No-Sew Bookbinding: Make a Tiny Travel Accordion Sketchbook | Sandrine Curtiss | Skillshare

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No-Sew Bookbinding: Make a Tiny Travel Accordion Sketchbook

teacher avatar Sandrine Curtiss, Artist, explorer.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why Accordion?

    • 3. Supplies

    • 4. Folding The Paper

    • 5. The Covers, part 1

    • 6. The Covers, part 2

    • 7. Putting It All Together

    • 8. Wrapping Up

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About This Class


Come along to learn how to make your own tiny sketchbook.
If you find yourself frustrated because you can't find a sketchbook that's just right for you, whether it doesn't have the right paper, it's not the right size or format, you can always make your own perfect sketchbook.
There's a multitude of techniques to make your own book, but today I'd like to show you a very quick and easy way to make a fun, pocket size accordion sketchbook.
So if you have a few minutes and some very basic supplies, join me in this easy to follow class where no threads or needles are required. Just bring your paper, cardboard, scissors and glue!

If you're interested in taking this class and are not a Skillshare member yet, I'm happy to share with you my referral link, which will give you a free two months subscription. You will not only be able to take my class, but also thousands of other classes offered here. Have fun!
Click here to sign up.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sandrine Curtiss

Artist, explorer.


Hello, I'm Sandrine.

I'm a self-taught artist, always eager to explore new mediums and new techniques. As I learn more and more, I like to share my findings with other artists as a way to give back.
Until now I've shared my art on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, and I'm happy to be able to do it in a bit more details here, on Skillshare.
I invite you on an art journey where we'll explore all sorts of media, both well and not so well known. So pack a bottle of creative juice, and come along with me.


