Build a Healthy Creative Habit: Make a Simple Everyday Sketchbook | Jill Gustavis | Skillshare

Build a Healthy Creative Habit: Make a Simple Everyday Sketchbook

Jill Gustavis, Art Explorer

Build a Healthy Creative Habit: Make a Simple Everyday Sketchbook

Jill Gustavis, Art Explorer

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17 Lessons (1h 59m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Why Create Your Own Sketchbook?

    • 3. Design Considerations

    • 4. Tools & Materials

    • 5. Calculations

    • 6. Cutting The Paper

    • 7. Cutting the Covers

    • 8. Folding the Paper

    • 9. Marking Holes

    • 10. Stitching: Measuring Your Thread

    • 11. Stitching : Connecting the Pieces

    • 12. Stitching: Weaving in the Tails

    • 13. Handling Your Sketchbook

    • 14. Filling Your Sketchbook

    • 15. Deconstructing Your Sketchbook

    • 16. Final Project

    • 17. Closing Thoughts

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About This Class

Build a Healthy Creative Habit: Make a Simple Everyday Sketchbook is a detailed breakdown of the how and why I design, create, and use a custom sketchbook. By designing and creating your own sketchbook, you'll reduce the investment associated with quality materials and create a format best suited to your work. Your new "everyday" sketchbook will create less anxiety over the fear of wasting an expensive/pretty sketchbook or fighting a bad format, making more time to put art on paper!       


The main focus of this sketchbook class is ultimately use-ability. You are of course welcome to make yours as highly detailed as you like, but this class will be focusing on the advantages of stripped-down and functional sketchbooks, not only from the construction perspective, but also as a boost to creative license and productivity.

What you’ll learn:

  • Understand the underlying thought pattern of many artists who want a sketchbook practice but struggle in actually using their materials.
  • Learn how I value simple, maybe even ugly, materials and how they increase approachability and confidence in new explorations.
  • Make decisions on what materials, size, and style of sketchbook you want to make based on how you see yourself using the sketchbook. Look into your own practice, or inspiration, to work backward to your ideal features.
  • Plan construction by comparing the design of your book to the standard size of your chosen materials and work back and forth to calculate how the two most efficiently come together.
  • Learn various processes, such as ways to arrange signatures, cover options, and an introduction to a simple stitch.
  • Prepare for how your new sketchbook will function throughout its lifespan and how to break it back down once complete if you want to separate the contents.

Think of this as the comfy “T-shirt & jeans” sketchbook you’re gonna grab everyday and not worry about messing it up! Imagine of all the fun you'll have if you're not concerned with how "precious" your sketchbook is! So let’s dive in!!

This class is for:

  • Beginning students who would like to learn how to make a sketchbook from custom selected materials and may not have any prior bookbinding experience. 
  • Any level student who knows that good materials help you practice, but may be too timid to really break into a nice sketchbook and is interested in making a more functional piece
  • Students with more advanced knowledge, who may find new perspectives in my simple philosophy, personal choices in designing a sketchbook, and material calculations covered in the planning sessions.

Get ready to get more enjoyment and creative progress out of your sketchbook!

Got your sketchbook? Check out my first Skillshare class on "Problem Solving in Your Sketchbook"! This class is focused on using thumbnails and notes to power through learning new medias, figuring out challenging subjects or techniques you may encounter, and documenting inspirational art explorations all while supporting the discovery of your authentic style as an artist!

Also check out the hundreds of awesome classes in Skillshare's Fine Art, Illustration, and Creative Writing categories to try out in your new sketchbook!

And if you'd like to see more of my work, keep in touch via my website, Instagram, and Facebook!

Music credit: "Inspirational Indie Rock" by Leo Sokolovsky;

