Mary richmond one sheet watercolor book

Make a Sketchbook from One Sheet of Watercolor Paper

Creating your own watercolor journal from one large sheet of watercolor paper is incredibly easy and fun. The finished sketchbooks will be 8 x 10” and we will have plenty of time to paint, draw, collage, etc. to complete our books.

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. 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.

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):

  • One sheet of 22 x 30” watercolor paper—not Arches (it cracks). Recommended brands include Fabriano and L’anaquarelle. You may buy a single sheet of L’anaquarelle hot press paper from me for $5 the day of the workshop but please let me know ahead of time so I bring enough. Most art stores sell single sheets of this size. It is important that it measures 22 x 30”
  • 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 but good heavy crochet thread is also good.
  • Sharp scissors or Exacto knife for cutting
  • White glue and glue stick if you want to collage your pages
  • 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.
  • Whatever art and collage materials you want to work with, including brushes, water containers, etc.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, etc. at Capecodartandnature@gmail.com


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.