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Canvas Sketchbooks


For gifts this year, the kids made personalized journals for their teachers.

I picked up a few of these canvas sketchbooks from Blicks. I LOVE them and can’t wait to get a few more to play around with. The inside pages are not lined, which I love (though nothing beats graph paper for me!). And the canvas cover can be customized with basically any medium you can come up with – markers, crayons, paints, stamps,  etc.

We thought about using paint, but Chartpak markers seemed like a fun choice.


I taped off the paper edges to protect against stray marks.


The girls and I talked a little about what they were going to draw, we did a little sketching first and then  I let them do their thing. They drew the outlines first with fine point sharpies.


And then colored in with the Chartpak markers. The markers bled a lot outside the sharpie lines, but it was fine. Who wants a perfectly-in-the-lines coloring job anyway?


Evie made one too and it ended up being a very pretty, dreamy abstract. I think Heather is going to keep it.
The notebooks were such a hit with the teachers. The kids drew stories and pictures of what each teacher will be doing during the summer.
Claire’s pre-k teacher, Al, is also a film maker (he is seriously the coolest, nicest teacher). He’s making this super hip indie film this summer about a man that leaves his wallet and his phone in his office building late one night and gets locked out. He has to walk all the way home to Brooklyn with empty pockets and he has lots of adventures along the way. I can’t wait to see it when Al’s finished. Claire drew a picture of him filming on the streets of NYC, and she and Evie “just happen to be walking down the sidewalk” and they get filmed too (Claire’s words – that kid!)
Gracie also had a really special teacher this year, Miranda, who we will love forever. It’s crazy how involved these lovely people are with our kids and then, bam, one day it’s over and they’re done. That can be hard to digest for kids, teachers and parents alike.
Miranda is summering in Spain and Morocco, so Grace drew a picture of her teacher taking a cab to the airport (Grace is waving goodbye from our building). And on the back side, Miranda is riding a camel in Morocco by the beach.

I made one for myself and used a blender marker to add in some water marks. Looks sort of like tie dye, right? I like it. The back side (with the bright orangey red, below), is my favorite.
Anyway, I feel like the possibilities are endless with these canvas-bound sketchbooks! I’m going to try some patterns next. Maybe like a Les Touches-esque stylized leopard print? Or a faux bois… or malachite… Tortoise shell…


What did you think?
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66 thoughts on “Canvas Sketchbooks

  1. Evie was just a chunky baby girl when you left DE. Can't believe how grown up she is. I guess it has been 2 years. Love keeping up with your family.

  2. Evie was just a chunky baby girl when you left DE. Can't believe how grown up she is. I guess it has been 2 years. Love keeping up with your family.

  3. Excellent idea! My kids' school has gotten into the mode of a group collection for teachers, but the school has decided that it is getting over the top, so now we will be back to individual end of year gifts.

    The best gifts, I have found, are the ones where a person really thinks about what their recipient is interested in, and who they are as a person. These definitely fit the bill for your kids and their teachers!

    – Holly

  4. COOLEST IDEA EVER! This is going to be a fun project I can do with my god kids this summer. Yours is beautiful and the girls' books look AMAZING!

  5. What a sweet idea! I love it for kids but I also would totally make one for myself just like you did. So creative!!


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