May 8, 2012

Make It: Mini Sketchbook Tutorial & DIY Roundup

Writing and art journaling are two of my absolute favorite things, and I've made these mini notebooks since highschool, using everything from cereal boxes to paper shopping bags! This project only takes about twenty minutes and a few supplies from around your house/recycle bin. I usually tote an average of 4 notebooks in my bag for different things, and this one is perfect for a quick doodle or sketch. Enjoy!
*Cardstock/sketch paper: for this project I used the backing that came in a package of Wilson doilies (basically cardstock weight), and the lightweight paper (not exactly tissue but not as heavy as computer paper) is actually the paper that comes stuffed between boxes of binders we order at work (I save it every time for this exact purpose: notebooks and sketching). Waste not, want not, right? 
1. Cut your cover and sketch pages the size you want, making sure that the pages are just a bit smaller. Fold and sew the cover and pages together, straight down the middle. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can do this by hand! I like to use a little bit of masking tape to reinforce the stitches in the spine after sewing.

2. Cover the outside of your book with decorative paper using double-sided tape (I used to use gluesticks for this but the tape makes things so much easier with less mess!) Be sure to cut notches at the spine and corners as you fold it over.
3. Cover the inside covers of your sketchbook with pieces of brown paper bag. Gluestick or tape both work well for this.

That’s it! Simple right? Not only are they easy to carry around, but they make great personalized gifts. Mother's Day is coming up...this sketchbook could easily be turned into a tiny photo album with some sweet notes from other family members! No limits guys, let your imagination run wild (: 
Past journals I've made using a similar method

If you like this tutorial, you might also like:
-Another great Mother's Day gift idea: this mini photobook from A Beautiful Mess (I love the shape of it! Such a fun block of memories)
-This video on simple book binding using notecards
-I used the basic concept of this mini scrapbook DIY to create my best friend's not-so-mini birthday gift
-Some inspiration for making minibooks of your own from Enjoy It
-This easy to make notebook tutorial from Designlovefest

Creating something you could just as easily buy is such a gratifying feeling, not to mention the uniqueness of your work! Journal/sketch/scrap away, my friends! 


  1. I love your little doodle! So creative! I keep seeing these adorable journals popping up and I think I need to make some. I have a million large unfinished journals because I get bored half way through them. These little baby guys would be perfect!

    1. Aww thanks lady (: And ooooh my goodness. I'm so there with the huge half-finished journal situation. Such a mess. That's why I love these tiny ones so much!

  2. Emily is wanting to make a notebook/journal like this for a friend of hers, I'll have to show her this! Thanks for the inspiration, now i want to go make one too! [:

    1. Ahhh that's awesome! I think you guys should BOTH make one...they're so much fun! Send pictures if ya do hun (:


You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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