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Have you ever had trouble finding just the right sketchbook? Maybe you can’t find the right kind of paper, or they are just too darn expensive. Well, it’s easier than you think to make one of your own, and everything you need might already be lying around your house.

Why Make Your Own Sketchbooks?

- Chose your own paper: tired of working on those A5 papers? Want to use a heavier paper? Maybe you think enviromental and want to use some recycled paper. Well in this instructable the choice is up to you!

- Almost free: you go to the store or your art supply dealer and you see the prices on those sketchbooks. A cheap one costs almost 5 euro's while a professional one is easily 10 euro's. And we all know times are rough so a penny saved is a penny earned. The book in this instructable was completly free and even if you need to get some of the materials you can easilly make 5 books for under 5 euro!

- Get creative!: you need a sketchbook so this probably means you consider yourself to be a creative person. Why do you keep buying those every day sketchbooks then? Go creative! Print your own personalized cover or draw your own!

This instructable started out on the train to my school. Since we're in full examn period now I really didn't have the time to work on any of my projects but with 20 minutes to spare on the train I found my favorite past time: doodling! So I went to the store to get myself a nice little sketchbook to use on the train and while I was flipping through them I realized why can't I make my own? I bet it will be cheaper to!

Now my design is very easy normally everyone can do it. We won't be binding anything or even glueing for that matter. Just 8 staples and some tape is all we need.

This is the second one I made and like all my instructables I give some options you can use on your own sketchbook. Like every instructable you will probably give your own touch to it and I will suggest some things. If you have some better idea's though please comment and if there good I will add them with credit.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Now I expect everybody to have these at home but if not you'll probably find them in the hardwarestore for very little money. I had all these things laying around so this project was free for me.

- 1 ruler
- 1 pen
- 1 stapler (with 8 staples)
-  Electrical tape in the color of your choice ( duct tape fanatics can use there beloved product to :D )
- Drawing paper 26 sheets (this instructable uses ordinary printpaper A4 size)
- A knife
- Scissors (for when the knife doesn't work
- A cut plank (I used a breadplank)
- Cornflakes box or a cardboard of your choice


Step 2: Cutting the pages

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Okay my current design can hold 50 pages which in my opinion is more then enough for a single sketchbook.

So take your 25 pages and laye them in front of you horizontaly. If you want 50 pages exactly it is probably better to take a few extras in case some get damaged while cutting. I used 26 pages since I use pen on the first page and then throw that one away after cutting.

Then take your ruler and draw a line so that you have the same pagesize on both ends. Then take your knife and start going over the line. This will probably take up to 7-8 times before your through them all. Ofcourse if you want to you can always use scissors but it's just more measuring and using the knife is pretty easy. If your cutting don't forget to put a cuttingplank under it ;)

Design options: so here is one which is pretty obvious. If you want a smaller sketchbook then just adjust your size to whatever fits you best. The same goes for your paperweight and thickness. Keep in mind though that the thicker the page the less pages you can put in your book (in my design anyways)

Step 3: Staple the pages

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Now it's time to staple the pages. Now I know most instructables advise glueing, binding and those possibilities are fine but just to time consuming. Instead I stapled them together. Now the standard staple will just go through 50 pages so it is perfect to use.

You may or may not have to open your stapler to be able to press through them all. With me it worked without. So just staple one side of the paper you want it to flip open to. I used 8 staples and it holds up perfectly. You'll notice that the staples come out a little bit on the other side. The last pages should be tightly secured as well. If not consider stapling the other side to.

Design note:
So again you have the option, you can make your book open upwards or downwards it's your choice :)

Step 4: The cover

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I mader my cover off cerealbox cardboard. It's something everybody has in there home and easily bendable and durable. If you however choose to have a papercover skip this step and go to 6. Or if you want a hard cover choose your cardboard accordingly. I chose cerealbox because it was laying around here and I needed something bendable for on the train.

