You could use old books picked up from the local library or book store for free. Students can gesso the covers and the interior pages leaving some imagery intact if they choose. Small children's books might be especially interesting. If parent's don't want to buy a sketchbook, I am certain everyone has an old, torn-up book at home they could donate.
Of course, this is more applicable to older students but thought I would pass it on.
Becky in NC
From: JKGIBB1@aol.com [mailto:JKGIBB1@aol.com]
Sent: Sat 8/31/2002 12:35 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: The Importance of a Sketchbook?
I took a workshop once from a lady who recycled everything! We made
sketchbooks/journals out of recycled 8 1/2" X 11" paper--junk mail, Xerox
copy overruns, etc.--things she had saved. Many of the papers were blank on
We folded our pages and stacked them. A heavier piece of (recycled) paper
was used for the cover. We sewed them with yarn through the fold. The
result was a 5 1/2" X 8" book.
I have had my classes make these journals, too. Students actually seem to
enjoy the challenge of working with and around the printed areas.