Monday, September 15, 2014

Vintage Flashcard Dos-à-Dos Sketchbook

Vintage Flashcard Dos-à-dos Sketchbook by Kimberly Jones

Ever since I found a stash of jumbo vintage flashcards I've been thinking about various ways to use them for handmade books. With a generous length of 3.5" x 10.25" they proved to be ideal for a double-sided mini sketchbook!  It includes a mix of papers for jotting down notes and journaling, and watercolor paper for sketching, painting, or collage.

To make a Dos-à-dos book of your own you will need a few simple materials:

  • Vintage Flashcard {or cardstock or heavyweight paper}
  • Bone Folder or other Scoring Tool
  • Scissors
  • Decorative Tape or Masking Tape
  • Awl or piercing tool
  • Tapestry Needle with a large eye
  • Ribbon or other binding thread
  • A variety of paper including watercolor paper

Here's how to make the sketchbook:

  • Score the flashcard into thirds and fold.
  • Wrap tape around the spine to reinforce and embellish it.
  • Measure the paper for each side of the book. The paper should be the same height and 2X the width of each section. Fold the paper and stack 3 pieces together for each signature.
  • Pierce each section of the flashcard and the signature for in the center to create holes for stitching.
  • Thread the ribbon through the hole, wrap it around the spine, then go back through the same hole and tie a knot. Start on the outside of the cover and leave a long tail to wrap around the book as a closure.
  • Start on the inside of the second signature, wrap the ribbon around the spine, bring through the hole and tie a square knot. Snip off any excess ribbon.

An aerial view of the sketchbook shows both sides, one with watercolor paper, and the other with a mix of vintage book paper, handmade paper, a tag, and an old slide. The beauty of this type of book is that it can be made in a variety of sizes with an endless array of papers and binding threads or ribbons! Dos-à-dos is a French term meaning "back to back" and traditionally includes two separate books that are bound together, but this is my nod to that type of binding.

Here's the sketchbook all closed up with the ribbon and a sparkly clip-on earring to hold it in place. I already started embellishing the book with some vintage stamps from my stash, and some text and images from a book about birds. This will be a fun little book to tuck into my tote bag for sketching and collaging on the go! If you don't have flashcards this large, you can substitute any heavyweight cardstock or paper in the size you choose. I hope you'll enjoy making your own!
Until next time - make happy!


  1. You're welcome Cyndi! I enjoyed it!

  2. What a lovely little book! You always make awesome things! Your vintage stamps look fab too!!

  3. Thank you so much Daniella! That stamp set is one of my best-ever finds!

  4. LOVE this - gorgeous and practical!

  5. Thanks Michelle! It was very fun to make!

  6. Love this, Kimberly--and guess what? I just got that same stamp set at a flea market!


    1. Thanks Trisha! I hope you enjoy that stamp set as much as I do! It's one of my favorites!

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