Bookmaking

Journal & Bookmaking Workshop with Mary

Creating your own journal or sketchbook is a lot of fun and fairly easy to do. We will work with some simple paging and stitching techniques and you can choose the style and technique you want after a few quick lessons.

Skills needed include careful measuring, cutting and precise folding. Some dexterity will be required and although some sewing experience is helpful, it is not necessary. Comfort around and with sharp tools is also important.

I’ve been creating my own sketchbooks, especially watercolor sketchbooks for many years. By making your own you can choose the size, the kind of paper you want and even mix in different papers. You will learn different techniques and ways to put a book together. You can make as many books as you have time and materials for in each class. Some of you will take all class to make one book while others will make half a dozen. That will be up to you.

These journals also make great gifts.

Students may choose to attend one, two or all three classes. Each week will focus on a certain kind of book.

November 3: Make a journal to write in using lined or unlined paper.

November 10: Make a sketchbook for drawing, using drawing weight paper.

November 17: Make a watercolor sketchbook using heavy weight watercolor paper.

Tools and supplies you will want (some tools will be available for all to use but having your own will mean you can work at your own pace):

  • An awl (I buy these at thrift shops and yard sales—not an ice pick—an awl.)
  • Round upholstery needles
  • Heavy thread for stitching—I use a waxed linen thread.
  • Cardboard from cereal type boxes for covers (nothing too heavy)
  • Decorative paper for covers (Some will be available but if you have something you’d like to use, please bring it). If you want to collage, paint or print your cover material, please do so before coming to class and be sure it has ample time to completely dry.
  • Paper for the inside, appropriate for use. Remember that the interior paper has to be folded so it will need to be twice the size of what you want for a finished piece. Bring extra
  • Sharp scissors or Exacto knife for cutting
  • White glue
  • A small wood board to put under your work that will stand up to punching holes with an awl
  • A good ruler or straight edge, metal if you have one
  • A bone folder (find at craft stores or order online—should run less than $10 and you will use it all the time once you have one)
  • Ribbon, beads or other decorative items if you want them.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, etc.


Mary Richmond grew up on Cape Cod and has drawn and painted her way through life. Watercolor is her preferred medium. Today her work can be found on her website or in the many illustrations she does for various publications. She has taught watercolor for many years and loves helping her students make creative breakthroughs in their work. Her teaching style is casual and encouraging.

Our classes and workshops are open to students of all abilities and needs. We are currently unable to provide one-on-one instruction, though we will make every attempt to address accommodations for full and successful engagement whenever possible.
If a student requires individual supports, parent/guardian/PCA/teacher/ABA Therapists/etc are welcome to attend.
Please contact Christine Ernst, Director of Education, for more information at christine@cotuitcenterforthearts.org.