Picture of The Amazing Twist-Locking Cardboard Sketchbook
I'm an artist. A year ago, the cover of my old sketchbook finally wore off from its ring bindings. I went around with a pitiful rubber band holding everything together for a month. I finally got sick of it and vowed to revive my beloved tome of imagination. One day I was looking through an idea book my art teacher had let me read when I stumbled upon what I was searching for. It was a hand-made book.

"Why don't I just rebind my sketchbook? " I thought. "Okay, I'm going to need to rebind it with something."

I searched for a material for my new book covers. Wood? Metal? Plastic? I couldn't find anything cool like that. But then I saw a box of large sheets of corrugated cardboard from old boxes. I love cardboard. Cut it, bend it, glue it, paint it, it's nothing but corrugated brown goodness. Not only is it a lot of fun to use, it's pretty durable and helps recycle. Armed with a hot glue gun, this was my process that I used to resurrect my sketchbook from the dead.

Step 1: Things You'll Need...

Picture of Things You'll Need...
You'll need-

-Sketchbook in need of repair or in need of new style (or both)
-Cardboard sheets
-A single hole punch
-Hot glue gun
-Box cutter or paper guillotine

For a twist-lock latch-

-An old CD spindle
-Dremel cutter or a hacksaw

You might also want a few items for decoration-

-Old circuit components
-Hardware bits
-Metal pieces
-More cardboard (because you can never have too much cardboard)

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A-N-A9 months ago

you need some good painting on it buddy,by the way mind blowing idea.

nmurdoch1 year ago
How would you do that with a hardcover sketchbook that's not got the binding and is sewn

How did you make the other three?! Must know, pleeeaasse?!

eyebot117 (author)  DropDeadShorty23201 year ago

The other book was a similar process with a velcro tab. The disk-shaped marker holder uses cardboard and cardboard tubes (to make the rounded outer edge) to make segments that can rotate around and nest inside eachother. Inside it is a hexagon wheel divided into three diamonds into which the markers insert. The pencil holder is simply a cardboard belt that wraps around a post in the canister. One wheel connects to the post to help wind the belt, and the other end rotates to close the door. I believe I also glued a pencil sharpener in there somewhere too. :)

Thank you!! Now you should make those for me ^_^ and I'll pay you.

This seems cool

I used this to fix/redesign my sketchbook after the cover ripped off.I covered it with a cool duct tape design and made multiple inside pockets and a pencil holder too.thanks for the inspiration!
HaleChimera2 years ago
Wow never thought of that
opalz72 years ago
The color pencil carrying case and the thingy on the right, how did you make those? will you please put an instructable up for those!
shepan132 years ago
Thanks for the Instructable. Here is my rendition
pudgytaco3 years ago
Now how did you hole punch the cardboard cover?
eyebot117 (author)  pudgytaco3 years ago
Single hole punch. Check your local office supply store. They should have them for a couple of bucks.
Maybe my hole punch was too weak or my cardboard was too thick, i just ended up drilling it.
zv_odd3 years ago
I say, this is rather clever.
moN1Ker3 years ago
I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see an instructable made for both the pencil belt and radial marker container. Like, I'll be bookmarking you on here and checking on you to see if you ever release them.

