How to: Make an Artist's Sketchbook
I have used my own handmade sketchbooks for quite some time now. It like that the size is somewhat bigger than A5 but still small enough to tuck into a bag easily. I also like using an assortment of paper. I like how it looks, and it also helps to get over that ‘but I don’t want to spoil my blank white sketchbook’ feeling that you can have when faced with a new sketch. Onto by last one now, I spent an evening making some new ones last week, and at last minute, I remembered to take some photos to share the process here.
1. I use vintage Little Golden books and assorted other papers. I like to use the leftover pages from used exercise books and other work books that the kids take home from school, as well as drawing paper from spiral-bound sketchbooks, and pages from various op-shopped books (think cookbooks, dictionaries and sheet music). Note: steer away from glossy paper as it is not so nice to work on with paint or ink.
2. Using a Stanley knife and steel ruler I trim the spine from the Golden book. The covers are used as the covers for the sketch books and the pages are mixed in with the rest of the paper. The extra papers are all trimmed to the same size as the book covers.
3. The assorted pages are mixed together. (I made five books at once, hence the five stacks pictured above.)
4. I used my Zutter Bind-It-All to punch holes, but you could probably get them punched at your local printer.
… lots of holes punched…
5. There is a range of binders available with the Zutter binder, but I like making my own spiral binding – I can make it the size I like, and it’s a little bit sturdier. I wrap some wire around our broom handle, making sure I have at least as many loops as there are holes in the sketchbook.
6. I stretch out the wire coil to the length of the book and then insert it into the book corkscrew-style.
7. The ends of the wire are turned in with pliers (see pictures below). Note: many of the assorted papers I used were roughly A4 size to start with, meaning that I could only cut one page from a paper, with a fair size piece left over. I like to cut the leftover bits to the same size and keep them handy by the computer for notes and things.