Altered Book Sketchbook


Not sure if I am much of an “art journal” person, but I thought it might be fun to try altering a book to create a sketchbook. I have been buying and using spiral bound sketchbooks for my daily sketches because they stay open, but I like the idea of having a full spread to work with too. A duplicate I-Spy book I found in our basement was perfect for this project… it’s large (10″ x 12″), stays open and flat, it will give me a surface to play with my carved rubber stamps, and another book to draw my daily sketches in.

Here’s how I made mine.

Altered Book Sketchbook


  • Book
  • White gesso (white house paint or primer would work too)
  • Enough home dec weight fabric to cover the outside of the book
  • Rubber stamps (to stamp the fabric)
  • Acrylic paint (to paint the fabric)
  • Bulldog clips
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge or paint brushes
  • Newspaper to protect your work surface
  • Hair dyer (optional, to speed drying time)

To Make:
1. Paint, stamp, or decorate the home dec fabric any way you want- make it yours! I played with my stamps.

2. Cover the outside of the book by painting it thoroughly with Mod Podge. Lay the book opened and centered (cover side down) on the fabric (wrong side up) and press to adhere. Close the book with the fabric around it, pressing and adhering the fabric well around the spine of the book. Use bulldog clips to hold the fabric in place around the cover.

3. Open the book, use gesso or paint to cover a spread, allow to dry… do the next spread… etc. A hairdryer will make this step go faster. I painted only one coat on my pages, but covered the page completely. The original images were still slightly visible from underneath, but I wasn’t concerned because I knew I would be adding more paint.

You’re done!
I painted and doodled on half of the first spread the other evening. “Change nothing and nothing changes” One of the quotes on very active well said pinterest board (probably my favorite board right now!).

Hey, maybe this’ll be my quotes and affirmations book.

Follow Wise Craft Handmade