Art Education Studio at Home

Kohl’s Art Generation Studio at Home: Make a Sketchbook

Pieces of paper folder up with holes punched down the seam

Do you need a place to keep all your creative ideas? Sketchbooks are a great option. Their pages can hold a jumble of doodles, notes, finished works of art—or all of the above! Artists often use their sketchbooks to work out big ideas and practice their drawings. Follow the steps below to create your own sketchbook!

  • Paper (three or more sheets)
  • Cardstock, thin cardboard, or any sturdy paper (to use as a cover)
  • Pencil, hole punch, or stapler
  • If using a pencil or hole punch, also: strips of string or yarn, or twist ties

Gather all your paper and stack the sheets on top of one another. Your sheets should be the same size. If some pages are larger than others, use scissors to trim the edges. Your cover sheet can be the same size or slightly larger than the other pages (just make sure it is not smaller than the other sheets of paper).

Place your cover sheet on the bottom of your stack of papers, and then fold the whole stack in half (hamburger-style). If you have a large stack of paper or you are using thick paper, you can fold one or two sheets at a time.

Different types of paper folded in half together

Open the fold slightly, but keep your papers lined up together. Staple or punch holes along the spine (the folded crease). Make sure you poke through all your pages, even the back cover. A stapler or hole punch may not reach the spine. You may have to use a sharpened pencil to poke your holes. Be very careful when using a sharp pencil; ask a grown-up for help, if needed.

Pieces of paper folder up with holes punched down the seam and pieces of string laying on the side

If you used a stapler in step 3, you can skip ahead to step 5. If you used a hole punch and/or pencil, push your yarn, string, or twist ties through the holes, looping each piece through at least two holes. There should be enough material sticking out of each hole on the other side of your spine to allow you to tie or twist them together.

Pieces of paper folded in half and tied together with string and twist ties

Your sketchbook is almost complete! Personalize your cover by writing your name and adding other fun decorations.

Homemade sketchbook with a bird and the top of a cat's head drawn on the front

Start collecting your drawings and ideas, and share them with us on social media! Tag @MilwaukeeArt and use #MAMStudioAtHome. Then, join me on Sunday, June 7, at Virtual Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays: At Home, where I will share some of my sketchbook drawings inspired by animals. Here’s a sneak peek at one of my drawings, featuring one of my favorite animals (a rabbit!).

Rabbit sketched on a piece of paper

Kohl’s Studio at Home activities are designed to be enjoyed with the whole family, regardless of age. Families can work together to learn new techniques and materials, and to explore creativity. As with all new things, provide your child the support and supervision that they need for their developmental level, practicing safe use of tools and materials. You know your kids best!

Brett helps two children with art-making

Brett Henzig is the Youth & Family Programs Educator. He manages the Kohl’s Art Studio, leads school tour workshops, and teaches Youth Studio Classes and Summer Art Camps. Outside the Museum, you’ll find Brett making art, rescuing injured wild animals, and spending time with his wife, son, dog, cat, and rabbit.

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