Sketchbook and Moleskine Test Notebook




This instructable explains how to make quick and neat sketchbook that's the same size as a large Moleskine Notebook.

I've read in several places about people enjoying using Moleskines, but since I'm a world class cheapo, I didn't want to pay $12+ for just a notebook.

I decided to create a thin notebook to the dimensions of a Moleskine with only a few pages. This way I could test it out for a week to see if I would actually use it.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

For this instructable you will only need a few, very cheap materials. Most of them (if not all) you can find for free.

You will need:

-Five sheets of standard paper
-One sheet of paper for your notebook cover
-A stapler
-A ruler
-A pencil

Step 2: Cut Your Paper

All five sheets need to be cut the same size of 10.5 inches by 8.25 inches. Scissors work the best to do this. After the sheets are cut and folded (in a later step), each page will be 5.25 inches by 8.25 inches.

Use a pencil to mark where you will cut. I used a marker so it would show up in the picture.

Remember, these dimensions are the same size as a large Moleskine notebook so you can test out the size. They can be made smaller or larger to fit your needs.

Step 3: Folding Your Paper

Take each of your standard paper sheets and your cover sheet and fold them in half. (Have the paper in portrait view and fold it vertically)

While this is one of the easiest steps to do, it helps in the end to take your time and make sure that each fold is straight and clean.

After the sheets are folded, place them inside of each other to make a booklet.

Step 4: Staple and Trim

Open up to your center folded sheet and go to the spine. Staple two staples each about 1/3 of the length of the spine from each end.

TIP: It really helps to have a stapler that's longer than 5.25 inches. Otherwise you will have to bend half of your pages to get it to reach to the spine (like I had to do).

Next, if you have some of the standard paper outside of coversheet when the notebook is closed (like me), you should trim it off.

Step 5: You're Done! (and Additions)

Congratulations, you just finished your notebook!

Though, there are some additions that I made.

I rounded the outside corners to make it look a little closer to a Moleskine. I also added a binder clip and some notecards to add "Hipster PDA" functionality.

Add a pen or pencil and enjoy your new notebook!

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    12 Discussions

    These are my two...the brown/maroon one is the one in this instructable, and the black one with the white pen holder is my true awesome Moleskine. If youre considering buying a real one, dont hesitate...They are awesome!!!

    Photo on 2011-08-06 at 13.27.jpgPhoto on 2011-08-06 at 13.26.jpg

    10 years ago on Introduction

    so what exactly is a moleskin notebook? sorry if that sounds stupid... otherwise good 'ible! though i learned most of this in elementary school...

    2 replies

    A Moleskine notebook is a snaz or chic item which is basically a notebook, coming in various sizes and paper configurations. Many people use them as you would a favourite pen; still a pen, but nevertheless special.

    As far as I know it has no discernible relationship to moleskin, perhaps they were originally bound in it.

    Also, hi. First post. I plan to make an Instructable soon. Any requests? I think there's some guys already working on the lead-to-gold chemical reaction, soo...

    They come binded, so the can be open fully, and they have a thicker and acid free paper, wich make them ideal for Fountain pen, other than that just a hipster item. (I'm a Moleskine user tho).


    10 years ago on Step 4

    Hello! Here is an alternative if you don't have a large enough stapler: Put all the sheets over foam, open your stapler (180º) and push the stapler head strong against the paper. The staple would have come through the sheets, and you only have to bend the two parts of it against the paper. Oops, I haven't explained it very well, damn English!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 4

    Good idea! I'll have to try that out the next time I make one.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Some words about the corner rounding process for those of us who do software and aren't real handy with the hardware.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    To make nice looking rounded corners, there is a mechanical "punch" you can get at Michaels, Walmart, craft stores, scrapbooking stores etc. with different radii ( roundness). You would stick the corner of the page in the punch and push down like a hole punch and it will create the curve for you.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    there's a more advanced and in depth tutorial here


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You know, I purchased the highly-acclaimed Moleskine notebook and promptly fell in love with it and was excited about filling its pages with my to-do lists, thoughts, musings, etc, only to have the binding fall apart on me after only a few months of use. Very disappointed. I intend to make your version next time instead. Thanks. :)

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I have the polar opposite review...My staple bound mini notebooks fell apart within weeks - my moleskine's stitch binding is still together :/ I kinda don't like the finite-ness of any bound writing media though - my projects just don't have that sort of closure :p Just thought I'd throw my yin at your yang :) Or visa versa :p