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One of my goals for the year is to do one quick sketch every day. Instead of buying a sketch book, I decide to make one out of things I had around the house. First thing I did was find some paper that was blank on one side and a thin cardboard box. We have plenty of both. I started by cutting the side of the box off.
The side panel seemed like a good width so I just chopped along the seams.
Next I cut the paper so that it would be slightly thinner than the width of the cardboard strip. In my case that ended up being 3.66" wide.
By cutting those strips in half I was able to use the entire piece of paper with no waste. I ended up with a stack of paper all the same size. In my case the pages are 4.25" x 3.66" but you could make your pages any size you like. By cutting them this way I was able to get 6 pages per 8.5" x 11" piece of recycled paper.
Next, I stapled my stack of paper to the center of the cardboard strip. I used the existing fold line since I knew I wanted to create a cover that would fold over the paper. I debated which side of the paper to staple but ended up going with parallel to the cut edge of the cardboard. I stapled 2 corners of the paper stack. I have a pretty strong stapler so I was able to go through all the sheets + the cover.
Next, I knew I wanted to have a way to close the book so I decided to sew on a rubber band. Honestly, the hardest part of the project was picking what colored rubber band to use. As you can see I ended up opting for red. I simply used a needle and thread to sew the rubber band to the cardboard.
Here it is finished and closed. I am happy to report that 4 months into the year and I am still doing a sketch most days. The size is small enough to fit in my back pocket and the cardboard cover keeps the pages from getting mangled as I tote it around. I love the way the organic label and text ended up on the cover. It was kismet.
You can make them as fancy or utilitarian as you like. Here are a few more photos of other more fancy recycled sketchbooks that my friend Nancy and I made. In these examples (below) instead of cutting and stapling we folded the paper and Nancy used a heavy needle and thread to hold the pages in. The possibilities are endless!
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.