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Old 06-03-2010, 08:56 AM
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3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

I apologize if this is not the right place to post this question. I looked for 20-30 minutes trying to find where to ask this question, and as it pertains to art journals I just opted for this sub forum. I am tired of having to spend so much money to buy sketch pad art journals that I fill up , sometimes in aas little as a few days. You know the spiral bound mead , canson and other brands. They are getting extremely expensive and come with what, 25,50 or if your lucky, 70 sheets. I am trying to find a way to create a three ring binder sketchpad/journal. But I have not been able to find any company that has thought to make drawing/sketch multimedia/mixed filler paper hole punched for just this purpose. I thought , surely someone must have thought of this but...noooo! that would apparently be to easy and would cut down on sales of those 17 dollar 50 page sketch pads. Kinkos sells all types of print and art related papers but they are extremely expensive and then they charge some extraordinary price to punch the wholes for binding. does anyone on this forum , in the U.S. know of a place or manufacturing company who makes such a product.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:06 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

If you're looking to just use a 3 ring binder it's easy enough to punch the holes in whatever paper you want to use yourself. Go to any office supply store, they sell 3 hole punches for less than $10. That's what I do to organize my printed out ref. photos.

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:39 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

The least expensive route to go is to get the large sheets (22x30 or larger) of the paper you like to use, get a 3-hole punch and 3 ring binder at an office supply house and go to it. The paper can be torn to size against a metal ruler, so no need for a paper cutter. Or, you can use scissors to cut your sheets down. You are limited in what size binders you can get.

The other option is to take your sheets (cut or torn) to the size you like and then talk to Kinko's about binding them. They have a machine that punches and spiral binds papers.

A final option is a simple hand bound book you make yourself. Again starting with the large sheets of paper. A couple of pieces of heavy cardboard or other suitable stiff material (covered and decorated or not), something to put small holes in the cardboard (an awl or even a nail), some button hole thread from the fabric store and a needle. Using a coptic stitch you can have an open spine, sewn book that opens flat with as many or as few pages at the size you desire. And with the orientation you desire either landscape or portrait.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:45 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Yeah. I'm with Debby -- it's cost effective to cut down large sheets of good paper or watercolor paper and then cut them to size. You may eventually want to invest in a paper cutter as well as a hole punch if you've got the space for it. Since you go through those Mead and Strathmore sketchbooks every week, I think the savings and time saved for cutting might pay for the paper cutter within a few months and it'd be good for decades. But if you like a deckle edge, ripping against a ruler is cheaper like she said and gives a pretty deckle edge.

Three ring binders are a good option. I used to own a spiral binding machine that I got for about $200 and the boxes of spiral bindings weren't too bad. But ring binders are so cheap and hold so many pages that it might be better to just use the hole punch.

I've been thinking of doing one like that for pastel papers -- making up some Colourfix primed 140lb watercolor paper cut down to 8 1/2" x 11" from big sheets, hole punching them, then cut glassine sheets with hole protectors to keep them from ripping to put between each page. It may take me a while cutting all the pages and putting it together, but once it's done it'd be a lot better than using something like a Canson pad with glassine bound in.

And like you said, it'd have a lot more pages.

Binders with clear plastic pockets on the outside would be great for sketchbooks, you could slip out one of your best pages and slide it into the front pocket to tell what that binder is. Or design a good art journal cover on a loose sheet to put in before starting. Also draw a spine insert on a long narrow piece done with the scraps from cutting big sheets down, so that when they're full and shelved you can tell which volume it is.

You also get the advantage that after cutting, your sheets are a good size to fit on the scanner. I always lose half an inch off the 9" x 12" pages when I scan them and don't always remember to mark off borders to keep that from mattering.

I admire you for sketching so much you fill one of those in a week! I'm building up toward trying to fill a sketchbook in a month, sometime I'll manage that.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:06 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Because of this new forum, I decided to make my own coptic stitch art journal, will post it when finished. There is a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHAJyzzb4EE which demonstrates how to coptic stitch. He also has another video which uses cardboard for the book board. You can get really creative and make your art journal your very own when you make it yourself. I used computer paper for the signatures and shoe box for the boards and decorated the boards using the FREE wallpaper book the paint store gave me. Got there just in time, the teachers usually fight over them, it was a first come first serve thing when it comes to getting wallpaper books.

