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Do it Yourself Portable Art Sketch Kit

DIY Portable Art Sketch Kit

– Posted in: Coloring Projects

Filmed while on vacation by the beautiful green river in Utah, see how I turned a Canson Mix Media Sketch Pad, an inexpensive dollar store pencil case, velcro and some decorative duct tape into this darling portable, on the go sketch kit. I take this kit with me nearly everywhere I go! It fits in my purse and I use it all of the time–waiting at the doctor’s office, taking artistic notes at church, journaling, giving my bored children something to do, and a lot more. It’s so fun and colorful and just makes me happy! 🙂

I hope you enjoy my video–please be sure to hit the “like” button and subscribe to me on youtube.

Products Used

And please like, comment and share below and let me know how this project goes for you.

For those who would rather read, I have included a rough transcript of the video below.

Video Transcript

Canson Mix Media Sketch PadWhat I want to do is put together a sketch kit that I can carry around with me. I always carry my art with me and this sketch pad is currently my favorite. It’s a Canson Mix Media pad that you can pick up at almost any craft store, and with your coupon you will usually spend around five bucks. You can use it with almost any media you want. I carry gel pens and sharpies with me to do my art.

Decorative Duct TapeThis is a fresh brand-new pad that I want to carry with me, but I hate carrying such a plain pad around–I think it’s kind of ugly, so I’m going to make it pretty. I also went to the dollar store and picked up this really cute roll of duct tape for just a dollar! I’m going to use it to make the cover look a little more fun, but more important I’m going to attach this pencil case that I picked up. I buy these every year when it’s back to school time for just a dollar.

Pencil Case with Clear Cover and ZipperSo next time it’s back-to-school hit your stores and see if you can find these. They have a really nice clear plastic front, and then of course there’s a zipper rather than a snap. They’re my favorite pencil case and I’m going to show you how I attach it to the sketch pad and carry all my tools with me, so let’s get started!
So all you need is your sketch pad, pencil case, velcro and some duct tape.

Duct Tape the Front CoverI’m going to start out by covering the front cover with the duct tape. I’m just going to take pieces like this and go across the front to cover it. I’m not going to worry about covering the back of it because this would be a good surface that i can test pens on.

I got that covered and I’m just going to do the last bit of the edges–they really take a beating when that you dump it in your purse or you’re dragging it around.

Fold Duct Tape Over the EdgeSo I’m just going to kind of fold this up and bring it over. I picked this duct tape up at a dollar store–I think it was around Easter time, just for this because I knew my old sketch pad was almost filled.

I go through a sketch pad quickly. I take it with me everywhere–doctor’s appointments, church and they just slide right into my purse (so yeah I kind of have a big purse because I carry my art everywhere.)

Cute Canson Sketch Pad Covered in Decorative Duct TapeThis role of duct tape has 15 feet on it and it’s 1.89 inches wide, so we’ll see how far it takes me on this project. But it was such a happy pattern and I couldn’t believe I could get this whole row for just a dollar at the dollar store!

Okay, way big improvement–how cute is that! It’s going to make me so happy every time I pull out my art.

So now we’re going to shift to attaching the pencil case to the back. So my idea last time I did this was to make a strap out of the duct tape that came across the front and held it flat and closed, which was really great. I made little duct tape loops that held the pencils and that was great except that I went from carrying only pencils to carrying a full set of gel pens and soon my needs increased. So that’s why we’re going to graduate this sketch pad to a full pencil case.

Duct Tape the Edge of the Back CoverWhat we’re going to do is duct tape this to the back cover which is again a really nice heavy cardboard backing–that’s why I like this sketch pad so much for the money. I just haven’t found a better deal yet. So what I’m going to do is with my cute tape I want to tape it on just like this–and look at that it’s almost exactly the right width, so it’s going to be perfect!

Press Pencil Case Down onto Duct TapeAnd I want to duct tape it right to the edge so I’m going to put a piece of duct tape right here first. You can’t beat duct tape for its stickiness, but it’s kind of a pain to work with so I’m going to kind of pull a long piece out like this (hopefully my picnic table here isn’t too dirty for this part.)

You can see I have this piece of duct tape stuck to the back here and I’m going to take my pencil case and lay this right on top and press it really good.

Apply Duct Tape Over Pencil Case and PressDuct tape does have its limits so we’re going to really press that down. I’m hoping little three ring binder hole is going to help us get this duct tape to stick so we’re going to bring this over the top and with one of my hands here I’m going to really press down into that three ring binder hole and kind of get each side of the duct tape to kiss each other there.