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Jill Gustavis

Art Explorer


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1. Intro: I'm Joe Gus Davis and I'm an artist on the New York, Massachusetts border. Welcome to build a healthy creative habit. Make a simple everyday sketchbook. I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do in my sketch books, but it's only been in the past three years that my sketchbook practice has become more productive than guilt ridden. In 2017, I made my first everyday sketch book. Now, halfway through my third, there are simple assembly and easy approachability have grown my confidence to fill them with beautiful art, as well as random sketches and messy failed ideas, whatever my art practice needs at the time. This class is a detailed breakdown of the how and why I designed creep, and use a custom sketchbook. By designing and creating your own sketchbook, you'll reduce the investment associated with quality materials and create format that's best suited to your work. Your new everyday sketchbook will create less anxiety over the fear of wasting an expensive or pretty sketchbook or finding the bad format, making more time to put art on paper. In this class, we'll cover each step in the life of your new sketchbook from idea to demolition. Learn how to construct a sketch book including materials, calculations, arranging signatures, and the introduction to a simple stitch. Think about how your sketch it will function throughout its life span and how to break it all back down again once complete, if you want to separate the contents. By the end of the class, you'll have the knowledge to design and create your own simple sketch book to use and enjoy every day. There's even cheap sheets in the resources to help you through some of the more detailed lessons at your own pace. Everyday sketch books can be enjoined at any level, depending if you're excited about learning a beginner's approach to bookbinding, having a more proactive desire to grow your sketchbook use or wanting to refresh your current sketchbook practice because something isn't working for you. Think of your everyday sketchbook as the t-shirt and jeans you're going to grab and not worry about messing up. The jumpstart to your productivity will also gradually grow your confidence to dive into that sketchbook collection that's gathering dust instead of paint. Can you imagine all the fun you'll have if you're not intimidated by how precious your sketch book seem? Let's get started. 2. Why Create Your Own Sketchbook?: Now before we get into the calculations and the construction of your sketchbook, let's take a second to talk about why you want to make your own sketchbook. I have a few points. They're definitely not the [inaudible] of why, but they're definitely some the reasons that I make my own sketchbooks. The main one is the flexibility. You get what you want. A lot of times maybe what you want isn't made. If it's made, maybe not available in your area, or your country and if it's available, maybe it's not in your price point or it's gotten more things in it that maybe you need and don't really want to pay money for. You get what you want because you're the one making it. You disassemble all the ingredients, and put it together. That flexibility of choosing what you want couples with an affordable price. If you're making a sketch book like the ones that I like to make which are stripped down, you're not paying for not only the materials to make it fancier for lack of a better word. If you're not using cloth for book binding or not adding your spine, or the extra time, that cuts down on the price of it, as well as you're not paying for the time put into creating it. It is your time. Obviously, you know what your time is worth. It's definitely up to you how much of it you use to create your sketchbook. When you're looking at the affordability of a sketchbook, it's hard to not ignore the impact that has on your ability to reach for it. With the lower cost comes increased approachability and increase productivity. It also decreases the intimidation of staring at that blank page thinking, "What if I ruined? I paid this amount of money for it." With less cost per page, you're less likely to put off doing a random sketch or maybe a mark making exercise that has no final end product. It opens up the abilities for you to practice. Lastly, making your own sketchbook is inspiring just on its own. Not only that you get to see the process and have that connection to your sketchbook that you're choosing to use, but also you know what works for your process and that's going to make the sketchbook all that much more usable. It really makes it a whole product, and it's a real whole experience making romp. 3. Design Considerations: As we start to get into the construction portions and the calculations, before you do any of that, I want you to stop and think about, "How do you see yourself using your sketchbook?" I don't mean what exactly are you going to create? A goal has something to do with it. But work through a couple of these considerations before we dive into talking about materials. You want to consider the size and portability of your sketchbook. If you are maybe a commuter and are intending to use your sketch book on a subway train, you may want a smaller size so that it is less intrusive to other people and easier to carry. If you are a gestural artist and you want large sweeping movements, that is going to dictate your book size, or may dictate your book size. In addition to how you move in your sketch book, you also want to think about end-product as well. Are you putting on framing any of these pieces, should you really like a page? If you have a very unframeable size and you don't want to cut any of it off, that may leave you with custom options. If you're willing to go the custom route, that is perfect. If this moved out of your comfort range, you may want to factor that into thinking about the size of your spreads and pages. One thing you can consider if you're thinking about that, is you could have the page be any size you'd like, as long as you know you may cut off a portion to make it a standard size. So you can leave space for swatches, you can leave space for notes, knowing that that will be cut off. But just remember when you're painting on it, if you paint edge to edge and it ends up being a wonky size, that's one of the end products that you could be left with. The next thing to consider is the style of your art in your media and paper requirements. If you're a pen artist, you may want a smoother paper or rough, depending on if you want texture. I'm a watercolor artist primarily so I'm looking for 100 percent cotton, there's different weights of paper that you can consider that factors into the size of the book, as well as your signatures. If you want to be able to do spreads you may want more signatures with fewer pages. Then the last point is alternate uses to your sketchbook. You may be wanting to make one but you're not sure. Maybe you don't draw or paint, but there are other uses for sketchbooks. You could use a sketchbook to press flower petals or leaves. That may factor into you wanting a spread that opens up into like a four-page spread so that you could enfold leaves and petals and keep them enclosed. You may want to use it as a photo book, so having extra space around it for breathing room around each photo. If you're using four by six photos, you may want to make it an extra inch on each side. Keep those things in mind. It mold over the uses that you may see yourself using this for. Based on all of these considerations, choose your media and the relative size and orientation of your sketchbook before you move on to the next set. You don't need the exact measurements at this moment. Just think about your paper, what sizes does it come in, do you want a landscape or portrait or square sketchbook,and what size. 4. Tools & Materials: Now going to briefly talk about materials and tools, mostly because your materials may be different depending on your media, and the tools. You could make some adjustments depending on what you have on hand. I will show you what I used to make sketchbooks I need in this class. We'll start with the materials that I used. My covers are made from the backs of old sketchbooks. What I used was a back of a sketchbook like this. It's a nice thick cardboard or pop cardboard. You can see this is the cutoff of what was left of this one. Then the paper that I used is two full sheets of 90 pound, 100 percent cotton watercolor paper. I find in this size, and with my techniques, the 90 pound is fine. It also means I can fit more spreads into a sketchbook that's about this big. You're seeing the calculations just how many spreads? But this is two full sheets of 90 pound watercolor paper. Then make over the thread as I go through these materials. The manufacturers for the paper, if you're wondering, it changes with every book, whatever I have on hand. Sometimes I can't get a hold of the 90 pound paper I want. That particular one has Saunders Waterford, 90 pound Hot Press, Great White, or High White paper. Then the second half is Fabriano Artistico 90 pound, Rough, Traditional White paper. Some different stuff, If I'm playing around and I want something more yellowish. I go with the traditional way, the rough because its some texture. If I'm doing something more refined. I can go with the smooth on the high white and it gives me different options in the same sketchbook. One of the great reasons you make your own. As you go through the process, you go through these tools. When you're marking out your paper, you're going to want a pencil. It also be beneficial to have some spare paper, pencil, pen to write out your calculations with too. You're going to need a ruler and you'll see I have a red ruler that has a safety guard. When I'm cutting, my hands are behind a guard that's called a safety edge or safety ruler. Then you'll need a blade obviously. The exact razor blade for the paper, depend how thick it is for the cardboard. I like to use it in a little bit heavier. There I can put some weight on it and I don't feel like it's going to snap. It gives me a little more control. Then you're going to be folding your signatures. You can really just use whatever you have, your fingernail, an edge. I do like