Artist Notebooks

An artist needs a notebook, right? A place to record ideas and inspirations, or a place to doodle. I have notebooks everywhere, but mine are usually full of lists: items I want to knit or sew; the week’s meal plan and grocery list; the measurements of my kids’ feet (I’m in the process of making them all socks). I thought my young artists and I needed some new notebooks, because notebooks are fun, and maybe I could put something more interesting in mine than the grocery list.

Materials: Notebooks with blank covers (I made ours using the tutorial here), your imagination, and whatever means you desire to decorate the cover (we used paper, glue, painter’s tape, and colored pencils)

I went and bought a corner punch for the covers of our notebooks, and that one little detail–rounded corners–fills me with an unreasonable amount of pleasure. So if you, too, find pleasure in the details, a corner punch is totally worth it.

My original idea had been to use our painted tissue paper to collage the covers, but my boys both said they didn’t want to tear or cut their tissue paper. I offered my tissue paper to my daughter, but quickly realized she’s not quite ready to glue little pieces of paper onto another piece of paper successfully, and I didn’t want her to get frustrated. I asked her if she wanted to decorate her cover with tape. Oh yes, she most certainly did.

Meanwhile, my six-year-old had punched lots and lots of colored circles out of some origami-type paper for another project, and we were left with all the scraps. The boys and I agreed that this paper would be great to collage with.

My notebook:

Perhaps it will go the other way. I haven’t decided yet.

My nine-year-old needed the hole punch back because he wanted to fill in some of the empty space with contrasting circles.

His finished cover:

He added some text:

My six-year old noticed that if you don’t put the paper all the way into the hole punch, you could get crescent-moon shapes. When he was done cutting and pasting, he added a drawing with colored pencils.

An artist’s notebook is a happy thing.

3 thoughts on “Artist Notebooks

    1. amy

      Pink and purple! We only have blue painter’s tape, but Santa brought her an assortment of colored tape for Christmas (we did this project before Christmas). Usually when presented with an assortment of colored anything (tape, crayons, pencils, paint) she likes to try them all out. But she generally has an attraction towards pink and purple and it amuses me that those are the first colors whose names she remembered and bothered to say.

  1. Michelle

    I miss notebooks. I usually carry around a clipboard with loose papers so I can file all my stuff in different places or toss out those lists when I’m done, but I miss the feel of notebook.

    Keep out. Hehe, such a 9 yr old now. :)

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