Props, this is a great instructable and a great idea.
nteri813 years ago
I LOVE IT!!!!!! Going to make it for my wife. Maybe ill upgrade the cardboard to some particle board after i build the prototype out of the cardboard because i have some leather id like to wrap it in and that gonna be a pain to take apart if it needs repairs. thanks for sharing. Where can i find the instructables for Radial art marker holder & Colored pencil belt cylinder carrier.
eyebot117 (author)  nteri813 years ago
Thanks! Well, the radial art marker holder and pencil belt carrier were not documented when I made them and I haven't had any time to make new ones. I have another interesting locking mechanism that's a little more subtle that I did document, but I still have more work to do on that.
parrster3 years ago
Simply awesome. I've also got a bit of a thing for making stuff out of cardboard, and I must say that I really like your creative ideas, brilliant design and detailed presentation. Love your work.
mcneilre3 years ago
I love this instructable!!! Do u think you could make ables on the pencil holder and marker holder shown in the last picture of step 10?? Thanks a lot!!
quite literally exactly what i was looking for.
but do you have any ideas for the same twist latch on a smaller scale?
mdawson24 years ago
Here's my sketchbook. It looks backward but I accidentally took this photo upside down. I covered it in 'Tie-Dye' design ducttape. I hacksawed the top off a plastic jar instead of a spindle.
my amazing sketch book.png
hey great instructable i rate it 5/5 but can you make one for those radial marker holder and colored pencil belt carrier. i think i'm gonna make one of these but i don't have a spiral bound sketchbook maybe i can improvise
eyebot117 (author)  cookie_chris4 years ago
I'd love to make another radial art marker holder and pencil belt cylinder, however I feel that I can come up with a far better design than I already have. It's on my to do list nonetheless. If you're sketchbook is spiral bound, you can just unscrew the binding, add your covers, and then screw the binding back into place.
This works but it took me almost two hours to rewind... whatever.
mdawson24 years ago
This is amazing I made one only I hacksawed the ring off a plastic jar, and I used a spiral bound note pad (which by the way do NOT do it took me about two hours to rewind it with the new covers - but it does work great) Mine is lacking some of the beauty yours has. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for other really cool latches??? ESPECIALLY eyebot117!?!?!?!
eyebot117 (author)  mdawson24 years ago
Post a pic and I might be able to give you more ideas, but I'm considering painting mine with a faux metal finish (copper or bronze and gold trim). A painted faux stone finish isn't out of the question either. For a latch, is there a specific shape that you favor? Triangles? Circles? Hexagons? I derived my latch from a book- The book of the Dead (From "The Mummy")-which actually uses a key to turn the latch to open it. It all depends on what you want. I simply wanted something that wouldn't fly open at random. It might be possible to make a combination/cryptex-esque lock on the cover or spine. I eventually intend to make a much more.........elegant book (solar powered LED's included), that uses an actual key for a lock, but until then, I'm just formulating ideas. There are also apertures and irises that you could make on the cover as well for a cool look.
Your work with cardboard is unbelievable.
As for the latches, I was only wondering if you had other ideas. I'm actually think of some. I've made one with a slide mechanism. If you have any ideas like buttons or wierd ways to lock the latches, you have some cool ideas already.

Also I really want to know how to make that marker holder ratio.... I'm not sure what you called it now but I hope you know what I'm talking about.

Your a genius. Thanks for the awesome ideas.
Oh yeah what size pad do you suggest to use for this because my little one is driving me crazy the spine doesnt want to work and with it on I'm not sure I have room for the lock
eyebot117 (author)  CosmicBrambleclaw4 years ago
I wouldn't go so small that you can't use the lock, but really you can only go so small with thick cardboard covers. If the cardboard is too thick for the bindings, I would suggest using cardstock instead, since it's thinner and probably a bit stronger too.
Thats ok I found a big one about the sanme size as yours, but I gotta either buy a spindle or wait for my Mommy (yes I call her that) to use up the cd's in hers
I'd love to see the marker spiral and colored pencil belt if you ever have time to do a instructable for them :D
Aww I love this! So cool ^_^ I always get so irritated that my noebooks and sketchbooks are so drab and monotone, this solves everything! Awesome
TheStott4 years ago
pretty cool
I love this project. I didn't have a spiral bound sketchbook s I improvised by using a sketchbook with binding and cut the cover off with an exacto knife.
eyebot117 (author) 4 years ago
Hey guys, just a quick update here..... I'm contemplating on adding another step or making this the first of a two part series of instructables, but I'm going to be painting and further decorating this sketchbook next week or the week after. Also, I'm happy to report that I'm well underway with my next project, of which I'm hoping you will enjoy almost as much as you did this one. You'll get to see the concept art once it's done-don't want to spoil it!
Can't wait!
bubblebut4 years ago
this is really awesome i can't wait to try it i could not find any cd spindles localy so i used the locking thing on my shampo bottle.
Thats a really smart idea! Thanks
ehudwill4 years ago
This is great. I might just make one.
timothymh4 years ago
Some of those look insane. O.O
For this one, though, doesn't the left spine get bent tightly when you open the inside front cover? It seems to me this wouldn't be good....
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