point about practicing on the papers you intend to use for final pieces instead of always just saving them for the finished project.

An idea for the glue may be to use scrapbooking glue. The one I have from my scrapbooking days works on paper/cardstock/fabrics/ribbon etc pretty well and is acid free/archival.

11-12-2010, 10:59 AM
Great idea, and a wonderful way to make a sketchbook even more special!

11-13-2010, 12:02 AM
What a lovely sketchbook Debby, it looks great and so unique! Could this be another business undertaking.....?!! I think these would go down really well at an art market :)

11-13-2010, 12:28 AM
Very cool sketchbook.. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :clap: DIY is the best way to go...

11-13-2010, 07:44 AM
it looks gorgeous - I'm going to have a go at the end of the year as my current diary has a really beautiful cover, with no words on it, and a metallic fastening.

It's far too good to throw away and I was thinking of doing something like this with it.

I like the idea of tearing the paper - I don't do 'neat' very well! so that would really suit me, I was going to cut it - which would show any un-neatness cruelly, this is much better :)

Carole A
11-13-2010, 02:05 PM
Debby ~ That's so exceptional! I've always suspected that you got more than your share of patience and mine too.

Looking forward to seeing your next book, and looking forward to seeing you start to fill them up and posting here.

Carole A

11-13-2010, 06:20 PM
Thanks everyone for your positive and enthusiastic responses.

Jackie, another business... hmm... hadn't thought about it. Maybe I should.

Carole, I never considered myself patient. I've always been a "but, I want it now!" kind of person. LOL

11-21-2010, 01:53 AM
That is awesome. Making your own sketchbook is fun to do :)

11-24-2010, 11:26 AM
Debby, this is fabulous! I was just about to post a question to see if anyone had done their own journals. I love the way you did the cover too. Do you mind telling me where you saw the instructions on how to do that with the ribbons?

11-24-2010, 11:37 PM
I have a book called "Bookbinding Techniques and Projects" by Josep Cambras. ISBN-13:978-0-6084-4.

There are lots of cool projects. Tho' he does mention equipment the average person doesn't have in their studio. I made do with things like large books and my husbands weights to weigh things down while glue was drying.

11-25-2010, 07:47 AM

12-02-2010, 12:43 AM
So pretty! Love the footprints on the ribbon :) :) :)