handmade journal: a beginner’s guide – testing the waters

welcome to my tutorial on how to create a soft cover handmade sketchbook or journal! in this two-part series, i’ll be showing you how to create your own sketchbook from start to finish.

i found this to be a great start to learning the processes involved. it is very forgiving… meaning if you a mistake throughout this process, it still looks great!

#tip: have a backup sheet of paper to use (22×30-ish) in case the handmade paper doesn’t turn out the way you like. at least this way, you can continue on with the project and get some practice under your belt

episode 1: create handmade paper and silk screen printing

in the first episode, i demonstrate how to create handmade paper from recycled printer paper and use silk screen printing to create the soft covers for the sketchbook.

if you’re interested in making your own handmade paper, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. gather your materials. you’ll need recycled printer paper, a blender, a large container, and a screen for drying the paper.
  2. tear the printer paper into small pieces and place them in the blender with enough water to cover them. blend the mixture until it becomes a pulp.
  3. pour the pulp into your large container and add more water until the mixture is the consistency of a thin soup.
  4. place your screen into the container and gently stir the mixture. the pulp will begin to settle onto the screen, forming a sheet of handmade paper.
  5. once the sheet is the desired thickness, lift the screen out of the container and allow the excess water to drain off.
  6. place the screen onto a flat surface and use a roller or brayer to remove any remaining water.
  7. allow the paper to air dry or use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

in the second episode, i’ll be binding together pages to create a sketchbook using three different methods. i’ll be using a bookbinding kit from amazon and recommend using a curved needle to make the process a bit easier. i’ll also be using artist quality 100% cotton mixed media paper to create my sketchbooks and show you how to create a flexible binding stitch that allows the pages to lay flat when the sketchbook is open.

creating a handmade sketchbook can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. it’s a great way to personalize your journal and make it truly one of a kind. whether you’re an artist looking for a new sketchbook or a journal enthusiast searching for a unique way to document your thoughts and ideas, i hope this tutorial has inspired you to create your own handmade sketchbook or journal.

leave your thoughts or questions here...