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Architecture Library / Fashion Library - Earth Day Tutorials and Resources.

Celebrate Earth Day!

Welcomes to the 2021 Fashion Library – Architecture Library Earth Day virtual celebration.  This year we will focus on projects to fashionably extend the life of clothing through visible mending and upcycling materials into sketchbooks.  

To learn more about visible mending, explore these resources curated by Edith Serkownek, Fashion Librarian.

Finally, respect the earth by incorporating sustainable materials and textiles into designs.  Learn more about innovative materials through Material Connexion resources.

Introduction - Create a Sketchbook

Creating a Simple Scrap Sketchbook.

Junk mail envelopes, old file folders, paper with just a few printed lines, the last couple empty pages of a notebook -- Upcycle these materials into a sketchbook through this tutorial.   Learn a simple pamphlet stitch that serves as a building block for more complex creations. While the tutorial will focus on sketchbooks / notebooks, these techniques can also be applied to zine making.  

1. Supplies & Tools


Supply List

- Thicker cover material (Postcards, cereal boxes, greeting cards, fabric, vinyl, etc.)

- Interior sheets (Papers, envelopes, scraps, calendar pages, etc.)

- Embroidery floss

Tool List

- Large needle

- Scissors

- Pencil

- Ruler

- Protective work surface

- Bone folder (Recommended)

- Awl (Recommended)

Additional Optional Tools

- Needle nose pliers

- Thimble

2. Preparing the Sketchbook


2. Preparing the book.

Make the Cover

1) Use bone folder to score down the centerline of the cover material.  The score will become the outside spine of the book.

2) Fold towards the opposite side of the score.

3) Use the edge of the bone folder to further crease the material.

Assemble the Signature

1) Fold sheets of paper in half using the bone folder.

2) Lay each sheet in one another to make the book signature.

Signature Sizes

- Four sheets of paper will create a 16 page signature.

- Eight sheets of paper will create a 32 page signature.

3. Putting It Together


3. Putting it together.

Prepare the book to be stitched.

1) Measure out a length of embroidery floss a little more than 3 times the book's height and thread the needle.

2) Using the awl, punch holes about a half inch from the top of the signature pages, in the middle of the signature, and about a half inch from the bottom of the page.

Pamphlet Stitch

1) Thread the needle through the middle hole of the book.  Pull most of the embroidery floss through the hole.

2) Thread the needle through the top hole of the book.

3)  Go across the book and thread the needle through the bottom hole.

4)  Thread the needle through the initial middle hole. Arrange the two ends on either side of the middle embroidery floss.

5) Pull the stitch tight and tie a square knot or bow.

Additional Ideas

Creating a Multiple Signature Book


Additional Ideas


Interested in learning more about creating your own pamphlets and booklets?  Check out the following resources from the Kent State University Libraries.  Additional items can be found by exploring the bookbinding subject headings and particularly bookbinding handbooks, manuals, etc.