Hip Hip Hooray my baby girl turned two! Two years of motherhood and I am still overwhelmed and speechless thinking of it. For Eve’s second birthday I “planned” a unicorn party at home with a sweet table but “life happens while you’re making plans”. This quote is my new life quote! Seriously! 🙂 The weather in Austria is so unpredictable at the moment and the last couple of weeks it went from snowing to sitting outside with a T-shirt. And on Eve’s special day the weather was perfect – sunshine all day, so I decided to celebrate outside. We live in an old Biedermeier house and we have a wonderful enchanted garden which all residents can use. This meant for us packing everything, collecting all blankets, cushions what we found and preparing our “Hippy Party” in the garden. Eve’s big sister Mara and her friend Marlene helped me a lot – Thank you ladies! ❤

A couple of weeks ago I dipped my toe into the world of book binding at a workshop from Swarovski Kristallwelten Wien under the instructions from the we love handmade blogger team and I learned how to bind a book and crystallized it. Since I can remember I loved doing handcrafted things and due to this workshop it was an awakening memory. For me it’s like cooking, meditative work which brings me back on track. Long story short: I decided to make handprinted personalized journals with a crayon for Eve’s friends as a little give away.

Happy 2nd Birthday Princess!

Create your own personalized sketchbook for little painters

Today I’ll show you how to make a personalized sketchbook for little and grown up painters. I worked with the “three hole pamphlet stitch” which is one of the simplest bookbinding techniques and easiest stitches.

1.) Start with your DESIGN

As you might know by now I love quotes – they kind of always fit to different situations in your life and for our little guests what could have been better than “Create your own magic”. Maybe you remember your own childhood – my grandma always encouraged me to dream (kids do have their own magic reality) and I loved it when she read tons of fairy tails to me and I want to do the same for my little princess.

Due to my actual motto “unicorn birthday bash” I bought every item I could find starting from paper plates, paper straws, muffin set, unicorn garland, to gift wrapping paper from Meri Meri. I love their unicorn design which I added to my design. Scan your design to print it more often – I made 15 little booklets – I kept two for us one for Eve and one for me. Print the covers as often as you need them. If you only make one book with one design you can leave this step.

2.) Get your MATERIALS together


Material you’ll need to make your own personalized sketchbook


  • 7 standard sheets (photocopy paper or a bit heavier) of paper for pages
  • 1 sheet of decorative paper for cover
  • 1 sheet photo carton (300g paperweight)
  • 3x length of your booklet waxed linen thread (if you don’t have one you can also use a normal thread and a piece of wax and wax it yourself – this makes it easier to bring the thread in the hole of your needle and it stays stronger)
  • Washi Tape
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 glue
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 bookbinding needle* or an embroidery needle
  • 1 bonefolder
  • 1 awl
  • 1 scissors


  • Fold all papers in halfes using your fingers first and then the bone folder to make them really thin. Then stack them together.
  • Put one stripe of Washi Tape at the edge of your sketchbook.
  • Traditionally in book binding, the holes are pierced before the book is sewn. Open the booklet to the middle page and along the spine “trench” , use a pencil to mark three dots. Using your ruler and pencil, mark three sewing stations – I made a template, so I could use it to make more than one sketchbooks.
    • Station 1 is exactly in the center of the spine
    • Station 2/3 are about 2cm from the top and the botoom of the book
  • Firmly hold the book together – Using your awl (if you don’t have one use your needle) poke holes through all sheets of paper. Make sure the holes are exact this makes the sewing part much easier.
  • You may begin stitching from the inside or outside. Starting from the outside, put the needle through Station 1. Pull it almost all the way through and leave a short tail. Then through Station 2 and pull until the stitch is snug. Pull it through Sation 3 until the stitch is snug and then put the needle back through Station 1 and pull until the stitch is snug. Tie a double knot and make a little bow. Cut the rest of the thread.
  • Optional you can glue the cover and the photo paper together in the front and in the back – this gives your booklet a stronger grip. Put old paper underneath so if you glue the edges you don’t glue anything else. Also use a new paper for each side – what happened to me was that I glued one and I found the glue on the backside…. You can always learn from your mistakes! 🙂
  • When you are finished you will notice that the inner pages will show outside the cover – to have all the pages align with the cover I went to a copy show and borrowed their cutting machine. (You can also do this step at home using an X-acto knife and a ruler and cut the offending inner pages – personally I would recommend the cutting machine – it just gives your sketchbook a cleaner cut.

Decorate and fill your book!


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