Monday, December 23, 2013

Make an 80–Page Sketchbook for 50 Cents

Instead of wrapping gifts, I did what I always do this time of year: I started a new project.

I couldn’t help myself. I had already planned to make my daughter a sketchbook using a 40–page sketch pad from Dollar Tree. $1 for a 9x12 sketchbook ! If you cut the pages in half, you get two sketchbooks. That’s 50 cents per sketchbook if you use junk you already have to make the cover.


This is one of those projects where I had a vague idea of what the finished project would be. Otherwise, I just tried stuff.

For the sketchbook cover, I wove together cardstock cut into half–inch strips. Just like in first–grade art class. The strips are offcuts that my daughter got for free from the local printer for an art installation. I glued the strips on the ends to secure each row.


My daughter hauls her sketchbooks everywhere, so I figured I needed to protect the woven ends from wear. I folded one of the half–inch strips in half the long way and glued it down over all four sides of the weaving after I trimmed the edges flush. It was like paper bias tape.


I used a fast–drying paper glue. No patience here.


I thought about doing a fancy stitch booklet, and then I came to my senses and chose a simple pamphlet stitch. Mere days before Christmas is no time to get fancy.

I cut each piece of paper in half along the long edge and then folded the block in half to make a signature of 80 pages total (40 folded in half). I’ll make another sketchbook with the second pile of paper.


I scored the woven cardstock at three points to make a trifold sketchbook. I then poked holes in the paper and sewed the signature block to the cover using silk embroidery ribbon. You use what you have when it’s late.


You can see the silk ribbon below on the spine. It fades from red to hot pink.


The pages were so thick that I had to trim all the pages flush.


I mulled a few closure ideas (hook and loop tape, snaps, etc…) before I simply sewed on a mother–of–pearl button on one side and waxed cord on the other side.


I finished the cover with a light coat of MicroGlaze rubbed into the paper. The glaze made the cardstock red richer and should waterproof the paper.

I finished the sketchbook in one day and watched several episodes of Grimm besides. I enjoyed every minute of the making.

This sketchbook is for my daughter. I have a pile of turquoise paper strips that I can turn into a 50–cent sketchbook for me too. But after Christmas. I started a t–shirt quilt last weekend too. You can’t deny the craftiness.

Are you frantically crafting too?




  1. Creative mind give rise to new things. People should try to make these new things. Keep sharing more creative stuff, thank you!

  2. Now this is what I call perfect post, you made it look so easy and am sure everyone can make it. I will definitly going to try it and hope that I will do good. Thank you for sharing it with us


Tell me what you think!