Creative types: Help me design my mother's sketchbook cover.
December 29, 2005 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Creative types: Help me design my mother's sketchbook cover.

My mother is an artist, and for Christmas, she asked me to buy her a sketchbook and do something creative to the cover. I found a nice one that has a black cardboard backing, but I don't have any ideas.

I lack artistic training, and I can't paint or sketch, but I'd like to do something neat. I can afford time and materials. Photo montages are a good idea, but I'd like to be more involved. Can you suggest a project? Online guides for the nitty gritty things are helpful.
posted by macadamia to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Cut a potato, dip in a color (maybe naturally found ink?), make a design on cover.
posted by JohnR at 11:06 AM on December 29, 2005

A friend of mine covered a sketchbook for me, once, in a piece of corduroy on which she sewed a drawing of a robot in yarn. It remains my favourite sketchbook, so much so that I held on to it for years before I dared to draw in it for the first time.
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:07 AM on December 29, 2005

Photo transfers are fun. Here's a good run-down of how to do it (scroll down a bit). Get a jar of acrylic matte (or gloss, I suppose, as this guide says) medium (Golden makes a nice one, around $5-$6), and some photocopies or magazine cut-outs. Ink-jet prints work, as well. Practice a bit. You can then add color/drawings with colored pencil or paint.
posted by ruby.aftermath at 11:19 AM on December 29, 2005

A buddy of mine did something like this before. He had a black book, much like you describe and he simply took this gold coin (that she had given him when he was like, 7 or something) and he centered it on the book and glued it there.

Photo montages are nice but negative space is a beautiful thing too. Perhaps if you have an old, sentimental item that's small enough, that could be cool. Just a thought.
posted by j.p. Hung at 11:34 AM on December 29, 2005

What about using small pictures and cloth ribbon to attach them to the cover in some kind of pattern?

Or use small flexible wire to secure them. Or use the wire to write in cursive some particular word (create! or art! or love!). Or use the ribbon for that.

Or have a whole bunch of family and friends sign the cover.

Use other objects - feathers? sequins? yarn? - to decorate.

Use some favorite material - an old coat, an old baby blanket, whatever - and create a removable cover that she can use on other books? (I have no idea if this is feasible, but it might be neat.)
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:42 AM on December 29, 2005

I've done acid etching on aluminum and glued it to sketchbooks. A bit heavy, but very distinctive.
posted by signal at 11:52 AM on December 29, 2005

Cover it entirely in googly eyes.
posted by jrossi4r at 11:53 AM on December 29, 2005

I have made a book cover for my brother with copper embossing.
posted by kudzu at 11:53 AM on December 29, 2005

How about a simple appliqué? Find some colorful fabric, maybe with a bold pattern, and cut out the shape of a bird/rabbit/moose/whatever. Make a template from a photo to help you get the shape right, if you don't think you can sketch it. Attach cutout to cover with fabric glue/spray adhesive/thread.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:04 PM on December 29, 2005

not very practical, but something i found striking in a "painting" (which i still haven't completed) - glue tacks (the black, rough-cut nails used in upholstery) head down onto the surface. you end up with a dark texture that looks almost like fur, but with an alien, mechanical sensibility.
posted by andrew cooke at 2:49 PM on December 29, 2005

Check out Craftster's book and paper arts area. Lots of good and cool projects on display, and some users post tutorials along with their projects.
posted by Vervain at 4:31 PM on December 29, 2005

How about a photo mosaic? I did one for my sister's birthday using my Dad's extensive digital photograph collection and she loved it.
posted by alby at 5:07 AM on December 30, 2005

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