Foil bag of potato chips, ink & watercolor, 5x7"

Foil bag of potato chips reflecting on red cloth, ink & watercolor, 5x7"

When my friend Mindy sent me a fun little gift box of potato chips (which were invented in her town, Saratoga Springs, in 1853–read funny history here), I was smitten by the cute box (photo below). Then I opened the box, saw the foil inner pouch and had to try to draw it (sketch above, on a red cloth).

Box of Saratoga Springs Chips

Box of Saratoga Springs Chips

The box was charming, a replica of their original packaging from 1853. I remembered seeing  journals created from packaging on the fabulous Make a Book a Day blog where Donna Meyer binds and posts a new book almost every day. In August she did a whole series of recycled packaging books, from KitKats and Snowballs to root beer books.

Saratoga Chips Journal front cover

Saratoga Chips Journal front cover

So I grabbed a sheet of Stonehenge Kraft-brown paper and the excellent Gwen Diehn book Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books to find out how to make a pamphlet book and got started.

Back cover (two box sides glued together)

Back cover (two box sides glued together)

As usual, the most challenging part for me was the measuring, which I screwed up several times. I was able to use the top of the box and one side it was attached to for the front and half the back cover, and then cut out and glued on another side to complete the back. Then I glued a piece of marbled grey Canson paper to the opposite side to hide the seams and give it more support.

Front and back

Front and back

If you’d like to make a pamphlet book here’s a tutorial on Rhonda Miller’s blog, My Handbound Books.

Interior of journal with Stonehenge Kraft Brown paper

Interior of journal with Stonehenge Kraft Brown paper

Before sewing, I trimmed the fore edge of the rather fat signature so the folded sheets would be the same size when nested together. The book is 6″x4″ with 24 sides (12 pages made of 6 sheets folded in half) and I’m enjoying using it for sketching people in cafes and on the subway. It’s just the right size for secret sketching.

Oh…and the potato chips were quite tasty too! Thanks Mindy! What can I make a sketchbook out of next?

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Category:
Art supplies, Bookbinding, Ink and watercolor wash, Life in general, Painting, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. A handy little booklet. Nice to see you following some book blogs, Jana.

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