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1. Introduction: Hi. Everyone today would like to show you how to make these tiny trouble. Accordion sketchbooks. They're fun and very easy to make. And the best part is it will take you less than half a now, er to make. So let's get started. 2. Why Accordion?: The fun part about making your own sketchbook is that you can choose whichever paper you want put in it. So I've got some watercolor paper, heart press, watercolor paper, cold press, drawing paper. I've got even some black paper. You can put tone paper of any color. You can put anything you want in it. Now I know this little sketchbook looks funny. At first glance, it's unusual shape might make you wonder what's so special about it. And why not make a regular, more traditional one like this, For instance, it's I like both types of sketchbooks. They both have the advantages. But let me tell you what I like about the accordion sketchbook. You can either paint on one page or double page or four pages in a row. We'll make a very, very, very long painting if you want to, and then you flip it over and you can do the same thing on the other side. But the best part of it is that when you paint on double page or more pages, you'll be painting on the same side of the paper. You see. Usually papers have two sides, and often the surface is not the same on both sides. You usually can paint or draw on both sides, but you might get a different result. Let's take the cancer in meat and pastel paper, for instance. Okay, one side is textured and one side is smooth. So when I draw on, the cider is more texture. If you will actually see the texture of the paper, it's rougher. If I draw on the other side, it's a lot smoother. You still see the texture of the paper, but you see that it's obviously different on the other side. So a lot of papers air like that. Sometimes the texture difference is not as obvious, but when you using a traditional sketchbook, you have the problem of the signatures. The signatures are the sheets of paper that you fold and either stitched together or glued together, and you end up with a double page here that has the same texture on both sides. So if you want to do ah, double page painting, it's fine. You have the same texture, but when you go like this, you have the back side of the paper and the front side of the paper. So when you draw you will. When you paint, it's It's mostly obvious with watercolor. When you paint, you will not have the same feel. The paint will not react the same way on both sides of the paper, so you're painting will be uneven. You will not have this problem with the accordion sketchbook because you have just one side of the paper here. And so if you do a double page, you will have an even painting. Of course, you can make your sketchbook a lot bigger than this. This is a tiny travel size, which is great to put in a pocket for a tiny little travel bag, along with tiny little paints ballots. It really doesn't take any room, can have a little travel brush with it, and you're ready to go. Another great thing when you make your own little accordion sketchbook is that you don't need any fancy tools, and you don't have to worry about the binding or sewing signatures together. So let's see what kind of materials you'll need to make this 3. Supplies: For this project, you will need a large sheet of paper. I'm using our SH £140 because I'm going to make a watercolor journal. A ruler, A very big ruler. Also, if you have one, this one is 36 inches, but you don't have to. If you don't have one, that's okay. A pencil, a pair of scissors, a craft knife. This is optional. Also cutting board is optional. A Bone folder This is optional. A swell. Some thick cardboard. You often find these on the back of paper pads, scrapbook paper or any kind of paper human he used to decorate your covers or paint or washi tape or anything that they cause your fancy and glue. And this is Elmer's craft bond. It's extra strength. This is of mess free grew stick, and it's very strong and it works really well. I really like that. So if you have all these supplies, let's get started 4. Folding The Paper: I used a pack of three sheets of our SH paper and its vertical or paper. It's 100 £40 and it's cold press, and this particular pack is 16 by 20 inches, and I thought it would be much easier because it's already 20 inches, and that's exactly the length of the paper that I need. Ours has a watermark, which allowed me to keep an eye on the top of the paper rather than the reverse, and also didn't want the watermark on the strip of paper that I was about to cut. So I moved the paper upside down that I measured two inches on each side and a drawer line . Now you can use a cutting mat and a knife to cut this strip of paper, but I decided to just use scissors. - Once you have your strip of paper, you need to make a mark every two inches, both at the bottom and at the top of your strip of paper. You don't need to draw a line between those thoughts. You're going to use a ruler to fold your paper, but before you do that, remember to wipe the edges of your ruler Sometimes you use a ruler with markers or pens, and you leave ink on the sides. So it's a good thing to remember to wipe the sites that you don't put a mark on you. Nice, clean paper and once your rulers clear, put it down on your strip of paper to link two dots and fold your paper over it. Make sure you fold is right on those dots. Since your ruler is a millimeter or too thick, try to take that into consideration. When you put it down on your paper. Make a fold every two inches and it's okay if the fold is always in the same direction because you're going to fix that. Once you're done, you just basically marking those two inches along your paper. - Then I started folding my paper like a fan. So one side up. Once I down for each fold, I used a bone folder to really marked decrease. It's okay if you do not have one. You can just use your nail or push really hard with a side of your some. But whether you use a bone folder or your finger, be careful not to damage the surface of the paper because, remember, you're gonna be drawing or painting on it, so you want the surface of your paper to be nice and clean and undamaged. Also with each fold. Remember to line the edges with the other side of the paper so that your little book is nice and straight. - Once you do unfolding your paper every two inches, you can put it aside because now it's time to work on your covers. 