"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Folded Sketchbook for Online Class

This is the improvised folded cover I made for the folded, single-sheet sketchbook I made following directions from Nina Johansson http://www.ninajohansson.se/2008/01/fold-a-simple-sketchbook/

I'm taking an online class called "Keeping an Artist's Journal".  Not that I don't have a "few" journal/sketchbooks already on the shelf, mind you.  But I've been having lots of fun making my own.  One of the advantages of making your own is that you get to use the paper YOU like.  Yay!  My current favorite is Hot Press Watercolor paper.  It's just so much fun to draw on and add washes to.  It works well with pencil, ink, watercolor, watercolor pencils, whatever.

I used some corrugated cardboard pieces I had hanging around from another project.

I traced the folded sketchbook (you can see it up in the right corner) and made a fold in the middle for the spine.  I cut out two pockets for the first and last pages to slip into.

I used something called Terrifically Tacky Tape (which is a fairly strong double-sided tape) to adhere the two flaps to the front and back covers leaving the inside and top edges open.  Here is the folded sketchbook ready to slip into its cover.

I slipped the front page into the front cover and the back page into the back cover and done!  I like the idea of having a cover to keep all the accordion folds together.  I have visions of picking it up to draw and having the whole thing unravel on me.

Next I'm going to make another accordion book out of an old, unfinished watercolor in the style of Judy Wise.


  1. I have a question, if you used hop press watercolor paper, how do you keep the folds from tearing.

    I buy Arches 140lb hot press in full sheets and fold and tear it down the size I need but I know that very first crease I make almost "cracks" the paper and seems like it wouldn't hod up as a book being opened and closed many times.

  2. Mr. Mohawk! I'm so sorry! I just now read your question. I use Fabriano hot pressed watercolor paper, usually 90 lb. but I have used the 140 lb. as well. I haven't had a problem with cracking, although I have heard other people comment that Arches does crack. You might wand to check out Roz Stendahl's blog at http://www.rozwoundup.typepad.com/ She does exhaustive research on papers, paints, pens, inks, you name it! You may be able to find out about paper cracking and how to avoid it. She also has lots of information tearing down paper and binding your own sketchbooks. And she is a terrific artist to boot! Good luck.