Immediately upon being tasked with making a sketchbook, my first thought was that I had already made such a thing years ago for my Auto CAD class. I had made that book from salvaged materials in my time working at the University print shop, and I assembled that book as follows: leatherette navy blue covers, navy blue plastic coil spine, blank sheets of graph paper (with quarter-inch grids), a sturdy sheet of cardboard inside the back cover, and a hand-crafted pocket folder that was placed inside the front cover. “Could I cheat and just use this book as my sketchbook?” I thought to myself, but alas the book only had 27 sheets of paper.
No worries, I’m crafty. The simple solution was to re-purpose the book by cutting it in half and rebinding it with twice as many pages. And so I did.
First I had to remove the spine. Easy to do by just cutting one end with scissors and then using my fingers to spin the coil out from the book. I wish we had bought that rotary paper trimmer, because the next step was cutting the sheets with scissors. I was able to cut 4 sheets at a time and used the grid lines of the graph paper as a guide. This was the most time consuming part of the process but only took 5 minutes. I then folded one of the covers in half to create a crease as a guide to then cut it into 2 to serve as front and back covers of the new book. After stacking all the sheets together and lining up the holes, I spun the coil back on by hand. The final step was using a crimping tool to cut and simultaneously bend the coil to be the same length as the smaller book. The crimping tool I happened to have because I saved one that would have otherwise been thrown away due to wear and tear.
The final product is a mini version of the original. It is now a 5.5″ x 8.5″ tablet-style book with 54 sheets of blank graph paper. I spent nothing for the book but would have spent close to $5 to have one custom made at the print shop I worked at, or I could have found a similar one for a buck or two at a store. It took me less than 10 minutes to make the book (3 minutes to find the original book). During the time making the book, I was able to tell my wife all about my first week of class and the different projects I’m working on, including this BLOG. I did not use all the materials from the original book, but I did save them in my craft drawer for future projects. The only thing I threw away was the tiny piece of plastic that I had cut off from the original spine. But then again, I missed the trashcan and my dog had quickly swallowed it up thinking it was food.