The Lazy Bookmaker: An Accordion Sketchbook and a Pen Band

I love the idea of making my own sketchbooks, but I'm lazy about actually doing it.  Super lazy.  If there's any measuring involved, any painstaking effort not to get glue on everything, it's just not gonna happen - or it's going to happen but the end result will be so messy that it might end up in the trash instead of my sketch bag. Today, with inspiration from How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith, I generated an instant accordion book using materials in my house, with no measuring, no painstaking labor, and such a casual process that I feel I could just knock one of these out without thinking too much about it, whenever I have need of another sketchbook.

Much of the reason this worked well is that my needs were basic.  This is not the tidiest book ever, and it's a little clumsy to keep open if you're not at a table. But it does what I need it to do - takes whatever paper I want (as long as it's large) and gets it between covers so I can go sketch with it.  Done!

Also done today in as messy a way as possible - but also as speedy as possible - was a band to attach a pen to Mike's pocket Moleskine.  I folded the large elastic band around the moleskine, overlapped by enough space to hold the pen (hint: it takes more overlap than you think), then zig-zag stitched the elastic along the two ends.  Next time I'll do the stitching by hand; it'll only take a minute and will be a lot easier and prettier and more secure than this crappy job I did on my machine. If he had wanted the band to go vertically (perhaps more appropriate for a larger sketchbook), I would have made the overlap much longer so as to form a pen pocket.

Instructions for the accordion book are after the jump!

Almost Instant, Super Messy Accordion Book

You will need:

  • One large-ish sheet of paper.  Mine was 19"x22" and resulted in a page size of 4.75"x6.5".  Larger than that, and it may be hard to find large enough...
  • Mat board scraps that are a little larger than your resulting page.  You can find these cheap at art and framing stores. Or else, any strong cardboard.
  • A small hole puncher or a good sized awl
  • Some narrow elastic, mine was 1/4"
  • Glue & a brush