5. The Covers, part 1: now that our papers folded and ready, we're gonna work on the cover of our little sketchbook. So we're going to need some cardboard and what I like to do when I make balance. Sketchbooks is used the back of a paper pad. So once I'm done using old sheets of paper of a paper paddy can be any type of paper. Doesn't really matter. I save usually the back the cardboard in the back here. And then I cut it to the size that I need. Ah, when I'm making you a sketchbook, you don't need to have this. If you don't have any, can use the cardboard of a box of cereal, for instance, or even if you have little paper pad. Like I get this one for a dollar the dollar store. You can use this one as well because we're making a small sketchbook, so we don't need something big. But for a project here, I'm going to use this part. You can see that already used a good chunk of this, uh, backing here from this paper pad. It's an old one, and this should be enough. I can make You can cook, too. But first I need to measure it. So detached my piece of cardboard, and I'm gonna measure it, and I'm going to make squares that are slightly under 2.5 inches. So right here, - you can either use an Exacto knife. I have a getting paper cutter, and I'm gonna use this and I'll be right back. 6. The Covers, part 2: So now my two little covers air cut. I'll show you what is going to look like in the end. Here you go. But first I need to decorate them. So I chose a piece of scrapbook paper, but you can use all sorts of different things. You can use magazines and cut out whatever you want. You can just paint on it, maybe apply some just so and do some nice paintings. You can use some cool looking duct tape or washi tape that would be really faster. Just stick it on. Um, anything you you like, Really. But I'm gonna show you how to do it with just a piece of scrapbook paper. So first I want O make sure since I'm not a machine, I know those little squares on Perfect. And I want to make sure they feel even so, I put them together and kind of get a feel for them and twist, twist, um, and see if they feel better on this side. Actually, I like them better on this site than than these side, so I'm gonna keep them this way. I get my two pieces off cardboard here. And, um, for this paper doesn't really a site up or down. But if you have a piece of paper with a pattern that needs to have a site up and down, be careful. When you glue your, um, you paper on your cardboard, make sure you get them the the way you want them. So I'm going to flip this over and this is gonna be very simple. Um, I'm going to kind of wing it, so I'm going to try to have about 3/4 of an inch off paper around my cover. So I get a border all around here and I'm going to trace the cardboard. So I'm gonna have about 3/4 of an inch right here and put my other one next to it. It doesn't have to be super precise, and I'm gonna trace again around it, but it put these on the side, take my scissors and cut them out. Here we go. So I'm gonna take my Elmer's craft bone extra strength clue stick and apply a generous amount on the square. The worry if you go over the line. So I like this glue because it's kind of mess free, but it's extra strength and, um and it works really well. So put my cover back in its square. I flip it over and I try to smooth it out all the way to the edges. There's most likely not going to be any air bubbles because it's a very small, um, a piece of cardboard, But just move it, smooth it out towards the outside you go. And if you can't put a little glue my table, you can always think a piece of scrap paper and do it on it. So I've got one here, and I'm going to do the same for the other one way . So now we're gonna flip the edges inward. But first, we're gonna cut the corners, so same, I'm kind of gonna wing it. I wanted to be at an angle, but I want to leave a couple of millimeters, not touch the corner off my cover. Otherwise, um, because there's a little thickness to the cardboard. Um, then this part here is not going to be covered with paper, so I'm gonna go. I'm going to go here and then cut an angle not quite straight across, but just a little angle like this. - Uh , so I'm just checking which side is the bottom in top. All right, So and you fold the corners here, you'll see that they will overlap, and it's fine. Just figure out how you want toe glue them. I think I'm just gonna pull them like this. And now you can take you glue again and apply it to one side. I would recommend you don't have to, but to use a, uh, your bone folder if you have one and kind of push it against the edge here and then flatten it just to make sure. But you can also just use your thumb here and push it inward. Make sure it's nice and tight in sticking all over the place. Going to do the same on the other side. Okay, - so now you have one cover. Um, I think I caught it a little bit too far from the edge, but that's OK. Can just squeeze it in. The little part of paper did sticks out. I'm gonna do the other one. All right. So here at this point, you could if you wanted to cut a square piece of paper and then covered this part, but I think you don't really need to do that, and I'll show you why. I feel free to do it if you like, if you want to do it. But we are going to actually glue our paper here, so that's why I don't think it's necessary to do it. 7. Putting It All Together: So here I've got both sides. I'm going to choose which one I want for the front. I think I'm gonna choose this one for the front cover when a full this in half. Because I've got wet glue and I don't want it to stick to my paper front and back. And here's my watercolor paper. So if you remember, um, when I measured the two inches, I put little dots in the middle. So I know this is the the upside of my paper, and what we want to dio is basically glue this end to the front and this enter the back this direction not like this, but like this, so that when you first open your book, it's going to be a double page. Not like this, because it's going to make it sturdier like this. Um, this you might you're gonna tend to pull a little bit on this and and it might unglued so like this. It will be a lot sturdier, so oh, you have to dio, it's put lots of blue on this end of your paper. Feel free to measure it if you're not comfortable. I don't think I need to going to try to center it best I can again. It's just a home made. It doesn't have to be perfect, so squeeze it. But try not to rub your paper because you might damage the surface. And you want to be able to use this This page here, Let's do the same on the other side. So remember, I'm going to glue it like this, but I'm going to flip it over just to add the glue on the other side again. Try to center it best you can, but here, don't push it too hard and really quick before it dries. Just try to make sure that they're lined up, and if they are not kind of slight, your cover and you can push on this side, and what you can do is just add a weight. Ah, for a little bit onto your sketchbook and, um, and let the glue dry 8. Wrapping Up: Now that the glue is dry, you're ready to start painting because I wanted to keep the process simple. I didn't plan for any ties, so you can use a ribbon and tie it around. What I found that works great is this little rubber bands that I get from the produce department at the grocery store, so I know it has a little step on one side, but just flip it over and it comes with punches off asparagus, for instance, and you can just put it around and it holds it really nicely. Can use also a hair tie, same size. It works great. The only thing that I don't like is that it's not flat, so your sketchbook won't be flat on on the shelf. Or you can also save the little ribbons from the little Lindt Chocolate Bunny from his Easter. The's look really cute, and they're the perfect size so often. When I make these, I just make a batch, and I just cut all the paper that I want all the different types of papers, all the different colors, and I make a bunch of, um because it's so easy. I spent an afternoon and I make some but because I'm not gonna use them right away. Oh, at least not all of them at once. I would just write the type of paper on the inside with the graphite pencil just so that I remember what paper that I used. I hope you had fun making this literal accordion sketchbook. And I really hope that you share what you made. What kind of paper used and how you personalize the covers. You cannot All your photos in the class community section thank you very much for taking this class. I hope to see you soon in my next one.