to use a bone folder, I feel like it makes the process a little easier. I use the descend to score, and then use the edge of it to crease the paper. Then poking holes in your signature, you can use anything. An Awl is the traditional book binders tool for this. I've used a pencil, the needle that I sew with, this time I use a seam ripper, and that's a sewing tool that has a pointy end. The only thing to keep in mind is you don't want them to be too big, keep that in mind when choosing your tool. For my covers, as you can see here. I use a hole punch. I didn't think it was going to work, but it actually went through the cardboard of the size. I was very happy that I didn't have to take a knife and carve out chunks, that's what I use. Then we get into thread and I actually have binders thread. You can search for it on internet, a lot of art supplies stores have them, and there are specialty bookbinding websites that sell it. You might want to look for, is that like. This is acid free. It says archival. This is middle linen, and It's made for this purpose. This card has 50 yards, If you're curious, but we use way less than that. You'll see in the video, how I judge how much thread to use. You're going to need scissors of some sort. They don't need to be specialty. The needles that I like to use, I have a package of what's called repair needles. They have larger eyes, and they're blunt, they're pointy ish. They have a large eye for this thread because it's little chunky to fit through. You're trying to make sure your thread fits through it, and that you can physically use it to sew. As you can see, there are some here that have carves, but I tend to poke myself when I use a carve needles, I stick with what I know. That's all that I use for my books, you are welcome to certain tutorials. Do coffer glue if you want to glue your ends. I don't like to spend a lot of glue on the paper. I knotted, you'll see in the process videos, knotted a few different times, but that's what I use. Another thing to mention is, if you're looking for more information on process maybe more detailed, or different variation. There are countless online tutorials. I think the first time I made one, I followed an Online YouTube tutorial. I've since then pick up a couple of books, if I want to expand on my skills. The two that I recommend that I picked up are Hand Bookbinding from Aldren A Watson, this one here. This is a traditional approach, has a lot of diagrams, text information and it goes into everything from, adding a spine to different stitches and getting really intricate in your creation, may make it a more finished product. The other book that I have that I picked up is called Bound by Erica Ekrem. This, I love more for the inspiration of different projects I can make with my sketchbooks. Talking about those alternate uses for a sketchbook, this would be a great resource. It goes through alternate, this get flower pressing, different shapes, that sort of stuff, but they all hinge off of that same creation. If you're looking for more information, that one also does have the stitching technique and everything. Think about checking those out, but that's materials, and they last lot of its tools. Then the consumables, the thread will last you a while, then the paper, for example, the paper that I use is usually about $4 maybe $5 a sheet, I use two sheets per sketchbook, that's $10 maybe with tax and shipping, usually with a big order. Then the covers are reused, that's how affordable that these sketchbooks can be. 5. Calculations: Are you ready to start on some calculations? I hope you are, because we're going to dive into those digitally. But first I wanted to show you how messy my calculations page usually is. It's both sides. Because there could be a lot of different steps if you're trying to decide the size and the calculations of your media versus the calculations of your sketchbook. You can make it as complicated as you want, but I'm going to break down how I work through it in my favorite sizes from my favorite medias. Calculations can be a little intimidating when you're thinking about them, and you haven't really done them before. I really encourage you not to be intimidated by them. They're are actually a lot of fun once you get into them, and you start seeing it as exciting, figuring out the possibilities of what you can create, not only in terms of the number of spreads per sheet, but also what you can create in all these differently shaped sketchbooks. The easiest way if you've never done these types of calculations before is just to start with how big of a spread can you make? All that really is, is start splitting it in half. If you have a sheet of watercolor paper, full-size watercolor paper is 22 inches this way. I guess you're wondering why I'm drawing very orthogonally. It's dry and assist in Procreate. It's 22 inches this way, and it is 30 inches across the top. That's what most of my diagrams here will be. I will get into some smaller ones at the end if you're using alternately sized paper. If we're just starting, and just looking and splitting this in half, it wouldn't really make sense to start with this way because that would be a very tall, and long sketchbook. We'll start horizontally. So by splitting it down the horizontal, you have a very large sketchbook still, but little bit more normal proportions. So you would have 22 inches tall, and it would be 15 inches wide. This would be actually pretty cool for a folio setup, maybe you're not using it for sketching me, maybe we're using it for housing photographs, or making a presentation to go with something. Sometimes it's really fun to think of the different possibilities for some of the sizes you might not normally think of. We're going to move on from this very large sketchbook and break it down a little bit more. I'm actually going to leave this line, and it would make sense that if you break it down in half this way. Then you're like, "Well what if I cut it in half this way?" You would then have four spreads of 11, and this is 30, so it was 15,and 15 divided by 2 is 7 and half. There we go. Then that would be folded down that way, so we have four spreads, just like that. This would be portrait oriented. If you didn't want to have portrait but landscape instead, we still split it down this way. But then you would cut each of these down this vertical axes. Then you would fold each of those down there, horizontal center, and you would still have the same measurements. You would have an 11 inch width by a 7 and half height, and you would get four spreads of this width. For me, I don't usually cut my paper this way because I like to have that page size be somewhat close to a standard frame Size. This is just shy of a by 10. For me, I don't usually use this. If you're using it for notes or you're not planning on framing your pieces, it's a great efficiently to break up your paper into a larger size. If you want to go in to say another larger size, if you just broke it into thirds, instead of in halfs, if that was thirds, some are very scaled, they would each be 10. Then if you folded it up the middle, you get three spreads that are 10 by 11. If you wanted it to be square before you make your folds and you would just cut off two inches of the paper. Use it for swatches use it for whatever you want, you would fold this width into 10 by 10 spreads. Now if we work our way down to one of the larger standard sizes, which is eight by 10, if you wanted portrait, you do end up, at least the way I would cut mine, cut off about six inches. This is a great size to make into something else. You can make small paintings, zigzag sketchbook, whatever you really want out of that extra paper. But then you would do the same thirds and then you would fold up the middle. This was 22 minus the 6 equals 16, and 16 divided by 2 gives you 8 for the width of each page. After two thirds, because this was 30 across the entire top, you would have three eight by 10 spreads per sheet of 30 by 22 inch watercolor paper, or whichever paper you're using, joined paper, whichever. If you wanted to do landscape, you lose a little bit more of your paper. The way I've seen is six inches off the side here and then two inches off the bottom. Like I said, you could use this with swatches, zigzag book, doesn't really matter. Sometimes it's nice just to include a whole bunch of test strips in your sketchbooks so you can test your paints without marking your pages. But that's the starting thing because now we're going to split it into thirds again. But because we want this to be a landscape book, you needed to take off this width. So 30 minus 6 equals 24, 24 divided by 3 is 8. So it's going to be eight inches high. Then because we took off this two, 22 minus 2 is 20. Then if you fold it up the middle, you get 10. You have three spreads of eight by 10 pages. Now working a little bit smaller. This is the orientation that I use. Getting into the next standard size would be five by seven. I actually shoot for less paper cutoffs and I don't mind a larger sheet than what is standard, because I can always trim the actual sheet once I'm done with it. I'd rather have the extra space to work out things and then trim it off later. I start with that nice easy down the middle and half cup. Then each of those gets cut in half, very easy, and then they all get folded in half. You end up with eight spreads of 5.5 by 7.5 paper. This is portrait because that's what I prefer. I just find it sits better in my lab. Where I use it It works better, fits better and I like to toss it into a A5 journal cover and you'll see that later on in the class. If you want it to be landscape you can start with that center axis, and then this one across the middle. Then instead of cutting it this way, you would then cut each of these this way. That gives you these nice long spreads. Then you would use this axis here to fold all your spreads. It gives you the same number, eight spreads of the same measurements 5.5 by 7.5. Page sizes. Say you want to work towards maybe a 4 by 5, there's two different layouts that I can recommend that I've done four small sketch books. If you're doing portrait, I start with cutting off six inches right off the side. You'll see the way it works out. News don't have the space for it. Then into thirds, that would be 30 minus 6 equals 24. Twenty