Sketchbooks galore!

…. Thanks to the lovely Alice Sheridan  ( ) I recently realised that I don’t just have to use one sketchbook at a time – I can alternate several; In the same way that I might work on  a number of paintings at the same time, I discovered that the same thing applies to sketchbooks – the thing that made me realise this was Alice’s great way of customising the size of your sketchbook.

  • Just take an A3, A4 or A5 stapled sketchbook, remove the staples and separate the pages to a thickness that is suitable for cutting with a guillotine. Cut it in two, so that you have a square and a rectangle (or any other shapes for that matter) – not only do you get 2 for the price of 1, but it also gives you new and interesting formats to try out. The new shaped sketchbooks can just be re-stapled, tied together or sewn at your leisure.

So now instead of just working in 1 sketchbook, I can take several different shaped sketchbooks out with me and chop and change between them …. this not only keeps the work fresh, but opens up so many more options for composition. I cut up 3 different sized Seawhite Eco sketchbooks * , which have great quality paper, but not too many pages, and now I have 6 different sized sketchbooks.

I found the whole process liberating, and I now love the freedom these little sketchbooks give me.  The act of taking them apart and re-making them somehow makes them more user friendly and less of a formal sketchbook! You could of course make your own sketchbooks from scratch however, by choosing a selection of papers and forming them into a book in your chosen size and format. You can see my square and rectangular sketchbooks below.


I customised 3 sketchbooks (A3, A4 and A5) and created 3 square and 3 rectangular books.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Alice Sheridanreply
September 14, 2019 at 6:38 am

Great to see you did this! I don’t even take mine apart… I just open up the pages flat and cut through them in a few slices with a Stanley knife and metal ruler. Sometimes you need extra staples. If you open up a stapler (ie bend the “arm” right back like you would to put new staples in) then you can staple through all the pages by resting a rubber behind where your staple goes. This means the staple goes straight in and you can reach further than the arm usually allows you to. The. Just press the staple ends onwards by hand.

September 14, 2019 at 8:17 am
– In reply to: Alice Sheridan

Thanks for your comment Alice – I really enjoyed the process of creating these new little books. Alternating between them has given me more opportunities to explore composition options. I have always loved the square format, but the long rectangular shapes are opening up new ideas 🙂

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