Recently, I've been really intrigued by bookbinding. I've taken to watching many videos on YouTube showing how you can approach various types of books, how to stitch and glue them together, how to make your own book cloth etc.
This weekend, I wanted to try something relatively simple and make a few paperback sketchbooks. I've bought similar sketchbooks in the past so I know I like to draw in them. They're not too bulky and they lay flat on a table which makes them great for drawing or writing.
At this point, I didn't want to go mad with fancy paper or anything so I figured I'd learn the process using some of the standard A4 printer paper we already had. The only thing I was really missing was something to use for covers. I nipped off to The Range to see what they had and found a pad full of patterned paper. The patterns weren't quite my usual taste but they had nothing else so I decided to run with it. The paper is also 250gsm so has enough sturdiness to make a good softcover.
I went home and started cutting and folding bits of paper, punching holes and learned how to stitch them all together. For a first attempt, I thought they turned out pretty well.
I used A4 paper folded into A5 and the patterned paper I used for the covers is 12x12 inches, which means I had some spare cut-offs of the patterned paper. Not wanting to just chuck them in the recycling, I figured I could use them to make some nice little pocket-sized sketchbooks.
Off the back of my first batch of books, I had a few friends show interest in getting their hands on one so I decided to make another batch. This morning I made a bunch more A5 sketchbooks along with a bunch of the pocket-sized books.
They're certainly not perfect, some of the stitching alignment isn't great but they're holding together so they're functional sketchbooks which is what I was aiming for.
These were so easy to make, I genuinely don't think I'll ever buy a sketchbook ever again.