Introduction: Creating an Explosion Sketchbook

About: I am an Art and Photography teacher currently based in Dubai. Previously I have worked in Hong Kong and the UK.

Welcome to an instructable on creating Explosion Sketchbooks!

Explosion sketchbooks use some simple folds to create interesting looking pages which can be used for a variety of different purposes. In this example, some of my students have produced mixed media work inspired by microscopic images which have been cut into pieces and stuck onto the pages. If at any stage you are confused, try following the video. For similar instructables, have a look at my YouTube channel: Mr. Art and Photography


To create an Explosion Sketchbook you need the following;

  • Three pieces of card or paper of equal size
  • A Glue Stick or PVA glue
  • Scissors

Step 1: Step 1: Fold the Three Pieces of Paper to Create Squares

First we need to take our paper/card and turn it into squares.

In order to do this, take the top corner of each piece and fold it so it meets the bottom of the paper/card. This is a diagonal or triangle fold. Fold the crease which is created to smooth out the fold. Use the scissors to remove the excess paper/card to leave yourself with three folded triangles.

Step 2: Step 2: Horizontal Fold

Open your triangles into squares and lay them flat on your desk. Turn the squares upside down so that the middle part raises slightly due to the fold.

Create a horizontal fold from top to bottom. You can do this individually or with all pieces layered on top of one another.

Step 3: Step 3: Vertical Fold

Open the three squares again.

Create a vertical fold from left to right. You can do this individually or with all pieces layered on top of one another.

Step 4: Step 4: Laying the Parts Together

Open up each piece of paper/card.

Match these up by putting the squares over one another so you create a large zig-zag. Each of these should initially be facing the same direction, so vertical and horizontal folds facing down towards the desk and the triangle or diagonal fold facing up.

Step 5: Step 5: Flip the Middle Folded Paper and Sticking

You now need to take the middle piece of paper/card and flip it. This piece of paper will curve upwards due to the folds, whereas the other pieces will curve down or into the desk.

Stick these together by putting glue on one side of the squares and pressing these on top of one another.

Step 6: Step 6: Folding the Sketchbook.

This part can be tricky, especially the first time you fold the book together.

The best advice I can provide is recommending that you fold the triangles inwards on the direction that they face. You may find this easier to watch the video section where I create this fold, here is the timestamp for the folding section of the video guide.

Step 7: Step 7: Complete!

Well done! You have completed your first explosion sketchbook!

I would recommend cutting a square piece of hard cardboard or similar to stick to the front and back covers to make this stronger, but it is not essential. Good luck!

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