four into 3, so it's 8. Eight per parts of these so it means we are going to end up cutting this, fold it this way. So there will be four inches across the width of each portrait page. So then the other way we're going to split this in half and then split this in half and this side in half. So you will have 1, 2, 3, by 4, so 12 spreads of 4 by, let me write, so this was 22 divided by 2 is 11 divided by 2 again is 5.5 by 4. So you will have these portraits orientated spreads, so you'll have 12 per sheet. Which is a pretty good, I mean, it's a pretty nice little small notebook, little sketch book. So that's a good way to get something together with one sheet of paper, to try out ideas. If you wanted to do landscape, I actually have found I can cut off less. I can cut off about two inches and I'll show you why. So you're going to split the same way this way. Then these will be folds. Then I can fit seven of them here instead of the six pages in the portrait, I can fit seven spreads for the landscape. I know that probably sounds really confusing. So there's my one in the middle, on each side I'm going to fit three. Like this, it's not to scale. That's why I usually keep the numbers around so I know exactly what space I'm working with, I don't think I have more than I do. We are just going to mark this so that we don't think to use it. The reason I get more, so I actually get 14 spreads out of this layout, because this area here, you can't use. This four inches you can't use in portrait because when you're cutting it this way, your spread is going this way and you run out of room. This second page doesn't exist. Versus with this landscape orientation, you're going this way, which gives you access to this page. So you get an extra one two spreads out of this layout. So you will get 14 spreads of this 4 by 5.5 inch on pages. That's a nice little notebook. These are great for travel if you want to record many different instances, but don't have a lot of room or you don't want to be buying eight sheets of watercolor paper. It just gives you a very quick project. Now, say you didn't have 22 by 30 inch paper. I've got two examples here on 16 by 20 paper. So maybe using marker paper or you're using your pastel paper. Something else that comes to maybe a pad, it's a little more accessible. Watercolor paper also comes in smaller sizes, although it is more expensive to buy already broken down. So you could do 8 by 10 in either direction very easily. So if this is 16 and this is 20, all you have to do is depends on which way you cut it. If you cut it down the middle and fold it across the side here, you're going to get portrait orientation. It's for 8 by 10 portrait, you get two spreads per sheet of paper. Now, if you cut it longways and fold it vertically, you get two spreads of 8 by 10 or 10 by 8 if you want to read it the other way. Landscape orientated sketchbook spreads. Say you had a pad of these, say there is ten sheets in the pad, so 10 times you have 20 spreads just in that one pad of paper. Using that 16 by 20 sheet of paper, you want to do 5 by 7s. There may be another way to break this down that I haven't discovered, but the way I've discovered, you do need to cut off about two inches. A 2-inch cutoff and then break it into quadrants. Down the middle, down the middle. This is your portrait. Then you would fold each of those in half. This gives you an even 7, and this gives you an even 5. Now if you wanted to do landscape, you still cut off that 2 inches. Then you would still cut down the center. But then you would cut down the center and this center and do a fold up each of those that way. Then you would end up with five same measurements, just different orientation, 5 by 7. Four spreads, same with the other direction. Say you had 11 by 14 paper on hand. If you start with the standard of what if you just fold it in half? It doesn't really give you a standard size unfortunately, because 14 divided by 2 would mean this is 7, and this would be 11. That's not a standard, it's just shy of that 8 by 10 size. So it's good if you're not framing or if you don't want to worry about framing. This ice paper starts to make more sense if you want to break it down into 5 by 7s. Depending on once again, which way you cut it. So if you cut it this way and fold it this way, because this was 11, so you get 5.5 by 7. You get two spreads of portrait. If you just cut it this way, and then fold it that way you get landscape. As you get used to breaking down whatever size that you have on hand into sketchbooks, spreads and such, it gets even more excited and you start to think more and more ideas. Not only in how you break down your paper, but also all the different ways that you can use all these new formulations. Maybe you'll find a layout that is like a skinny portrait sized. Maybe that's perfect for bullet journaling, or maybe that's perfect to make a sketch book that's only for swatches or only for notes. Say you have like extras and maybe you make a couple spreads out of the cut-off paper from some of these layouts and you make a long skinny landscape sketch book for panoramas. It just really opens up your potential for being creative. It's sometimes a fun exercise to just take whatever paper you have in your own visual arts or in your storage and see what we can make out of that. That's a great project, like a really great project to use up materials and also to push yourself and push your boundaries as to what you could create. So don't be intimidated by the calculation section. It's really fun once you get into it. A couple pieces of paper, and a pencil, and maybe a calculator make it go a little faster and you'll come up with something that you like. It's also a really good time to pop back to thinking about why you want to make a sketch book. Thinking about what size and materials will make it a good experience for you. Then work your way back and forth until you get to a layout and a selection that works for you. If you have any questions that all throughout the process, don't hesitate to reach out to me in the discussion section. I'd be happy to help work through a particular calculations question or help you through somewhere maybe you are stuck. Go ahead and post them in the project gallery too. Be fun to see where you guys are out along the way. It's part of the fun of making your own sketchbook. Once you have your calculations all set. It's either a good time to order your paper and maybe save the rest of the videos when you paper comes in. Or you can pre watch them so you know what the next steps are and make sure you have all your tools. Otherwise, I will see you in the next video, which is cutting your paper. 6. Cutting The Paper: In this section, we're going to talk about how to break down your media. As you can see, I've got all the tools that I'm going to need and actually a few I'm just going to be demonstrating and not actually using. The media that I have chosen is a 22 by 30 sheet of watercolor paper. This is 90 pound saunders waterford cold press or their high white, and I will be breaking this up actually equally, there will not be any left over. So the most important part to have during this step is your calculations, and you'll see them in action. We've already talked about them. Then a pencil, or if you're really good at dentining paper with your fingernail, go ahead and do that. I'll show you how to use the cuts, but usually I end up tearing my paper, not cutting it. I'll have this for demonstration, but I'm actually going to be breaking it down using a straightedge and ripping. Then I have a T-square here, just in case I need to get a straight line from one end to the other. I'm going to clear all of this off. I've got my calculations over to the side. The way I've done my calculations, is that I'm going to first be splitting the paper in half. I am going to measure 15 inches over from each of the corners, and then I'm going to use this T-square here. I'm going to flip it. Because this is not a very thick piece of paper, I do not need the steps. I'm going to precess with my fingernail. Make sure I don't touch the top of the ruler, and I'm just going to remove this, and you can see that nice clean. I'm going to flip it and the other side. Then I'll have to quake using my fingernail with much force, so I'm going to crease this side. I don't want to put too much pressure and make it quite a flat crease because I'm going to get a really straight brick. What I'm going to do is I'm going to use, this is called a straight edge, it's used mostly when you're cutting so that you keep your fingers behind here and you don't risk cutting off your fingertips. I'm going to line it up as much of this as I can and press down and rip this way. You can see it's okay if it does this little wiggle. But I'm going to stop there because I'm going to move this down, because all I need is to get down to here and have it rip this way. Take this, there we go so now I have two pieces. Now, both of these, I'm going to split vertically as well. Sometimes it makes sense because you're splitting it vertically, this way and another vertical this way. I'm going to split it this way first because it's a little easier to manage a smaller fold than a longer one like that is going to be the longest fold that we rip. We're going to do, so this is now 22 inches, we're going to go down to 11 and 11. It's okay if it's there, you can always erase it. The same thing on this one and the other side. Because this is a distance that I can use my 3H for, I'm just going to use this all the way through. I don't need to grab the T-square. Once again, I'm creasing neither nails. You can also grab a bone folder, which we'll use later on to really crease these signatures. Once again I crease it. We're going to take it the opposite way. You see that looks a little odd. We're going to correct it a little bit. The edges of this may not have been square. We'll do that, we want to come back to this side and reinforce that corrected one. