Mary richmond watercolor book

Make Your Own Watercolor Sketchbook

Creating your own watercolor journal is easy and satisfying as you can use your favorite papers, mix in some drawing paper and create the exact size you want or need.

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):

  • Medium weight cardboard or mat board for covers
  • Decorative papers or old watercolors for covering the cardboard (you can use watercolors on heavy paper as covers as well but they may need reinforcement)
  • Your favorite watercolor papers, drawing paper, etc. Remember the paper will be folded in half in your book so think large rather than small.
  • 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.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, etc. at

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