I can honestly say that I’m pretty obsessed with sketchbooks. As it stands I have about 8 of them going at the same time, and as I said before this year (or was last year?!?), my resolution is to complete all of them before buying a new one. But that has proved to be very hard, both the not-buying part and the completing-them-all part. So to satisfy my craving, without compromising my intentions, I decided to make a new sketchbook using an old moleskine diary.
I have made sketchbooks before, and I love how they look once they are finished. And I noticed I have different feelings when using a homemade item, than when I use something I bought brand new.
I don’t feel the pressure of having to make things look perfect, to follow a certain style, to make no mistakes. If I have made the item once, I can sure make it again and that somehow gives me the freedom to experiment a bit more and put the pressure off. And I believe this is the reason why my homemade sketchbooks look nicer and more cohesive than the once I normally buy.
Another good reason for making my own sketchbook is that I can choose the style, the format and the paper that goes in it. To be fair, I have loved the moleskine watercolour books since they came out, and that is what I use the most. However, the sizes available are not my ideal choice.
I love the pocket size of the moleskine, as it goes well with my pocket size watercolour kit, which is just perfect for outdoor and travel sketching. But the landscape format sometimes has proven not to be ideal. I feel like it is too narrow for some subjects, and to make up for it I normally carry some spare watercolour sheets in a different size.
To cut this short, I used an old moleskine daily planner and re-filled it with watercolour paper (I used Fabriano Accademia, natural grain, 240g/m2
// 113lbs), giving me a 48-pages pocket size sketchbook in a portrait format. I have followed the very detailed instructions found on the Trumpetvine Travels
website. They are absolutely well written and so easy to follow.
The sketchbook came out pretty well; it is not perfect, I didn’t trim the edges of the pages, so they don’t align perfectly and, although I rounded the edges to match the moleskine cover, somehow I managed to trim some of the side edges of each sheet as well (I’m still mastering the art of corners rounding!).
But I absolutely love the overall look. I promised myself not to start using it until I finish at least my two moleskine sketchbooks, which fortunately have only few pages to go.
Shop news :: As I tend to get carried away with repurposing old moleskine diaries, the above pocket size moleskine reloaded is now available to buy on my Etsy shop (click here).