How to make a sketchbook in just 5 minutes

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Make a proper sketchbook for holiday sketching in just 5 minutes

HI there! It is finally summer holidays here in Norway, and I am looking for new inspiring projects to do. I am thinking of something not too difficult, just something nice, to get me in to the summer mood. In today’s post, I would like to show you a video tutorial of something easy and cool to do. Just grab some old sketches you don’t care for. (I also got my favorite Gin: Bareksten and old sketches that I can’t wait to turn in to something lovely, what more can you ask for?)

We are going to make a mixed paper sketchbook. I often use 200 g/ 250 g watercolor paper to sketch on, This will make the covers. And, for the inside, the paper I am using is paper that I have been doodling on or for testing colors and techniques on. It is paper that I am near to throwing away. I surprise myself by ending up liking the paintings when I cut them and fold them over.

How you make a watercolor sketchbook

The cover for each sketchbook will be different and so it is easy tel to them apart. For the inside, you can use paper that has some stains, or of course totally blank if you prefer.

Make a proper sketchbook in just 5 minutes- with staples


Making these books frees me to try out new styles or draw whatever I want, whether it turns out good or bad. You know, bad is good! in a process of learning and exploring something new then making something bad it is totally necessary. I think this is how you can find a new style and you can develop your style really quickly, along the way you pick up a lot of experience. We learn from all the mistakes ……. no mistakes…. no learning, no advances.…….

To make a light-weight sketchbook I only use 4 sheets of watercolor paper, when folding them it makes 8 and all in all it will be 16 sides to paint on. Doesn’t it feel good to fill a sketchbook in a short time?

If you like this you can have a look at how I made a pocket sketchbook by sewing and have a peek inside the sketchbooks where I have painted all the pages already.  Old photos from south of France, By the way, If you love France you can read about the painting course I had in Henry Matisse’s home, Villa Le Reve in Vence. Sketchbooks were a big part of the last course. I am planning more courses next year. So, if you would like more information let me know and I’ll keep you informed of the next courses: painting holidays info 

Materials I used for each sketchbook

  • Find or make about 8 sheets of A4 sized watercolor paper for the inside pages, depending on the size and the thickness you want. I end often up using 4 sheets for the inside. If you like drawing try 9 sheets of sketching paper.
  • 1 sheet of paper A4 paper for the cover.
  • Bone folder (made of acrylic is good, but if you take the back of a knife, or a spoon that has soft edges that will probably work too)
  • Metal Ruler
  • Stapler
  • A cutting mat
  • Knife for cutting paper and hardboard
  • A bone folder/  but if you don’t have one, you can use the back of a spoon or even a knife if you are careful.


How to make the sketchbook

  • I fold the cover paper in half and use the bone folder to make a sharp crease.
  • Align the inside paper under center it as well as possible, but, you going to cut it after so does not have to be perfect.
  • Staple along the crease. One over and under the middle, see photo.
  • Fold it in half and try making the edges meet. (Make sure you are folding along the crease.)
  • Place the sheets on the table with half of it sticking over the edge, the crease should be just over the edge.
  • Find the stapler and shoot through the paper.
  • On the inside press the ends down.
  • You can now cut the edges that are sticking out. Hold the metal ruler tight! Use the cutter and slice off the edges, don’t force the knife,  just slice to get through. The finish often turns out nice and precise, and it can take a shorter time then if you press hard.
  • Round the corners to make a more professional look.

The golden rule – have fun, that’s all that matters!


DIY Make a proper sketchbook

Make a proper sketchbook in just 5 minutes- with staples

Make a proper sketchbook in just 5 minutes- with staples

Make a proper sketchbook in just 5 minutes- with staples

Make a proper sketchbook in just 5 minutes- with staples

I hope you found it useful and like to try it out. Did you know that you get a printable digital artwork,  and a calendar and more if you sign up for the VIP   and If you like this post, feel free to share with your family and friends on Facebook.