Sketchbooks – Make Your Own

For my concept development class, we had to make our own sketchbooks over spring break.

We had to make one large size, so I cut apart a Lucky Charm cereal box (one of my favorite cereals), cut paper to size, and took it to Office Max to have a spiral coil added for the binding. (This one was a hit at school so I might have to make more!)

On the inside front cover, I glued a piece of red cardstock to cover the cardboard.

On the inside back cover, I glued a piece of yellow cardstock to cover the cardboard, and added an envelope to use as a pocket.

We also had to make a pocket size sketchbook, so I took the opportunity to use this perfume flyer I’ve been saving because I love the sexy imagery.

For the inside, I hand-sewed my blank pages like you might see in a moleskin cahier notebook. (I used a pearl cotton thread ball in black and a regular sewing needle, the same one I use to hand stitch binding onto a finished quilt top.)

My favorites are these moleskin covers, which I made using prints from the Circa 60 Beach Mod organic cotton collection by Birch Fabrics. Such cool retro and outdoorsy prints!

Since we had to make our own sketchbook pads from scratch too, I also made a few moleskin-type notebooks to insert into these fun covers, using pages from a drawing sketchbook I had left over from last semester.

I have to admit, I adore these! I love those fabrics, and I love that I can reuse these covers over and over again by inserting new moleskin notebooks as I fill these up with doodles, drawings and inspirations. This set was also a hit at school! I received several suggestions to make more and sell them in my shop and in local stores, so they have been moved up on my list. (I will let you in on a little secret – I look forward to the day when I can make these with fabric I designed myself!)

We have to commit to a certain about of drawing in these sketchbooks each week. The idea is the more you like your sketchbook, the more you’re willing to make the time to draw and doodle in it. Fun stuff!

20 thoughts on “Sketchbooks – Make Your Own

  1. Ok, you’ve got Jekyl and Hyde going on here! I love the Lucky Charms (did you just HAPPEN to have a box hanging around? :-P) one and I do believe it would make me smile like a little kid EVERY time I took it out of my bag! The *eyebrow wiggle* LOOOVE one is fantastic too (though I may not be able to TAKE it out of my bag around my students)!

    What kind of needle did you use to sew the pages? I’ve thought about making my own books but I never get around to it (I just collect billions of premade ones). Since I’m a list maker I ALWAYS have notebooks

    1. Thanks Joanna! They are addicting to make. I do have Jekyl and Hyde sides to my personality – girlie and rocker – so I gotta have a variety of sketchbooks. We eat A LOT of cereal in our house, and we ALWAYS have a box of Lucky Charms on hand, so my husband is in the habit of saving the cereal boxes now for me.I used pearl cotton to sew the pages on the sexy small notebook, and a regular sewing needle. In fact, I think it’s the same needle I have been using to sew the binding to quilts. I didn’t want to use anything too big because I didn’t want big holes in the binding. I also covered the stitching on the outside with some black linen tape because that paper wasn’t too sturdy and I didn’t want the thread to tear through. Just a precautionary measure that also adds a nice touch.

  2. Terri, these are fantastic! Your Lucky Charms sketchbook is very clever! You can never have too many notebooks, in my opinion. How true, that you will sketch/write/draw more if you like the notebook! Another project to add to my list.

  3. Hi Terri, these are all so great! How wonderful to have a notebook with our favorite cereals or parfym! I start to look the boxes with defferent eye. The best are those with fabric covers made by you! Also the fabrics are so beautiful.
    I made last weekend a notebook cover with scrap flower.
    Wishes from rainy Crete! Teje
    Ps. I’m sure one day you make your own fabrics!

  4. Hiya Terri
    I love all your sketchbooks but my favourite one is the Lucky Charms. I have lived in the UK for some 18 years now. I was born and bred in Canada. We can’t get Lucky Charms cereal here in England.
    Keep up the good work. It all looks like lots of fun.

  5. I love the sketchbooks! I can see how the Lucky Charms one would be a hit, the boxes are so colorful and upbeat!

    Love the Circa 60 Beach fabrics!

    Looks like you have been creating up a storm. How are the classes going? Sounds like you have been learning all sort of wonderful things, I can’t wait to see more!


  6. I love them all – each as much as the other. I think you should look into how much a bind-it-all would cost and the spirals etc to see if it would be more cost effective for you. YES! YES! YES…. design your own fabric :-)… have you painted on fabric yet? If not, why not? Hehe, nagging you. You can use your watercolour crayons too – just iron a piece of freezer paper to the back to give the fabric stability while you’re working on it – it’s fun you know 😉

    Love the little pen pockets on the reusable covers!

  7. How fun! I have always wanted to make my own journals.
    I agree and think you should definitely add some of them to your shop they are wonderful. 🙂

  8. this is one of the coolest things i have seen in a LONG TIME! i actually love all the designs of sketchbooks you did in this post, but the lucky charms one has to take the cake for me. it’s great!

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