I am not sure if I can help you but I will try to share with you my
Living and working in Athens, I had to make my own sketch books as for
many years there weren't any in the market to buy. It is only the last
5-10 years that one can find decent sketchbooks at decent prices.
What I will describe here is more of the artistic sketchbook /
portfolio, that usually comes in A0 or A1 or A2 sizes, made by thick
papers and has a rough hand made binding in one side.Front and back
cover are not essential to this but you can add it using harder paper
So, first think is to decide what kind of work your students will be
doing. Sketching, aquarelles, working with coloured inks, oil pastels,
dry pastels, pensils, charcoals, what?
Once you decide this, then a visit to a wholesale shop that deals only
with paper. In Greece there are many shops like this and if you need a
large quantity then it is best if you go directly to a paper factory.
There is no doubt, you can do this via internet, but I usually prefer
to take a visit and see the variety of materials they have, instead of
choosing through a catalogue via the internet. This way I always get
Following you decide about the size and you ask them to cut it. All
factories have special facilities for cutting. Ask them also to give
you the left overs from cutting. In Greece paper comes in large sizes
so when you cut it there are always left overs. These can be very
handy for collage, quick exercises, and many other uses. I always find
it very handy and in Greece they give it for free sometimes.
Binding with sewing is my favourite. You can ask your students to make
large holes with a perforate or with a bodkin, and by using thick
needles they can sew the pages together either using plastic strings,
or waxed leather strings or whatever they can think, that is strong
enough to support the sketch book. Keep in mind that binding together
the pages will use some 2 - 5 cm for the side of the paper, so don't
forget to add this area to the total size of your page. This way you
will get the actual working area in the exact dimensions that you
wish. Some shops / factories have the possibility to insert a slight
cutting at the side to the paper so that you can detach it easily.
I hope that this will be of some assistance to you.