EDA: I never had an art journal, I used to keep scraps and pieces of my ideas all lumped into a binder, it was so impersonal. Throwing my creativity into a plastic nameless binder...what a mess. Hopefully with my homemade journal my ideas/drawings/etc. will all be in one special place all bound with centuries old coptic binding, so mysterious. Artists are sooooo eccentric, lol.
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Last edited by FloatingDove : 06-03-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:13 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Here is the moleskin type coptic journal that I promised, just finished it, taught myself, see my previous entry for the video. There isn't anything in it yet, lol. I used card stock, 2 per signature, and hemp (found in jewelry dept at WM) to bind it and shoebox lids for the covers. The card stock was folded in half, so it measures 5.50x8.50. Hope you all like it. This is just one idea to save money buying sketch pads, you can buy a package of card stock for less than buying one sketch pad.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:16 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Here is the moleskin type coptic journal that I promised, just finished it, taught myself, see my previous entry for the video. There isn't anything in it yet, lol. I used card stock, 2 per signature, and hemp (found in jewelry dept at WM) to bind it and shoebox lids for the covers. The card stock was folded in half, so it measures 5.50x8.50. Hope you all like it. This is just one idea to save money buying sketch pads, you can buy a package of card stock for less than buying one sketch pad.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:27 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

I like your handmade book, Dove. I'm just not able to start a new project like bookbinding at this time.

As soon as I free up some time, I'm going to put together a book with comb type binding. I have a cover that has comb that can be opened and reloaded, and I willl punch the paper edges at our machine at the office. I plan to use my kraft paper (mentioned in another thread) along with Arches watercolor paper cut to 8.5 X 11 inches and Mi Tientes paper along with some good quality drawing paper. I can use whatever media I'm in the mood for and then at some point, open and rearrange by date and even rebind a group of drawings or studies with a new comb and new cover.

I think this will open up all possibilities and the books will have a consistent look on the shelf. I can even draw on a blank sheet, date it and then punch and bind later. For travel or carrying around in my car, I always can use up the sketch books I've purchased.

I think that for me this makes the most sense as I would like the variety of choices and would save money.

Every day I get mentally a little closer to moving forward with art.

Carole

Last edited by Carole A : 06-03-2010 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:24 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Dove, that is excellent. I like what you did to the covers too. It's possible to find archival card stock as well, at various hobby stores. I've seen it and it's not that costly -- but is just as permanent if you want an artist grade sketchbook. Also comes in wonderful colors if you want a multicolored book and like doing black & white on a tint or color on a tint.

wildthing423 -- this is exactly the forum to have a thread about making art journals from scratch. I might even pull some specialty papers out of pads and hole-punch them for a binder to have them in the same book and be able to rearrange where the colors fall when I use them.

That's another benefit to the 3 ring binder approach. The pages can get rearranged, if you want to put all the color swatches together at the back or if you want to use a different type of paper next but still have all the finished sketches before the unused paper. It'd also let me mix brands and types of specialty paper freely. The more I think about it, the more one of these days I need to hunt down a good empty binder and start cutting my specialty papers to size.

Canson Mi-Tientes comes in three different letter size assortment pads, very inexpensive pads. 8 1/2" x 11" already, they wouldn't even need trimming. I bought all three pads. Now all three are half used, I have loose sketches taped to the walls or stored in an archival box and they're all over. The pad binding is falling apart and each pad has at least a couple of loose sheets or chunks of sheets that came out when I pulled a sheet from one of the colors in the back.

If I deconstructed all three pads and hole-punched the remaining paper, stuck it in a good binder, I could rearrange pages as needed when I want to use a color from the back and not have to hunt down the other pad. I might try it with that one first, it'd be great for pastel pencils and colored pencils sketching.

