How to Decorate a Sketchbook Cover: From Simple to Artistic

How to Decorate a Sketchbook Cover From Simple to Artistic

Your sketchbook is home to all of your creativity, and in many instances, you’ll want the outside of your sketchbook to reflect your personality and your art style.

No matter if you’re using your book as a professional portfolio or just for casual personal use, being able to transform a bland cover into something unique and representative of your art style can be quite beneficial.

If you’ve ever wondered how to decorate a sketchbook cover, there are plenty of tricks, tips, and ideas in this guide to help you make the most out of a traditional sketchbook.

Steps for Decorating a Sketchbook

Step 1 Finding the Right Decorative Products-How to Decorate a Sketchbook Cover From Simple to Artis

Step 1: Finding the Right Decorative Products

If there’s one thing that can be said about the stores where you buy your sketchbooks and crafting mediums, it’s that there’s an array of other decorative items that you should set your sights on when you decide to start decorating the cover of your sketchbook. All you have to do is open your mind and be willing to try out new things such as fake flowers, burlap, or even sketchbook stickers.

It’s important to collect an assortment of items that work well together, especially since they will all be affixed to the front of your sketchbook and you want to make sure that everything looks cohesive. For example, if you’re opting for an old-school sepia-toned theme, then make sure everything falls together seamlessly.

Step 2: Getting the Basics

Once you’ve amassed a collection of different things you want to put on the front and back of your sketchbook, you’re also going to need to shop for the essential products that might not be as fun to find, but are just as important.

You would surely need to get your hands on some Mod Podge as this gives you the ability to affix things to the front of your journal permanently. You can also rely on a hot glue gun or super glue if you’re not comfortable using the adhesive that comes with the decorative items you’ve chosen.

It might also be a good idea to get your hands on a paintbrush and a pair of tweezers as these two items can make it easier to find the perfect places for different decorations without getting your hands dirty.

Step 3: Plan Your Design

Now that you have everything you’ll need to learn how to decorate a sketchbook cover, you’re going to want to plan your design before you start matting things down on the cover. It’s important to remember that with the majority of adhesive you’ll be working with, rearranging decorations are going to be relatively impossible without mangling both the décor and the cover of your sketchbook.

This is when you’re going to want to take some time to draw up inspiration and find the perfect placement for everything that you have purchased. However, if you’re drawing a blank, below are some great ideas that you can use for designing the front of your sketchbook:

Glittered spine:

If you really want to set an impression that you won’t soon forget, adding some glitter and Mod Podge to the spine of your sketchbook will add the perfect amount of glitz and glam without getting too overwhelming.

Geometric crafting tape:

By taking the time to find four to five different types of crafting tape with different colors and designs that work well together, you can cut geometric shapes out of the tape and affix them to the front of your sketchbook in a pattern across the entire cover.

Monogrammed cover:

For a more classic design that is easy for anyone to achieve, a monogrammed cover is a great choice because all it requires is your first and last initial cut out of a crafting paper with a brilliant design. You can then add any other elements such as ribbons, inspirational pictures, or even burlap for an added effect.

Sketched cover:

Above all else, if you want the world to see your sketching capabilities, nothing is stopping you from creating a front cover that has your sketches on it. Just be sure to choose a medium that shows up well on the color of your cover and ensure that you seal it properly, so it doesn’t get damaged when you throw it in your bag or backpack.

Step 4 Start Creating-How to Decorate a Sketchbook Cover From Simple to Artistic

Step 4: Start Creating

Now that you have the perfect plan for the cover of your sketchbook, it’s time to start creating. It’s best if you glue everything down piece-by-piece, so you don’t forget about any placement ideas, but make sure that you keep an open mind as you go along. 

Remember, learning how to decorate a sketchbook cover is just as creative as all of the drawings you have inside of the sketchbook, and making an alternative plan halfway through your project is something that you should be open to.

Step 5: Seal and Let Dry

No matter if you affixed pictures to the front of your sketchbook or if you added 3D crafting items, it’s important that you seal the front of your book with Mod Podge as this helps to make sure that you won’t lose any pieces of your cover over the years. With the combination of the right adhesive and a sealant, you’ll be able to keep the sketchbook in its original condition for longer.


Learning how to decorate your sketchbook cover is all based on your level of creativity and the things that you’d like to show the world. If you’re creating a professional portfolio, remember that whoever you show it to will get an impression of your art style from the cover.

It’s essential that the sketchbook resembles your personal art style and the content that is within the pages.

About the Author

Rob Miller is an amateur sketch artist, a freelance writer and a keen foodie. When not sketching and writing - he loves to read and explore the nature, especially the beach near his home.

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