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to put that almost incorrect fold underneath the straight edge so it doesn't accidentally rip. Spread those now, I'm going to this one. Once again, we're going to line it up, crease it. This one look more lined up, fold it, crease it. Once you already have the crease, set it up straight and move it edge against that. Now I have four this way. If you have a paper that you would like to note the front and back sides on. If you have a paper that has a difference, I'd preferably don't usually mark a difference. I'm not being too worried about flipping one and having an x on the back of another. But you can keep them right-side-up or put a little x in the corner to mark front and back. That way, you know which way they're facing in your signatures. As you can tell, this is obviously the front because the watermark is readable. We're going to start with breaking down this next piece. So this is two spreads right here. What we're going to do is, it's 15 inches across right now, we're going to break it down to 7.5. Sometimes when you get deck old papers, you may end up, we're not even, I'm just estimating. The best part about the way I did my calculations is that if I want a five by seven painting to come out of this then I actually have 5.5 by 7.5 size pages. I actually have some wiggle room. It also means that I could put down some tape. If I want Chris bench on my penny and I still have enough space. This is not a very uneven floorboards. What's happened is that my floorboard its wax so it's only holding down the paper in one area. We've two spreads there, we're going to repeat this for the rest of all. 7. Cutting the Covers: Now once you're finished with your signatures, you also going to want to cut your cover. Michelle, I used my sketch book covers is pretty much just the stuff that, as you see this was probably the backup of aligned paper pad. It's chipboard that toughen up, track the paper but it's pretty flimsy enough that I can cut it with something like this. When I cut my covers, I sometimes want them to be just a little bit bigger than the sheets themselves. So as you can see, this is the current sketch book that I'm almost done with. It's a little bit taller than the pages by about like maybe a quarter of an inch, eighth of an inch. If they're all lined up, it's either the same width or a little longer than, I dissolved my signatures. I liked how this one worked, but I wouldn't mind seeing if I could get it a little bit larger, I could always cut it down. I'm going to trace it. It's not going to stick out past the back because of the way I'm going to bind it. I might leave those the same because as we'll see at the end, I put in this cover and right now I have room to spare. I could add in this extra and this will fit in here but it's going to stretch a little bit so I might actually tore just a little. Let's measure. Let's see, we had. So I'm winding up. This was about seven and three, four seven inch. I might go with eight inches flat. I'm going to mark it up here as well, eight inches. On this I'm actually draw a line and then I'm going to cut it. This is where the safety edge really comes in handy because it's going to take a couple of cuts in a little bit of pressure and it's always nice to have, if you have one of these receivable are self-healing mats underneath because you get a nice grip to it. This will protect my fingers. The key with using like a blade like this, because I don't feel like going to get a box cutter. It just takes a couple cuts, so we have our height, now we want our width. We know that our paper is, and I haven't done the signatures yet at this point when I'm filming this [inaudible] they're five-by-five. I want it to be a little bit bigger than five-by-five. Probably not so big as to be a half an inch. We're going to do five and three -quarters. Five and three -quarters. Then I'm going to measure over again, five and three-quarters. Five and three-quarters. We're align it up. The first one I was got little gently because I don't want it to move, because then once you have that little indentation from your first cut, it's easier to put a little bit more pressure on it and not be worried about blade moving. It's not going to go off to the side because it has a little route to follow. Turn that up. I have one cover and two covers. Always either recap your exact or if they're attractable, put it back in because you got to lean over and disaster happens. We have our two covers and as I plant it's a little bit larger, which is what I want it. A little bit larger here and a little bit larger here. Each to mimic my sketchbook, I learn a little bit more. As you can see, this is actually a little bit thicker than what I used last time and the reason it's black is because I put black just on it but I do not recommend because it does come off on your paper unless you seal it but I did not seal it as you can see. We can see is covers. 8. Folding the Paper: Okay. In the last session, we cut our spreads and we cut our covers. Now we're going to cover what goes into making the signatures and the different options you can go for, dependent on that HIPAA sketchbook that you're aiming for. You can see I have two piles of spreads that have been cut same size, just different paper and this is different than the ones I just folded due to a camera malfunction. But same process. The big thing with signatures is how many spreads, so how many of these that you're going to want in the same signature. I'll fold these two in the way that I fold signatures as these are straight in half. Line up your corners, you could see this was very roughly torn. Then you take a bone folder and start from the center and work your way out to the edge. That's one, then I will do the second one here. Start in the middle, up to the edge. What I was talking about is when I make my sketchbooks, I do prefer to have just one spread per signature and what a signature is, is each of these. Each of the little like backs that you see is a considered a signature. Occasionally, when you'll get a book, you'll have multiple pieces of paper that have been folded up to make a signature. That would look like as if you stacked them and nested them like that. You would have two pieces of paper within one signature. That would make sewing a little quicker because you're going to punch a hole, and the thread is going to go into two spreads at the same time. More pages, less time to make your sketch book. But when you're using your sketchbook, the downside is that not only do not get to utilize each spread. If you were to paint here across both of these, if you ever took it apart, these would be two separate pieces of paper versus in the middle of a spread like this, which is why it's called a spread. You would be able to take this out of sketchbook and frame it, and it would look great. I mean, it probably have a couple of holes, but it would have that allure of like, all of this was in the sketch book. What I prefer to do is instead of nesting spreads into signatures, I do each one as a separate one. It does take longer, but I get a lot more fulfillment out of using a sketchbook that has that setup. We already have two done, I'm just going to continue folding the rest of these and we'll check back in at the end. Do make sure that if you're keeping track of which side of the paper is the front, and which are the paper is back, if there's a different texture on your particular type of media or so forth, just make sure you're doing them all the same and maybe you're keeping track as you're flipping them, just make sure you note so you don't forget which one. Here you can see I've finished one type of paper, and that's stack them all together and I'm just running bone folder over the whole edge here, the whole spine just to flatten it a bit more. I'll keep that over there and start on the next one. I don't know if you can see as I'm working with this particular paper, this is Fabriano 90 pound rough textured paper, and it gets a little bit hard to fold. It's very coarse if you hear it because I'm moving it around. But I can feel it right here where I started. Put down the thing I have to switch to this, because this actually hurts your hands. It grates on them a little bit. It is nice to build, to do this a little easier with implementation of a tool. You can also see that because of this paper when I was ripping it, I wasn't really using the safety, I was just going on more freehand. I do have a lot more organic edges. Like on this one, I'm actually going to clean this up a bit because I like this but that didn't need to be there. We finish that paper. I'm always tapping so that the spines of the signatures are all aligned and re-flattening. We have rough and hot prose, and I'm not sure which one I want to have in the front of my sketchbook actually. Technically, it won't matter until I start using the sketch book because it will look the same front and back. But probably, I'm going to put the rough towards the back. Align, then move on to marking holes. 9. Marking Holes: For marking the holes, you want to make sure you really have them aligned. You can see that this piece here needs a little bit of coercion. You can see so I have these aligned, but that's going to look a little weird. I'm actually going to just use a little bit of artistic judgment and center them like this, but I'm going to just re-tap them so they're all aligned up again. I'm going to grab a pencil which had fallen off the table, and I'm going to copy the whole pattern that I have in my current sketchbook. You could see doesn't have to be exact. Right now I'm just marking the majority, so that's where I'm going to go, and then going to re-tap them again. I can see there was one that was sitting in there, it wasn't getting marked, really get in there and mark them all. Those are marked, I'm also going to mark my covers at the same time. This is the cover that I cut for this sketch book, and the important thing to do when you mark for holes, is to make sure that it is aligned correctly when you're doing this. As you can see this one isn't exactly cut straight, so I'm actually going to save that for the outer edge. Because if you remember I cut this in extra quarter inch larger than my spreads. You see if I re-tap here, it starting to get a little wiggle, but that's okay. I'm going to align it to the same edge. Technically, I can slide it to one of these sheets, and then I can just align up the two other ones. I'm going to mark the edge of the boards and I can see that. I'm just marking those boards, and so I've got this one, this one, and this one. I'm going to copy that over. The part I'm going to