So first cut open your cardboardbox through the sides since we won't need those. Then spread it on the table. Now flip the box so the printed side is up. Now put your stapled together papers on the carboard and trace the shape with a pen. It doesn't need to be exact as long as it is straight so use a ruler. I made mine a few milimeters larger then the paper. Repeat this step for the backcover.

Use those lines to cut out your shape using scissors.

Now you have your two covers it's time to continue to "attaching the cover!"

Design notes: in this instructable I will use the unprinted back of the cardboard to make a  drawing for my cover (more info on that later). Ofcourse there are other options. For example you can print your own image and paste it on the cardboard. You can leave the cerealbox print on it for that funny sight when it looks like your drawing inside a cerealbox. There are hunderds of other options so go nuts :D

Step 5: Attaching the cover

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Okay now to attach the cover.

I used electrical tape since it gives a much classier look then duct tape. But whatever does it for you is good :)

Now I decided to use the unprinted side of the cardboard as cover as I intend to make a coverdrawing for it. Again the choice is up to you.

Now let's get started:

1) put your cover on your paper and then take a piece of electrical tape and tape it over the top so it covers the top part of the cover and part of the paper on the other side.(see picture 1)

2) Now take another piece of electrical tape and stick it on the cover (on the side where you stapled the paper). Then go around the book. You'll notice that this way you will also secure the side of the book. (see on picture 2) We do this so that the book is stronger. Normally the cover shouldn't come loose anymore. If it should just use more tape.

Now do these two steps again for the back cover.

Now when you open the book you will notice that it isn't that handy for drawing. So just use a ruler to bend your cardboard just where the black electrical tape ends. This way the book will open nicely and is perfect for drawing. (picture 3 in this step)

Step 6: Getting that sketchbook feel

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Now I just used black electrical tape to make the sketchbook look more appealing. In the pictures you'll notice I used the tape to make a frame on both covers so I could draw in them later on. And I also used black tape to cover the kellogs print on the inside.

And that's it actually. Pretty easy stuff.

Step 7: Get creative!

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Now that's all folks. Now to draw a cover picture and the book is ready for use!

But don't just do what I did (unless you can't think of anything better)

Get creative!

- Use different sheets of paper: color, size, recycled....
- print out covers
- use your favorite cookiebox as a cover!
- draw your own cover like I did
- the sky's the limit!

Thank you for reading. Please don't forget to rate it's the rating and comments that keep me going.
Also if you notice any spellingerrors, if you have questions or just something to say please comment. Also if you decide to make this or use it as inspiration please post pictures. During the making of this I had a wonderfull idea for another notebook but you'll see that when it's done ;)

Excuse me for my bad English, it's not my first language.


FCardinal4 years ago
What's your first language?
Great! I really like this!
EpicZombie5 years ago
i got very good result
LoneWolf5 years ago
Nice job :)
MichelMoermans (author)  LoneWolf5 years ago
Thank you :)
Your welcome :)

If it's at all possible, would you mind adding this instructable to my group called "PWMMOP" standing for "People Who Make Marks On Paper". You don't have to stay a member if you don't want to.

Thanks!!! :)
l8nite5 years ago
nicely done "ible"  I like using the spiral bound index cards, they are fairly inexpensive and very portable, a mechanical pencil and eraser pen fit in the spiral binding so its compact. They are a little small but the portablity far out weighs that. I have one in each car and one in my favorite coat
Wolf Seril5 years ago
I approve of the CAD reference.

Cool idea, but I prefer spiral bound sketch books.
MichelMoermans (author)  Wolf Seril5 years ago
Thank you for commenting

Yeah that is one of the funniest bits in CAD so I just had to use it :D

Yeah I was thinking about making a spiral version but the only thing I could come up with is either harvest it from another notebook (and what's the point in that then?) or using keychainholders but that seemed like a stupid idea. And this was just so easy to make I chose this version