diy · gift ideas · painting · tutorial · upcycle

Handmade Watercolor Sketchbook

I have a watercolor sketchpad that I bought a long time ago, but stopped using it because I don’t like spiral bound sketchbooks. I decided to cut the pages out and make a smaller pocket-sized book using a tutorial I found on youtube by MyPetiteCakes. To watch the video click here.

First I cut the pages down to the size I wanted. I then folded each sheet in half, stacked them and measures where the holes would go. Then I used a sewing needle to poke holes in each sheet.

Here’s what the binding looks like after sewing it using the technique in the video and gluing with Aleene’s Ultimate Multi-Surface Adhesive. I bought mine at Michael’s Arts & Crafts store, but they sell it on Amazon as well.

While the binding was drying I cut out the cover pieces using the back cardboard of the original sketchbook. 

I rummaged in my stash of fabric and found some old jeans I had already cut up. (yay for upcycling!) Glued the cardboard pieces to the fabric making sure to leave some space between them.


And of course once the cover and the book were completely dry, I checked the fit and found that the cover was half an inch too small. I ended up having to cut the sketchbook down to size with a razor and sanded down the edges. Learn from my mistake and check your measurements twice before cutting! 😭


Here’s the final product. I really like how it turned out, and I will probably make a few more of these. I have several unfinished sketchbooks, because I either didn’t like the binding or it was just too big to carry around. These pocket sizes are just perfect!


Did a quick sketch on the first page. There are about 25 pages in this book, so my goal is to finish the book by the end of the month, aiming to do one drawing a day. Follow me on instagram to see what I will be drawing each day of August!

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