go, it's going to be more like it here. Because if I go too close to this edge, this will not be structurally sound, and it will rip off, even though this is pretty sick. We're going to start punching the holes in the signatures. I'm going to put these over to the left, and move them over like a manufacturing line. What most book binders will recommend is getting it all. I actually don't have one of those but what I use is a simaper, and I don't know if you could see that, to get a little clear. That's the simaper that I use, it's a little larger, I also have a little tiny one, but that would be hard of my wrist, so we're going to work with us one. You can also use personal scissors, just be careful because you have the tendency to go a little further in and then your hole is going to be this wide instead of this wide. I like this because it's probably going to stop before it gets any larger than what I need it to be. We're just going to puncture a hole like that, see that? Just like that, and then flip it, because I want to keep the order that these pages are in. I'm not sure if you can tell what I'm doing underneath the paper, is what I am doing is using a space between my fingers. There's a finger over here and there's a finger over here, and that provides support for these papers, and pushes the paper up while I push the simaper down, which make my hole. Because otherwise, if I just did this is you have to all your way through, its probably why I use the column offs, but this makes it a little easier. That's the end of the smooth or the hot press paper, so now I'm going to another couple sheets of this, which is the rough press paper definitely, little more bite. Remember spines down, tap for alignment. Then I'm going to scratch myself with that, give it a quick press, I'm going to double-check to see. You can see these lines have begun to waver actually I'm not sure if you can see them or not. But that's okay because when you stitch them, they're automatically going to realign, because you're going to take one and then just add just one, and as you stitch it together, those alignment marks will automatically lineup. It's magic, not really. Let's do our covers next. My first try of doing these covers I did find out that even the stitcher board, we'll see this is a little thicker than the last time even. I was able to use this single hole punch to put in the things. As you can see this is the one I did. First this the paper you saw me ripping. I had sewn this and the camera was out of focus. I have an extra example. You can see I've put in hole punch that you can go through the cover, which is what we're going to do now. Originally, the sketchbook I'm using now has extremely thin ship board, and that was very easy. This was a little more difficult, and this I think is even thicker. We're going to see if this works, if not, to grab another tool. Once again I'm going to go in further than being right next to it, so that it's not structurally unsound. A little twisting I found helped worries it's way through the cardboard. I'm just going to check on it, it is cutting through it, but does take a little bit. Oh, there we go. This I found is a lot easier for me than getting a hi-tech tool. What I'm doing here is I'm just taking this off because as you can see they tend to build up a little faster as they're not paper. Actually you will be able to see exactly where that is. But just the way my hand works, I like to have the puncture on this side. You can see I'm putting a fair amount of pressure on this. If you have any fancy tools like a [inaudible] or something like that totally go for that. But its just that you want to reuse your [inaudible] , and what I usually do is just reuse mine. Usually I'm not going through this every single time I make a sketch book, unless I haven't already finished a sketchbook before I make a new one. Say if I had these, if I use my sketchbook up, then I could just take those covers, cut new paper for it, and just sow the covers onto the new sketchbook. But because I still haven't finished my current one, I was cutting new covers for these sketchbooks to show you. Plus its always good because you're going to have a first one and you're going to need to know how to cut the covers. We have are covers, we're going to align everything. Want the bigger cover, some of these are a little off. We want the bigger cover in the back. Now the hot [inaudible] are tapped to align. This is just for my own amusement. Let's take a quick peek. That's what it's going to look like. This is why I'm checking it too, before I start threading things. A hole is here, here, and here, but my lines are here, here, and here, so I actually have to flip them. They are not centered, which is okay in my book, or on my book. There we go, I see now those are aligned, and that's how we check it. We're going to start stitching in the next video. 10. Stitching: Measuring Your Thread: We've finished prepping our signatures and our covers, and we are ready to get stitching. The thread that I have here is just a plain unwaxed binder thread. You can get wax if you want to wax your thread. I've technically never needed it. But you can get as far into this or as casual as you want. I found this works great. As I mentioned in the About video, the less work I put into this, the less delicate I tend to be with them, and I'm more likely just like, blow through a sketch book and that is so helpful when you're working through new ideas. I've got my needle here, this is the needle I always use for here. If you can see it, put this up, it's a very blunt needle, has a very large eye, and that makes it easy to accept this thicker thread, one I'm less likely to put myself. Although I have [inaudible]. It's just enough. You can also get, these are a little bit big, but these are repair needles. This might have been what this was from. It might have been that one, but they have larger eyes and blunter tips. But you don't want it to be too big that it's poking a big hole in your paper. I have my needle and I have my thread and this is on a card, so as you see, as I unwind it, it's going to have these kinks which causes its own problems but it's what I have and I don't mind using it. The way I calculate how much thread that I'm going to use for the sketchbook is: there's a distance between these two holes and you're going to be covering it so many times as you work through the signatures, this particular sketch book has 14 signatures plus two covers. It would've technically had 16, but I borrowed some paper for a project between grip unit and making this so my calculations are usually 16 signatures, two covers, which means that it's about 72 inches by the time it goes through all that. Then I usually have a ruler, it's an 18-inch ruler, much like my safety edge here. This is 18 inches. What I usually do, you can use like a 12-inch, you don't have to use 18. I divided the 72 by 18, which was 4 lengths. I'm going to unwind a bit. I don't want to wind too much so that I won't want to have to rewind it. That's not what I want to do with my time right now. We have one, two, three, four. That's a starting minimum. I'm not going to cut it at that length. Actually in the previous sketch book that I filmed, that didn't work out, I actually doubled that number, but I ended up with quite a bit left over. I'm actually going to add two more lengths. I'm going to unwind a bit more. One, two, and I guess we'll do three, and that was just a little bit less left over. Well, actually, this one has two less signatures so I'm actually going to stay with six of those lengths. Did you see I'm securing it? I'm cutting it. 11. Stitching : Connecting the Pieces: How we're going to attach it to our needle because we're just going to insert enough through. This shouldn't need like, you receive it like lick the thread before they go through this. Suddenly this is fairly large and I usually pull it through, because this is a cardioid. It's on a card threads. Has these kinks pull it through to maybe not this first one, but this next one. It will stay there pretty well. We're ready to go. We're not going to start exactly with the cover. We're going to start with this first signature. What we're going to do is come up through this first hole, and leave enough of a tale about six inches. That's good. Now remember, you got to make sure your papers are aligned because this one is the way I cut my holes. They're not centered. We're going to come up next to it. You can go through this first hole twice. If you have a thinner cover, I would not go through it twice. I will go through it once, pulled all the way through, and then go through it again. In this case, my hole is quite thick. What I'm going to do is just put my finger through this, so that it's not greeting on this as it loops around. I'm caught on something. There we go. Now she don't want, make sure I keep that sixth inches there. Then align that to the top. Then we're going to go right back into the signature, and you want to match for knots, because there's so much thread. If you've ever had hands-on, you know beginning of a project is much more difficult handling that, than at the end of the project. Don't worry about running out of thread. You can always splice thread is just that extra stuff. Don't, I prefer not to do. Back up through the middle hole. We're going to do the same thing here, one and two with my finger through here. Then is just, this is still very loose. We're going to pull it up, tying up, tying up, and then back through that hole. This is not like a cannon way to making sketch versus is definitely more like my vernacular way. This is what I found works for me. They don't come apart yet. In the last time I spent doing that, the last precious I am with my sketchbooks, which means I don't feel intimidated to just plunk down some sketches or some swatches. I definitely get more done. As you can see on this one, I'm doing one and two separately. If you'd like to process, split it up. We're not going to go through this hole again but I'm going to retighten all of these since very loose. Now I'm using this needle just to get one of those and then tighten. I'm actually going to go underneath all this just to group it altogether since we're not going back in. You remember this would've been here. We're going to pick up our next