Making Your Own Loose Sheets

January 23, 2023
Brush pen and ink wash from 2022 before I cut one of these sketchbooks apart!

For the past several years I’ve really enjoyed working on the paper in the Canson 180 sketchbook. I couldn’t find anywhere to buy the paper unbound.

This year, the first week of January, I was about to start another Canson 180 sketchbook. I like to have one going while I have an art-paper journal going.

But instead, I looked at the book in my hands, and then I went to the cutting board and cut the spine off.

Bingo, Bango, instant loose sheets.

I’m sure I’ll use another one of these bound this year, simply because I love the paper for writing on as well as sketching. But for now I have a little box of loose sheets I can pull out and sketch and paint on.

If any of them turn out I’ve got the added benefit of being able to pop them in a frame on the wall, without disturbing the journal flow.

Cut up some of your favorite sketching and painting paper today and have it near at hand for those moments those moments when you really want to sketch on loose sheets.


    • Teresa
    • January 23, 2023

    Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve bought several small blocks to try their paper and some of them are not bound… I saw it as a problem until I read this, now they have become opportunities!

    1. Reply

      I’m so glad this was helpful. Because of my habit of keeping a loose sheets journal as well as my bound journals, I have boxes that are 9 x 12 inches (actually a little larger—they are made to hold 9 x 12 inch sheets), and I routinely buy 9 x 12 inch pads of paper that I like to use but which is not available in sheets. I keep smaller pieces in those boxes too (I usually fill one to two boxes a year), but it’s nice to have the 9 x 12 inch pads.

      Whether you have small blocks or packets of paper, or you cut or tear down large sheets of paper, using a 9 x 12 inch (or other suitably sized) box is a great way to keep your paper tests together, to do a series of paintings using different papers and keep them together, to work on a loose sheets project, etc. I hope that you have fun with your loose sheets. I hope you have fun trying out all your papers.

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