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How to make a diy sketchbook by susie ghahremani / boygirlparty.com
This is a super-easy project, customizable to any size, and you'll be left with a cute sketchbook with handy pockets filled with paper you love to draw or write on (unlike many sketchbooks on the market!) and something you can proudly say you made.

Edit: I now sell the "This Book Belongs To" sticker featured in this post, over here!

You will need:
  • approximately 10 sheets of drawing paper
  • A ruler, scissors, rotary cutter (or x-acto), sewing machine (or heavy duty sewing needle + thread)
  • One sheet of decorative paper (I recommend something a little bit heavier, like cardstock thickness)
  • Optional: rubber band or ribbon for super-flat closure

    Once you've chosen your drawing paper of choice (I like to mix it up!) Cut down about ten sheets to the same size (In this tutorial, I've cut mine down to about 6x8 (so my book will be 4x6 when folded) I used a rotary cutter for this, but if you're good with a ruler + x-acto, you can do that as well.
    Stack up the paper you've cut to make sure everything's the same size. Then, one by one, fold your papers in half - the fold down the center will be the spine of your mini-sketchbook.

    FYI, This only takes a minute & folding your papers one-by-one insures a tidy finish. If you shortcut by folding them as a stack, your papers may shift around during binding and your sketchbook may look a little bit messier.

    Ok, now line your sheets back up so the creases stack neatly. See how book-like it is already? Now, let's move on to making the cover and binding the book...

    Grab your sheet of decorative paper for the cover and fold it about two inches in...this will be your pocket. You can make it as big or small as you like.
    Then, trim down your folded cover to slightly larger than interior pages (add about 1/2" onto the sides and 1/4" onto the top and bottom) - so for my 6x8" book, I'll cut the cover to 6.5x9"
    Fold 1/4" of your cover paper over the pockets on the left and right edges. We need to fold over the sides like this so stuff doesn't fall out of the interior pockets. Leave the bottom edges as they are.
    Ok, now your pockets and book are ready to be bound (I'll use a sewing machine, but you can also use a needle/thread or staples for the next steps).

    What you have done so far should look like this:
    Ok, now plug in your sewing machine and we'll zip a straight line up the sides of the cover to hold those 1/4" pocket folds in place. Like this:

    (sewing paper is fun)
    When you're done straight-stitching the pockets, the finished cover should look like this:

    I recommend using a long stitch because a short length straight stitch or zig zag will compromise the strength of the pocket, and may tear your cover paper.

    Okay, now line up your interior paper with your cover so that you like the way it's centered in the book.

    If you're finding that your interior paper is too big for the cover, now's the time you can trim it down a little before this final step!

    With that same long-straight-stitch, carefully press your book down the center seam.

    Trim the hanging threads and snap a rubber band around the cover and YOU'RE DONE!

    I hope you enjoyed this project! If you'd like to link to it, the URL is: http://boygirlparty.livejournal.com/217584.html
  • Comments

    ( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
    Page 1 of 3
    <<[1] [2] [3] >>
    May. 17th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
    So cute! Thanks for sharing the step by step. I'll definitely have to make one for my purse. :)

    May. 17th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
    i'm glad you enjoyed it!
    May. 17th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
    like this a lot, susie! you are creative + good to share! karen
    May. 18th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
    thanks, karen! happy to share :)
    (Deleted comment)
    May. 18th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
    i definitely recommend you do! it's very quick!
    May. 18th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
    Love your work!
    Thanks for the tutorial. Your work is so sweet! I love it!

    - Meg
    May. 18th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
    Re: Love your work!
    thank you so much :)
    May. 18th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
    Nice blog and great tutorial. I'm going to have to try it.
    May. 18th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
    i'm glad you liked it!
    May. 18th, 2009 07:27 am (UTC)
    Love this!
    I haven't tried to sew paper before, but after reading this i should definitely give it a go. (I thought the needle would break and poke me in the eye!)

    May. 18th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
    Re: Fabulous!
    that needle situation is definitely possible! probably best to start with only a few sheets and see how your sewing machine handles it since they are all different :)
    May. 18th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
    I love this!
    This is really cute and I think I will add it to my list of handmade present ideas for Christmas. My niece is an artist and will love it I am sure. Thanks for sharing!
    May. 18th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
    Re: I love this!
    you're welcome! i hope your niece enjoys it!
    May. 18th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
    Thanks for the tutorial! I'll be sure to try it (and post my results).
    May. 18th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
    enjoy! i look forward to seeing your version.
    May. 18th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
    I love this! Thank you!
    May. 18th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
    you're welcome + enjoy! :)
    May. 19th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
    How i've never heard of your livejournal before, i don't know!

    I'm definitely going to be giving this a tryout in the future (I'll link back, of course!)
    Nov. 19th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
    hope it worked well for you! thanks!
    May. 19th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
    Great project! Thinking this would be a cute favor for my son's birthday party.
    Nov. 19th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
    aww, that's a sweet idea!
    May. 19th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
    that's really lovely - I'll definitely try that AND post a link on my blog. thank you! :)

    have a nice evening
    Nov. 19th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
    Re: lovely!
    thanks + enjoy!
    May. 19th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
    Love it! Haven't been on your site before. Will visit again definitely. And will make the sketchbook. your step by steps are very easy to follow.
    Nov. 19th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
    Re: sketchbook
    thank you so much!
    May. 19th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
    Aww, I love it! I'll totally be linking.
    Nov. 19th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
    thank you, enjoy!
    May. 19th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
    These are beautiful! Nice work.
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    ( 51 comments — Leave a comment )

    About Me

    Hey, I'm Susie. I'm a painter, illustrator, crafter, musician, keeper of various pets and proprietor of the website boygirlparty.com

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