signature and then go straight over and down through the first hole. As you can see, we're starting from the opposite side this time. Perfect. Then back up to the hole. The definite becomes of rhythm. You'll like all sun reached the antibody. Oh my goodness. As you come up the middle hole, since you don't have a cover to loop through, you're actually going to loop over, you'll see that, it's trying to find it first. You're going to loop through that first hole where it came out of the signature. I'm just going to picture so I can post it up on a screen while I'm showing you. We're going to pull through there. I'm getting caught on is the latch on my tripod leg. See, go underneath and then back in. Then I'll probably coming in and out of in and out of frame. But it'll make sense. Then you come right back up through the last one. See how I can tie in that one. Sometimes it's just trying to pick the right thread. Then we go through, and then as you remember, we're going to go back through that. I'm definitely going to tighten this tail at the same time. Then as you guess it makes you orient correctly. Grab your next signature that you need on the first hole, and this is what I was talking about with Azure reshuffling and read. Calibrating your signatures together, they're going to automatically be aligned. If you're aligned, like the marks on the sides were aligned because you're just adding one at a time. The holes are going to be one thread apart and back up through the middle. You just continue this, see you're going from hole to hole, and then attaching it underneath a loop that's from the previous signature. I'm not really to pick yes. Or which particular loop you're going underneath, as long as you're attaching it to something that is already knotted. Then back down through. Then you keep working your way at adding signature and adding signature, and I will phase out or speed this up for you and we'll see you at the end. One thing to note is, if you plan on cutting out pages of your sketchbook, you can implement a measure of safety so that it doesn't, I don't think they would unravel, but I don't really know because I haven't done this. As you're going through, and I'll show you on the next one, you actually throw in a knot as you're looping through. I'm not sure if it's the kettle stitch that they talk about in the books. I go in underneath this, and instead of just going through and then going back down, I'm going through and then making sure my needle goes through that loop that I'm creating. I would consider it an overhand knot so you can see, I'm rehooking underneath that thing and it forms a little knot, and then I'm going back into this signature. You see I've switched on to the next set of paper, you just don't stop, you just attach the next one and keep sewing. You can see here is I've done a little knot, so I'm just trying to figure out where. There we go. What happened? I'm not entirely sure. Oh, I see what happened. This was twisted then I went through the hole with a twisted. That's better. Okay, we're on the last signature and I'm going to continue sewing this arm just like before. That went really quick, right? It's always a surprise when I get there, I'm like "Oh!". You can see the spines, they're all neat and straight because if you realize you've punched your holes neat and straight, the spine will come out straight enough. You're going to see difference, but that's because I was hand ripping pages and they're not going to be super smooth, but I didn't want them to be super smooth, so that is the intended effect. We're on, the last thing, so we're going to go through, introduce that knot. I think I did the first couple without the knot, but you can always superglue it if it starts to come undone, if you've taken pages out. I'll show you in the last video how to take pages out and deconstruct your book, so no worries there. I'll show you exactly what happens. You'll find out. Actually, I've already taken notebooks apart, so you'll find out. That's bothering me, tighten that up. We have our back cover and we're making sure it's the correct alignment because remember we had more space over here than we had over here. I've come here, and I'm going to double loop. Whoop, slippery needle. As you see, it got much easier towards the end with the less thread, so we're going to double and two. I'm going to make this is as right up next to it, get that nice and tight. I'm going to actually do an extra one just because I feel like it. Then I'm going to go around the bottom of all these like I did on that first signature. Go through all of them just like that. We can see, let me take some picture and I'll it put it on the screen. Now I won't keep moving the around the camera so you get little less motion sickness. We're going to be looping around all those and then I'm going to dive into the signature hole. We're going backwards. We're going back along the route we just came. Back up through the middle hole. We're going to double loop. We'll do the triple loop again. The back of the sketchbook, sometimes gets a little bit more wear, because I'll show you how I keep mine. I keep it in a reusable cover and that's where it gets attached, so you'll see. Loop it around, back through that hole and then you guessed it, back through the bottom hole and then loop it around three times underneath. Now we're going to knot it. 12. Stitching: Weaving in the Tails: Underneath, and now we're going to knot it. We're going to finish off these threads by, I'm going to come and go back underneath the turn like if I was moving on, I'm going to go back underneath next loop over and make a nice knot. Then we're going to keep working my way down the spine doing that exact same thing. What I'm basically doing is making a whole bunch of knots along the spine. Move out halfway down it now, there's no rhyme or raising up, there was a twist. Getting excited and I pulling the thread, very prematurely and there we go. You do one more. You can decide however many feels secure enough to you. Then all I'm going to do is just weave. The needle tends to go in between the signatures. It's a little tricky. For this, I want to make sure I am going between threads and not just underneath them. So we're weaving the rest of that. You can go back and forth. Don't go underneath the exact thread you're weaving and that does not secure anything. I don't want to make a knot, because that makes them very large right here. That should be. So this is the last one I'm going to weave and now what I'm going to do is clip it. And mostly we were doing the weaving in. It's quite a little bit maybe like eighth quarter an inch to spare. Weaving that ends so that the tail doesn't come out of that lasts not as easily. Now we're going to go back to the beginning and deal with this tail. So I need my needle back. You can see we had this much so probably one length of thread leftover, which I'm happy with that. So we're going to thread the tail, not too much, through this needle and open up that first signature. Now I'm going to loop it underneath this. Maybe a couple of times, I don't know. I make it up each time I do this. Loop underneath backup through. You'll see what looks like it's going to secure your thread the most. So I just loop it back underneath those. Now we're going to do the exact same thing. We're going to make a bunch of knots. This is the only time where sometimes the blunt needle doesn't really get in there as well as it could, especially if you do this super tight, it'll be a little harder but, as you can see mine is very loose and I'm okay with that. So that was two knots. Three and four and I'll take a picture right here for you guys and pop it up on the screen. You can see what's going on and that'll be the last knot. I'm just going to we've always looks like it's going to go through and then it just doesn't. Weave this through a couple maybe one more. So we can take the needle off and clip it. You can even put a little bit of superglue on the end to secure the end if you feel concerned about it. But as you can see, we're all done. Checking out like where you think ended up. So we've got our stitching. See that anymore it'll often refocus and what I was talking about with the signatures is you will see this and also the looseness. This will lay flat every time. You can paint on this spread. You could paint here, but you have to remember obviously these are two very different pieces of paper. So if you wanted to frame it, it would require some ingenuity. But you have now as many signatures as you'd have. You have a full spread and two pages. You'll see if it splits there in the middle. So this is hot press, this is rough press. We have a sketchbook. 13. Handling Your Sketchbook: You've made your sketchbook. If you use it in everyday life, say if you're at your desk, you probably don't need to doing too much more to it. You can obviously decorate this. I don't necessarily recommend if you want to just sew, I would just sew it beforehand and seal it. As I explained, I did just sew this one and it came off on the pages. You can see there's a little bit of rubbing from this side of it. You can see it looks dirty. It'll be good for swatches, but that's probably about it. I probably wouldn't do too much. Unless I was using charcoal, then it would look fine. We have our sketchbooks here. I've made these suited for us during the process of the class. If you remember when I was cutting the covers and such, I like to use mine with a reusable cover. I got this leather cover from Gallon leather, which is out of Turkey. This is, I think, it feels like mole skin. It's that size. I think it's an A5 size. I don't quite remember. But it fits this size sketchbook. As you can see with my past one was a little bit smaller and a little larger on the cover size. With the way this fits in is there's strap in the back, and I just tuck my cover in. That's why I triple looped those back ones so that these don't get worn. So I tuck this in and there's a strap and it's just ready to go. It stays pretty protected. At the same time, I usually add these clips on it. Because when it's open, say if I'm using it vertically like on my knee or if I'm using the heavy wash, I'll clip the pages together. That one was quite tight. You want to clip it to the sketchbook so that the wind is not blowing it around