making sketchbooks & journals with tie-dye covers

i have been wanting to start my own online shop for quite some time. i’ve contemplated what to produce & sell. over the last year, i launched a subscription based art package, which i enjoy very much… and has progressively led me to bookbinding.

have a look at the steps i took to create these sketchbooks.

choosing the paper

bfk rives paper
bfk rives france no. 2 watermark, 22″x30″

tip: shop for paper in person. art stores don’t always advertise online all of the paper to choose from nor what’s on sale. it is worth the trip not only to experience the paper firsthand but in the $$ you can potentially save.

if you’ve watched any of my previous videos, you will know i’m on a mission to create my own handmade paper using recycled material… and you will also know that i’m dissatisfied with the quality of the results so far. i will continue on that journey until i create a quality handmade paper, but for now i will be using 100% cotton archival paper (purchased) to offer a professional quality product.

at curry’s art store i found 22″x30″ sheets for $3.99/sheet (CAD, sale price). the watermark reads “BFK RIVES – FRANCE No 2”

i’ve dug in a little bit to learn more. BFK stands for “Blanchet Frères & Kiebler”, the initials of the owners of the Rives mill in France.

“This range of printmaking papers has set the standard for every mould made grade manufactured in Europe.”


i always start each project with some references. i’ve scoured youtube and gravitated toward this video in particular for bookbinding.

i bought a tie dye kit from the dollar store & gravitated toward this youtube video as a reference.

let’s dig in and get started

here is a list of the materials i used in this video:

*i don’t recommend using foam core, as you will see, it is very difficult to cut straight with a utility knife. a foam core cover is too thick for my preferences as a sketchbook, but it may be well suited as a storybook cover.

you might also be interested in…

if you enjoyed the above youtube video, i think you might also enjoy this one.

note: sketchbooks are sent out to the subscribers of my mail club.

leave your thoughts or questions here...