I always had to take the sheets out anyway, since I like the smooth side of Mi-Tientes but it's bound with the wove side up in the pads. They were and are a good bargain for a lot of colors, but frustrating unless I start using them that way.
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Last edited by robertsloan2 : 06-04-2010 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:05 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Thanks, robertsloan2, I do have a 3 ring binder which is half the size of the regular 8.5x11 binders, (got it at Staples Office Supply)and I thought I would keep all my scraps of paper in it by hole-punching them and organizing them by theme; but; it was too much work for me. I found that if I made a sketchbook I would be forced to use it and carry it everywhere and all sketches/drawings/ideas would be in one place. I made another coptic bound using 11x14 legal computer paper and added more signatures so it will take a while to fill up. I really don't see many options for sketchbook artists who want to make their own sketchbooks at 1/3 the cost other than stitching and the binder. There MUST be another idea to organize sketches/drawings/ideas for those who don't have the time to learn coptic stitch. Maybe for loose scraps of paper a photo album would work for organization.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:24 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly. Do you want this for organization of various sketchs and artwork or for something you can carry around? If it's the former there is an option that may make a standard three ring binder work better for you, and you wouldnt' have to punch any holes. They make clear sheet holders that fit in three ring binders. Those holders would hold any size of artwork from 8.5 X 11 down without having to punch holes in any paper, it's not the most elegant solution and I'm still not sure it fits your requirements for economy. If you buy them in bulk they don't cost that much, a box of 100 cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 if I remember right.

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Old 06-05-2010, 08:03 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Davekin, I just want to keep everything in one place and carry it around, hence the coptic stitch book which is easy if one takes the time. Here is a very interesting tutorial which explains how to make a simple canvas book. I suppose it can be done with cardboard and paper and ribbon, raffia, hemp, linen, or whatever is on hand at the moment to tie it up. I posted this link for the original poster of this thread and others who might be interested in creating their own journals without spending a fortune and its not time consuming like the coptic stitch, it really looks neat.


http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...McL78AbPwoHICg
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:37 PM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Sorry, I didn't realize you weren't the original poster. If it requires sewing I'm not interested. If I ever make a sketchbook from scratch it would most likely just be the three ring binder deal. For now I'm good enough with what's available on the market, I just have to have multiple books to cover every interest. I really don't mind the price, it actually doesn't seem like you could make one on your own any cheaper unless you find some incredible good deal on paper that you like.

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Old 06-06-2010, 08:18 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

how about making your own concertina fold book? just add pages as you go and make a permanent cover at the end? I've done this in a sketchbook exchange with a group of friends and it works really well. I've since used it to make books for myself.

With this you can use different papers too. Just use paper hinges on the back to join elements.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:04 AM
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Re: 3 ring binder art journal/sketch book

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
Yeah. I'm with Debby -- it's cost effective to cut down large sheets of good paper or watercolor paper and then cut them to size. You may eventually want to invest in a paper cutter as well as a hole punch if you've got the space for it. Since you go through those Mead and Strathmore sketchbooks every week, I think the savings and time saved for cutting might pay for the paper cutter within a few months and it'd be good for decades. But if you like a deckle edge, ripping against a ruler is cheaper like she said and gives a pretty deckle edge.

Three ring binders are a good option. I used to own a spiral binding machine that I got for about $200 and the boxes of spiral bindings weren't too bad. But ring binders are so cheap and hold so many pages that it might be better to just use the hole punch.

I've been thinking of doing one like that for pastel papers -- making up some Colourfix primed 140lb watercolor paper cut down to 8 1/2" x 11" from big sheets, hole punching them, then cut glassine sheets with hole protectors to keep them from ripping to put between each page. It may take me a while cutting all the pages and putting it together, but once it's done it'd be a lot better than using something like a Canson pad with glassine bound in.

And like you said, it'd have a lot more pages.

Binders with clear plastic pockets on the outside would be great for sketchbooks, you could slip out one of your best pages and slide it into the front pocket to tell what that binder is. Or design a good art journal cover on a loose sheet to put in before starting. Also draw a spine insert on a long narrow piece done with the scraps from cutting big sheets down, so that when they're full and shelved you can tell which volume it is.

You also get the advantage that after cutting, your sheets are a good size to fit on the scanner. I always lose half an inch off the 9" x 12" pages when I scan them and don't always remember to mark off borders to keep that from mattering.

I admire you for sketching so much you fill one of those in a week! I'm building up toward trying to fill a sketchbook in a month, sometime I'll manage that.



well, Its not so admirable, really. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I use these to sorta of journal what I think or feel about what ever events occur through out my life, as well as , concepts and design.


Mark
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