DIY Cardboard Sketchbook




Introduction: DIY Cardboard Sketchbook

About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instruc…

I made a sketch book that I can take along with me.  It has elastic to hold some pens and pencils and a pouch for an eraser or pencil sharpener.  You can add more paper when you use it up and take your artwork out and store it. This sketch book is made from corrugated cardboard, duct tape and other items you may have lying around.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Cardboard coffee sleeves
  • Duct tape
  • Screw Posts
  • Paint
  • Elastic
  • Small magnet
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler

Step 2: Cutting Cardboard

I cut three pieces of thin corrugated cardboard:
  • 6.5 x 9.5 inches (for the pencil holder piece)
  • 8 x 9.5 inches (for the front cover)
  • 8.5 x 9.5 inches (for the back) -this piece includes the flap for closing the book.  I used the natural bend from the cardboard box, it has two slots to fit a perpendicular piece into which I will use for my book. (The perpendicular piece is 1 x 9.5 inches).

Step 3: Pencil Holder

I measured out 4-5 holes, 1 cm apart on the centre of the cardboard towards one side. I fed the elastic through the end hole and stitched the elastic through the holes forming loops to hold the pencils.  I taped up the back with duct tape to secure the ends.

Step 4: Background

I had a few cardboard coffee cup sleeves lying around which had some interesting textures.  I decided to use this as a background.  I needed about four of these, I glued them onto the back of the cardboard piece with the pencil holder. Once the glue had dried, I trimmed off the sleeves where they overhang at the edges.

Step 5: Paint Background

I painted the background with white craft paint.  Once it had dried I used watercolours over the white to create and ombre effect. I used  pinks, reds and purples. Darker and more saturated towards one end.

Step 6: Cover Decorations: Hearts

I wanted to cut out shapes on the front cover so that you can see the ombre background which will be glued in behind.  I cut four hearts out of paper and placed them on the cover board to find the best arrangement.  Once satisfied with the layout, I cut out the hearts.

Step 7: Cover Decorations: Text

I added some text to the top left (the word sketch) and bottom right (the word book) corners.  I traced around the edges with a utility knife but only cut the top layer of the cardboard (not all the way through). I was then able to peel off the letters leaving the pleated layer exposed.

Step 8: Cover Decorations: Robots

I added a couple of robots to my cover.  I sketched them out, cut around their outline. I then peeled off the top layer of cardboard from the negative space around them leaving the pleated layer exposed.  I added some colour (using pastels) so that they stand out a bit more.

Step 9: Paper Holder

I wanted to use screw posts to hold the paper in the book, since it is easy to add and remove the paper.  I cut 3 pieces of cardboard 1 x 6 inches.  I punched holes, four inches apart into each of the pieces as well as through the back of the book along the top.  I also punch holes into some paper and cut it to fit into the book.  Assemble by placing everything through the posts and screwing closed.

Step 10: Glue Cover

Now it is time to assemble the book.  First I glued the front cover to the background.  I also added a piece that fits perpendicularly along the edge of the inside cover (this will fit into the slots on the flap).

Step 11: Eraser Pocket

I folded a small pouch with duct tape and added a magnet and metal washer to close the pouch.  I then glued it to the inside cover beside the pencil holder.

Step 12: Glue Front and Back Together

There is a roughly 1.5 inch overhang on the front cover which will be the spine.  I made about 4-5 folds along this overhang around half an inch apart.  This should form a curve.  I then glued the far edge to the back piece of the book.

Step 13: Flap

I made a flap closure that folds over the cover.  I glued some Velcro to each side to hold it closed.

Valentine's Day Contest

Participated in the
Valentine's Day Contest

Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Participated in the
Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Crafting Speed Challenge

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Crafting Speed Challenge

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like this sketchbook very much!
    I would have used a magnet instead of velcro for the front cover.
    All of your instructables are great!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I magnet is a great idea, velcro doesn't work well after a while, I also find it collects a lot of lint, LOL.


    10 years ago on Step 7

    How do you get your curves cut out sooooo nicely? Other than a sharp blade. Any special tips?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Your sketch book is really cool. The design elements on the front are fun and colorful and I love the play of textures and depth. Very, very cool!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You always amaze me! This is awesome!