One hour sketch book

I have been invited to teach a class on how to make sketchbooks. I figured the simplest and most practical design would be best for the class. The 124 page book pictured below was made in one hour — it usually takes at least a couple hours. What I did differently was to really simplify the cover, allowing it to be as protective as possible, hopefully somewhat attractive in a utilitarian sort of way, and letting the bulk of the creation time to be dedicated to sewing the signatures of the book block. I also really like the idea of re-purposing inexpensive but sturdy and useful materials, so I decided to make the cover out of a simple hanging folder. My son said last night that he wanted a new sketch book so I took the opportunity to try and make the design above. Here’s how it turned out:

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I think it will be a good book to make for the class. Quick and relatively easy, sturdy and practical.

3 Responses to “One hour sketch book”


  • I love writing with my fountain pen. Your idea look like very practical. Leather journal usually cost much more, but with this alternative, I think it will be nice. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for this post. I’d love to make my own, but I’m a bit confused about how you bind something like this. Would you be willing to share your method? Thanks so much!

  • Yes, I’ll be posting a “how-to” on this very soon – just as soon as deadlines allow. Thanks!

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