A few weeks ago I taught the Doodling class I mentioned a while ago. It was a huge success and everyone lived the experience! Because I had such a small budget for my class materials, I had to get creative. My students needed a good doodling pen plus instructions plus templates plus something to actually doodle on. If my budget would have allowed, I would have loved providing each student with a nice hard-bound blank journal and a very nice pen. But alas, I had $3 per students and the pens I picked cost $2. So making a handmade doodle book was my only economical options. But look how cute they are!
I made a total of 35 books. When doing that many projects, assembly line fashion is the easiest method. Here is a list of supplies needed:
1 sheet 12×12 heavy scrapbook paper/cardstock with designs on both sides
6 sheets 9×12 Canson Drawing Paper – I used Canson because it’s thick (70lbs) to limit ink bleed and also it’s cheap
2 large brads / paper fasteners
3 yards craft string
scrap paper as needed
Trim your scrapbook paper to 9.25″ x 12″ and fold in half (save the leftover scraps for later). Fold your 6 sheets of drawing paper in half, making sure the spine is creased well. Using a heavy duty paper trimmer, cut the jagged edge of the folded drawing paper that’s created in the folding process – this gives you an even outer edge.
Once your inside pages and outside covers are all prepared, stack them together, being careful to line up the fold lines of each. Secure the inside pages into position with paper clips. Once you have all your books pre-assembled, you’re ready to punch holes. I knew I wanted 5 holes along my spine for sewing, so I created a simple template with a center hole and 2 holes on either side spaced equally to the end. Lightly mark the hole marks on the inside spine and punch!
I found this monster gadget on clearance at Walmart for $10 – what a steal! You can find the Crop-O-Dile Big Bite at most craft stores or on Amazon. This thing is amazing. Really! I was able to punch THREE of these doodle books at once — that’s 21 sheets of 70lb paper, folks!
Ok, holes are all punched! Time to sew!
I used “Braiding Cord” — similar to this. My goal was to find some type of string or cording that was the same material as the string on an interoffice envelope clasp. This comes very close. Found it at Walmart in the kids craft section near the beads. It comes in every color of the rainbow, it’s very sturdy and doesn’t fray at the ends.
I then added small fasteners to create a closure / clasp at the edge of the book – just to keep it neatly closed. Simply tie another piece of string to the back fastener permanently then wrap the other end of the string around the front clasp for closing. On the inside cover of the doodle books, the back of the fastener is exposed, but you can conceal the hardware by using a piece of coordinating scrap paper. I used the scrap piece of cardstock from the cover and used in on the inside cover flap to cover the fastener along with a second smaller piece of cardstock to give an additional decorative element. Not only do these extra pieces hide the hardware of the clasp, but it also does an excellent job of giving added support to the cover, making it more rigid and sturdy for daily use.
Have fun making your own Doodle Book!