Sketchbooks on the Cheap
Last year, as a part of our new curriculum, the district purchased a small sketchbook for each 5th grade student. This was wonderful to have. Each book cost about 3.00. We have about 600 5th graders in our district, so you do the math. As many of you know, the entire country’s educational system faced budget cuts. In Iowa, we felt this greatly. Our budgets were all cut, and even in a growing school district, we found no extra mony for luxuries like 3.00 sketchbooks for each 5th grade student.
So, our department came up with a new idea. We decided to have the students make their own sketchbooks. The cost of ordering paper and pre-hole punched pages from our district print shop? 7.00 per school! This means that each book costs a few cents.
First, we ordered hole punched, plain white pages from our print shop. We also had them punch one sturdy pice of card stock for the backing of the sketchbook. It saves a ton of time to have the pages pre-punched. The punches are around 2 inches apart, so we have flexibility in the material we use to bind. More on that later….
Now that we have the punched pages, we simply put the pages on top of the backing. The style of this book is a japanese binding. It involves using a stick or long object of any kind, and a rubber band.
You put the ends of a rubber band through each hole. Then, you place a popsicle stick, paintbrush, or chop stick through both of the loops. This is the front of the book. This is what the back looks like:
The best part about this style of book, is that you can easily add pages by disassembling the book and sticking a few more in. This is great for those kiddos who many sketch more than the average kid, and also for usability when they take it home at the end of the year.
Behold the finished product. I gathered a bunch of old paintbrushes for the kids to use instead of a popsicle stick. The reason our holes are so close-together is because other teachers wanted to use a shorter stick. Thus, you need hole closer to gether for this. You gotta love the user-friendly flexibility of this sketchbook.
With one of my classes, I am going to go for the Chop Stick look. I had a parent donate a bunch of chop-sticks.
The students will be decorating the front of these sketchbooks. I will be posting on this process next week! Happy Sketching! What are ways that you have cut costs as your budget de-creases? Please share!