and such. I usually keep these on the cover. Then as a bonus, sometimes I'll end up with spare pages. I will keep extras like the backs of stuff. If I want to swatch stuff that I don't want in my sketchbook or if I just went to work on a different paper that's not in that sketchbook, I can. I have these loose papers here. There's also a space here, here. There's a bunch of different ones you can get from different companies. If you search Etsy for a leather journal cover, you'll probably get a whole bunch of options. This is a different size, but this is a different setup. So this is in the style of a traveler's journal. It's with center core closures, so you would maybe do grouping of stuff and then put it in. You put the chord in through the middle. I'm trying to figure out how this went. Oh, I see. It's like that. So I did double chords because there's two different sets of chords, and then like that. There's plenty, if you like YouTube, online, that show you how to make these ones. I don't care for the proportions on this, the nice long. Unless you're doing spreads all the time, then that's really cool or safe. If you're doing a sketch over here and maybe some notes, that proportional size works or you could just make a cover like this that is wider. But this is definitely more of like a soft version. So there's that. There's also sketchbooks' covers that have, if you've ever made a book cover in school, it'll have something that covers this end of the cover and this end of the cover. You'll tuck your ending here, and then you fold the cover, and then you tuck this end to this side and it will keep your book covered. But this is the one that I think I've had this for about three years and I really enjoy. It's very heavy duty. I bought it once and I would probably never have to replace it. So when I'm done with this, I'll take this out. If you're from traveling, I haven't finished that one yet, but I don't want to run out of pages. I'll take the next one and just slip it in. You'll be ready to go. Just shove it all in there. It's got a nice feel to it, but it definitely protects it the most. So if you're not using a cover for this everyday style, because obviously we did not finish it out the way a nice sketchbook would look to keep it secure so it's not flapping around. Mine tend to be very loosely bound or as tight as I can get it within human error. You can use a rubber band or you can get those nice ones too like the hair scrunchy versions over bands. So that's the bonus of making your covers a little bit larger so it doesn't dent your pages. You could use a rubber band any which way. You could even like punch holes in your cover so that it goes around like a mole skin and do it like that, like a journal. If you're bringing clips with you, you just make the clips part of the whole setup. They would go around the whole thing and then that would keep it secure. There's all different size of these clips. These are little like bulldog binder clips. These are the big clips I use for when I go play near a painting. That's a little bit much and then this is sticking out, so I wouldn't use those for that. But then they also do make larger binder clips like that. So there's all these different ways that you could protect your sketchbook. You could put it in a sleeve and a little pouch with whatever tools you're using with and it'll last for quite a while. The one I have in here in this sketch book, I made last summer. This is much, much flimsier stock and it's done fantastic. There's hardly a nick on it, but it's also been in the cover. As you can see, I have taken out pages which will cover. You can see that this is a loose one from what used to be a spread that was inside the spread. But this is still in really good condition. But yeah, so we can move on to the next lesson. 14. Filling Your Sketchbook: Now, once you have your sketchbooks and you've chosen how you're going to carry them and you're actually ready to use them. If you come into some indecision and how to start using it and the reason I really like to make my own, to make it more approachable, to make it more less intimidating to use is I really like to work through things in my sketchbook and if you haven't taken or taking a peek at my first Skillshare class, it's called problem-solving in your sketchbook and it is possible, although in that class I do use a larger sketchbook, much like this and you could see I do thumbnails and swatches and this is actually a page from the class. You can see, I do a lot of stuff that may not necessarily end up framable on a wall. They do develop a life of their own. But some people may be hesitant to put, rough work in there, so they think this will look really nice, but it really does not and that's the whole point of making an approachable everyday sketchbook is to use it, to really work through what you're working on. In this size, like if you think that's not possible in this it is not enough room. It's just, you change your scale. At this size, you have to do two larger sketch, a couple of smaller sketches, you're working through this sneak peek through what I use mine for and I do a lot of observational sketching. This is more like nature journaling. That's my cat. Just stuff out of the window. That one came out nice, but this was actually a wash I did. I'm not even sure I'm going to do anything with that. Same thing with this was just something I did, while I was cooking dinner and that was just testing some fountain pen inks in my sketchbook. It can be anything and I really recommend taking the class if you're really unsure as to what you want to approach in your sketchbook, if you feel intimidated still or just stuck. I really suggest you just dive in with something and it'll go so quickly you won't even get to pick another sketchbook. 15. Deconstructing Your Sketchbook: This is not the sketchbook we made, this is my current sketchbook, but what I'm going to do is show you what you do once you're done with your sketch book. I'm just going to grab a knife, and I know that sounds scary. But this is just the knife you cut the other stuff with. This one is pretty much done, actually it just have a few pages in the back, but I can use those loose. What I'm going to do is first show you say you wanted to take just this spread out. If I cut the strings, the sketchbook may fall apart. If I still am using my sketchbook, what I'm going to do, and that's the beauty of using just three holes, is I'm going to cut from this hole down to that hole and pull that thread through. Then cut from that hole down to that hole. You're making a slit. There's just a slit in the middle of the sheet. Actually if you hold it flat you really don't see it. This is now a frameable piece of paper. You could do that for all of them. Or another way, close that before I cut myself, is you can then take your sowing scissors which hopefully aren't broken like mine, and just snip that apart. Then you just go through each of the sheets and take it apart. This is my loose sheet. You can reuse this cover now. Once you take all this apart, just work your way through. It takes a little bit of time. But you'll have all these spare sheets and say if you didn't like anything in a spread, you could recycle it or you could just go over it and try some mix media. But otherwise, I keep them, like I might frame that one or sell it or frame that one. That's what I'm going to do, I'm going to take this one apart. I will see you in the next lesson for the class project. 16. Final Project: We've gone through all the construction videos and what's next is your class project. What I would love for you to do is using the steps in the videos design or create your own sketch work and share the pictures of process. Share your thoughts and how you intend to use it and photos of the finished product or even of the art you maybe have filled sketch work with in the project gallery. I'd like to see them as well as I'm sure other students would gain inspiration and encouragement from seeing just how many different ways that a sketchbook can be made. You'll see that the lessons are definitely geared towards a more approachable sketchbook, so very stripped down, easily approachable and gives you a little less intimidation, really digging in. But if you would like to add more detail to your sketchbook, definitely go right ahead. I'm usually more focused on getting it done and getting in there and starting to sketch. Then on the physical appearance of my sketchbook, but if it's simply something that proves your functionality or does a lot of pleasure and making it more detailed, then that's a great thing. If you have any questions while you're making your project, feel free to use the project discussion forum in the class to ask me questions or just gauge what other students are doing. Secondly, a great place to mingle and share ideas and inspiration. I'm excited to see what you guys make and what you fill them with, so make sure you share your photos to the project gallery. I'll be definitely there to check them out and answer any questions. 17. Closing Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking my class. I really hope that you enjoy making your own sketchbook and that it helps your art practice. That's really end goal for making the approachable sketchbook is to get you in there and creating more. Sketch books are a source of endless inspiration, not only for artists, but also for non-artists. Usually likes to see inside an artist sketch because it gives you a glimpse into how they work and their inspiration, how they process things, how they tried new things. It's definitely a glimpse into the inner workings which people are always fascinated with. If you make a sketch book and you want some more ideas on how to use it, I recommend taking my first class here on SkillShare problem-solving in your sketch book. It's a very thorough class and the how I use my sketchbook complete with notes and thumbnails. It how I intentionally built by art skills and work through new challenges in my art. Once again, I always encourage you, share your project to the gallery. I'd love to see them and I'm sure other students would as well. It's always inspiring to see how in different ways you can make a sketch book and get your own. But until then, thank you again, and I will see you in the next class.