Introduction: Hand Stitched Leather Sketchbook
STUDIO PRACTICE IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
Project 2 DES 127B
UC Davis Spring Quarter 2018
Step 1: YOU WILL NEED
- Leather scraps
- Waxed yarn
- Sewing Awl
- Hole puncher
- Thick Cardboard
- Fabric Scraps
- PVA glue
- Crazy glue
- Wide paint brush
- Binder Clips
- Sketch Paper and Bristol Paper
Step 2: MEASURE SIZE OF BOOK COVER ON LEATHER
You can decide on how big or small you want your sketchbook to be! I personally like large sketchbooks so my dimensions are 9 x 12 inches. To get this size, I arranged my leather scraps to create a patch work that is as long and as tall as my desired length.
Step 3: PUNCH HOLES ALONG BORDER
Once you have measured your desired length, create dotted lines on the leather with a sharpie to mark the length of your cover. Each dot should be spaced out every quarter of an inch. Using a hole puncher, punch holes onto the marks of your dotted line.
Step 4: STITCH!
Using the Sewing Awl and waxed string, stitch together your leather scraps to create a unified leather cover and back cover for your book. I purposely did not sew the inner/central part of the leather to create pockets to keep my pencils and pens in. Once you have added the wax string into the Awl, push the needle from the front of the cover to the back and pull the string all the way through (making sure you give enough string for the entire length of your border. Pull the awl out (through the same hole) and push it into the next hole. It is important here to not twist your awl or else your string will be tangled and it won't create a clean stitch. Once it's pushed through the second hole, slightly pull open the string on the needle (closest to the first hole) and push through the initial string (that's border length) through the hole of the string on your needle. You can now pull the awl out (through the same hole you pushed through) and congratulations you made your first stitch! Repeat this until you have stitched the entire border of both leather covers.
Step 5: INSIDE COVERS
Similar to leather textbooks, the inside of my leather sketchbook contains a thick cardboard material. I used one of the cardboard packagings from Costco that they put your groceries in. You can also rip a part an old leather textbook and use the cardboard from their cover. The dimensions for my cardboard material is a bit smaller than the cover: 8.5 x 11.5 inches.
To protect the cardboard, I used fabric scraps to create another patch work. I cut out 24 squares total of fabric to cover the entire back of each cover. Each cover uses 12 squares with the dimensions 3x3 inches. These fabric scraps are from mini booklets of fabric samples.
Step 6: GLUE
Using PVA glue and the paint brush, brush over glue onto one side of each of the card board pieces and glue it to the back of your leather covers. Let this dry for an hour with heavy weights on top to keep it from curling up. Once dry, you can create a patch work pattern of your fabrics and start gluing them onto the other side of the cardboard. Let this dry for an additional hour with similar weights on top. Glue the edges of the fabric and the leather together with crazy glue to create a closed seam so nothing can come in contact with your cardboard.
Step 7: CUT OUT SKETCH PAPER
Congrats! you just finished on making your front and back cover of your sketchbook. Now for the inside, you can use whatever paper material you would like. I chose bristol and drawing paper because these types of paper are my favorite to sketch on. I cut out 9 x 11 inches for every paper going inside my sketchbook.
In order to bind all the items we made, we must punch holes on each item in the same place so that everything lines up nicely. I used regular binder paper as my hole and spacing template. Lining up the binder paper to the edge of each leather cover and each stack of sketch and bristol paper. Use a sharpie to mark and a hole puncher to create these holes.
Step 8: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Homestretch! This is the last step. All you have to do now and use the binder clips that your bought or cut off of old binders and attach all your pieces together. I started with my back leather cover first and put my binder clips through. Then I added my sketch paper in the clips and lastly the front leather cover. Close your clips and you've got yourself a personally designed leather sketchbook. Throughout the course of the sketchbook you can continue to add or subtract paper because of your easy to open binder clips.