July 1, 2014

Home-made Sketch/Notebooks

The husband has been telling me for weeks to blog my sketch/notebooks. He thinks they are cool, and who am I to deny that? I have never found a really good notebook, trying out this and that, and when I started drawing more this spring, even whipping out my old watercolour set, my need for something better than LuleƄ could offer became acute. I considered ordering from afar, but balked at the expense; I go through quite a few pages a day. Finally I thought: perhaps I can do them myself? I consulted the Internet, and of course, it had much to offer on the topic. I studied and learned, and this is what I arrived at.

I buy a standard white printing paper, size A4, which is a bit heavier than normal, 160 g per square meter, but still smooth and glossy, which I like. It is thick enough not to bleed through most pens, colours, and inks. They come in packs of 250 sheets, which will last me at least six months.

Then I use an awl, a cutting-board, a darning-needle, some heavy thread (I use a cotton crochet yarn for lace-work, because it´s the kind of thing I have lying around), a pair of scissors, tape, and punch pliers (not pictured). Here we go:

Fold the sheets in half. I use eight in a book.

Punch six holes through the folding. 

Thread the needle and start sewing from the outside. 

Stitch back and forth and join on the outside, where you started.

Tie a tidy knot and cut the ends by about a centimeter.

Cover and fasten the seam on the outside with a nice looking tape. 

I use two pieces that overlap. Don´t try to fix it if it goes wonky,
it doesn´t matter much.

I don´t make a cover for each sketchbook, instead I use the same cover over and over again. These covers are sold in a number of stores selling stationary and such. I also have one that I got from the husband´s stash - something he picked up at some conference. I prefer it since it is rather sturdy, but it is of poor quality and will not last long, unfortunately.

Just finished the sketchbook of the week.

Two punched holes and an elastic band makes a holder for the book.*

Two punched holes in the cover, and two in the pen case, an elastic
 to tie them together.

Here I added the sketchbook. The elastic goes over the center fold. 

And I close it snugly, with the pen case attached at all times.

I use this book for graphite drawings and put pages in made by
oven paper to prevent smudging.

Here is one that has two pockets and don´t need an added elastic. 

I use this only with the fountain pen. Minimalist!

As the books are finished I just put them in a drawer. I plan on a fancy
box when I see how much a year makes.

And that´s it. Simple, really. I have experimented some with putting pages of other colours in there, but I don´t like the texture of the coloured paper that is available. I really enjoy that glossy stuff! Perhaps it is because it gives me more control, I don´t know...

* If you are wondering about the coffee filter - they make a great substitute to blotting-paper. Also, you can sharpen your pencil over it and retain the litter in it.

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