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Finishing up the Sketchbook – the Cover

January 4, 2008

In my last post about sketchbook making, all that was left to do was the cover. To see all four of these posts together, you can click on the ‘bookbinding’ category in the sidebar.

We began with the spine, which had been covered with a layer of mesh. This was sanded down and then further reinforced with cardboard which had been cut exactly to size (Dominique is something of a perfectionist).

The cover itself is constructed of heavy cardboard, cut to size:

We sanded down the inside edges that correspond to the area attached to the spine, after having measured it with calipers. This guarantees a seamless transition.

This is how the cover looks when assembled :

I had chosen a brown “Tibetan” paper for the spine and corners, which we cut using a paper pattern taken from the corner.

We used those same corner patterns to cut the blue paper for the main part of the coverto the perfect shape (none of the papers can overlap)

The cardboard is then covered with paste and the blue paper applied :

Once it had dried overnight,, the inside was trimmed :

Next step – attach the inside of the sketchbook to the cover. Remember all those endpapers we attached the watercolor paper to? (See here if you don’t) The last one on either side is pasted to the cover and so is the spine :

This leaves a darker section on the inside cover, and Dominique was worried that it would show through the final inside cover, so we cut and pasted some white paper to fill in the space, after trimming the endpaper.

Then one long piece of white paper is pasted on top of that, making both the inside cover and the first page.

Let it dry,

put it in the press,

And voila! You have a sketchbook.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2008 10:58 pm

    I’m completely worn our with all the work you have put into your book!

    It’s beautiful, and you should be very proud with what you have learned and accomplished. Thank you for sharing the process with us.

  2. January 4, 2008 11:21 pm

    Wow Casey! It does look exhausting. Will you do it again? Part 2 of your experience is the reaon why I started by using recycled books for bookbinding and put covers on my To Do List for the future.

  3. January 5, 2008 5:07 am

    Congratualtions with your sketchbook…hope you will have much joy in filling it with your lovely watercolours!

  4. Paris Parfait permalink
    January 5, 2008 1:11 pm

    I had no idea it was so much work to put together a sketchbook! Yours looks wonderful – and it will be even more special, when filled with your fantastic art!

  5. January 5, 2008 6:38 pm

    EEEEPPPP! SO wonderful!!! thanks for sharing the process Casey … i SO want to make my own now!!!

  6. January 5, 2008 8:52 pm

    Voila nothing! This was an amazing amount of work and we all look forward to the beautiful work that you’ll be doing ing this sketchbook. It’s a wonderful piece of work in itself.

  7. January 6, 2008 12:14 pm

    Fantastic series of posts Casey, I have both enjoyed them and found them exhausting. I have to admit that rather than encouraging me to create my own your process has made me feel much better about purchasing expensive bespoke journals, now I understand all the work that is put into each one I can warrant the price in my mind.
    Your journal looks fantastic and BIG, I can’t wait to see what you fill it with.
    I bet you are a little nervous about filling that first page aren’t you?

  8. January 6, 2008 12:36 pm

    Hi Casey, thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. I love to see your paintings and have been very inspired by you over the last few months. Happy new year and I look forward to more of those fantastic watercolour paintings!

  9. January 6, 2008 2:52 pm

    Thanks for your comments everyone. You are right, Shirley and Anita – I’m pretty blocked about using this sketchbook. I had no idea it would be so much work, but my friend Dominique is a real perfectionist, so I think it could be done more quickly. Anyway, she’s told me I can use her workshop whenever I like, so maybe I’ll be brave and try another one! Later….

  10. January 6, 2008 5:34 pm

    Wow, it turned out amazing! What a beautiful compliment to the equally beautiful work that is sure to fall inside.

  11. January 7, 2008 7:34 am

    What a lovely book you’ve made. Thanks for the great explanations and photos too. Given all the work, I think my approach might be to use that method to bind already finished art from ordinary sketchbooks together into a one of a kind book (leaving out the junky stuff). I just made a quickie sketchbook which was fun and I’m enjoying working in it (posted about it today). I admire you for learning how to do this and your dedication at completing the project.

  12. January 7, 2008 4:07 pm

    You would make a great teacher, Casey. This has been so fun and informative. So now let the sketches begin!

  13. January 7, 2008 8:35 pm

    Fantastic series – thank you for recording your project! And, the book looks lovely too. I’m sure that once you get that first page marked up, the rest will flow with pleasure.

  14. January 10, 2008 4:17 am

    What a fun journey this has been. Thank you so much for sharing it with the rest of us. I’m anxious to see how you fill it with lovely work.

  15. January 13, 2008 3:06 pm

    Casey – you and your series of sketchbook posts are listed on my ‘who’s made a mark this week’ – and are inaugurating a new section on tutorials. These are just such an excellent sets of posts to start it off! I am lost in admiration for the work involved and the way you’ve managed to get photos for all the different stages.

  16. January 14, 2008 5:27 pm

    Now I know I’m never going to be able to make my own sketchbook! Wonderful journey you have taken us on though, Casey. And how lucky you are to have access to that wonderful workshop in the future. I’m sure you will make lots more of these sketchbooks since it is all set up for you.
    I’m not going to put on any pressure for you to start using it – it’s a work of art in itself. 😉 Or maybe you should just spill a wonderful blot of colour on the first page and sign that – and then you are away.

  17. January 17, 2008 4:15 pm

    Wow! I’ve always wanted to make my own sketchbook, but every time I think about all of the work, I back out. But, yours is so beautiful I just may have to try it sometime. You’re an inspiration!

  18. January 19, 2008 7:45 pm

    I’m new to your blog and have really enjoyed browsing here. I just love your sketching and art work. Quite impressive! I’m new to sketching and look forward to returning here for inspiration.
    I’m also really impressed with making your own sketchbook. Amazing!
    And I popped over and visited your friend, Marta, also. Such a nice group of so many talented people!

  19. January 21, 2008 5:24 am

    You make the process look so easy! Thanks so much for sharing. I am thinking about making my own sketchbook, which I hadn’t even thought about before seeing your process! You’re inspiring!

  20. January 21, 2008 9:24 pm

    I can’t wait to see the sketches you do in this WONDERFUL new creation!! Thanks for posting all the information…. WOW, what a project!

  21. January 23, 2008 4:48 am

    ok Casey, I’m beginning to really miss you 😦

  22. January 26, 2008 6:27 pm

    Wow, this is a wonderful demonstration! Marta taught us how to do a small book binding for our watercolor paper. I love my book I made but my inside paper was too thin I think and it ripped. I love your book, congratulations on a beautiful, new sketchbook.

  23. January 27, 2008 12:32 pm

    Casey – you still out there????

  24. February 1, 2008 7:49 pm

    I’ve just finished a paper making course and have lots of paper I want to make a book with – You have shown me how to do! Thanks!

    Very useful blog!!


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