Fold Pencil Case Over Sketch Pad CoverI’m going to give this a tug and we’ll see how we did. It looks so cute–this just makes me smile. Art should always make you smile, right?

The idea is that you can close it and bring this up and over the top just like that. That makes me so happy–look at that. 🙂

Pull Out a Long Piece of Duct TapeNow we are going to create a closure that’s going to hold this flat against your pad with a wee bit of another one of my favorite things in the whole wide world which is a velcro (or loop and hook fastener.) We’re going to again use the duct tape for that. So now I’m going to fold this over but I want to leave some of the tape exposed like this–maybe about that much.

Make a Duct Tape LoopOkay, so I folded it back on itself to create that pretty loop and I have this nice long strap with the sticky on one side. And now we flip it over and right in the center as straight as I can.

Attach Velcro HereWe then turn this whole thing over and it can attach itself here with the velcro. And we have a little extra–like I said we can always cut that off so I’m not worried about the extra.

Velcro Alcohol Cleaning PadMy velcro came with this little cleaning pad–I think it’s just a little alcohol pad so I’m sure you can clean it with whatever, but I thought for sure I better bring this along on this little trip because I knew I’d be putting this together on a dirty picnic table.

Clean the CoverSo line it up–I’m going to get my velcro right here so I’m cleaning right there. It’ll dry really fast here in this nice fresh air and then I’m just going to clean this whole area because I’m not sure exactly where that velcro will end up.

I’m so excited to have a new sketch pad to take with me. I use this to take notes, so if I attend a meeting I can take notes with it. When I have my kids with me we’ll play drawing games in it so we’ll draw together. They have perforation so I’ll tear out a page and let them draw on it, and then when i get home I tape the page back in with some decorative tape like some washi tape.

Put Velcro HereI’m just lining it up and kind of deciding where I want the velcro. Okay, I’m going to put the fuzzy side down so i have the two pieces together. They’re round and these are the pre-glued kind.

Fuzzy Side of the VelcroThis is the fuzzy side–I’m going to remove the backing on that.

Anyway, so if I take out pages in this book I’ll go home and I’ll tape it back in so it kind of becomes a journal of all the places this sketch pad has been.

Pull Straight and Line UpSo now I’m lining this up to make sure it’s as straight as it can be. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m going to lay it down on the book side right where I want it–just like that, and then you want to press and hold and count to 30.

Press and Hold Velcro for 30 SecondsI have found that it’s really important to do because we want this velcro to last a really long time–so it’s worth your 30 seconds.

Before I do this last part I want to make sure I’m leaving enough room here because my pencil case is going to be pretty full. So I’m going to go ahead and put in some of the stuff I’m going to carry to kind of bulk it up so I can judge where to put this last piece of velcro.

Very Full Pencil CaseIn my pencil case I carry a drawing pencil with a really good eraser on the end, a couple sharpies of different sizes–I’ve got a fine and an ultra-fine. I’ve got a Staedtler Triplus fine liner that I’m carrying around lately. I’ve got a cute little ruler which I don’t use very often for this kind of sketching, but once in a while I wish I had a ruler, so I just throw in a cheap little ruler that again I pick up during back to school shopping. These are like a dime here, so that’s the time to shop for this kind of thing.

Elmer's Brand Gel PensAnd then I have a whole bunch of gel pens. This is a set I picked up in the scrapbook section of my store–I believe it’s an Elmer’s brand set that I’ve been playing around with to see if I like, so that’s going to go with me so i can keep playing with it.

I also have here some of my favorite things to carry around which are three-by-five cards that I used to test my pens on and do that tapping technique to get your pens to go. If you want to learn more about how I use my gel pens, I have some gel pen tutorial videos on my youtube channel, so check that out and you can see how I take care of my gel pens and use these three by five cards.

Faber-Castelle Polychromos Colored PencilsI also have a little set of Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils and pencil crayons (or colored pencils–depends upon how you say it) that I haven’t tried out yet. I’m a Prismacolor girl so I picked up a 12 set that I’m going to experiment with and see how I like them. I kind of carry a lot of art.

I also carry around with me one of my Bliss Breather Mini Coloring Books. This is Volume 1–it’s available as a free download on my website so come and check it out.

Mini Coloring BookThese are really fun little coloring books for when you need a quick breather. If I just have 10 or 15 minutes to color I’ll pull this out and coloring it. This is a really great thing to have so if I’m not in the mood to draw and I just want to take a breather and color for a minute that’s what this cute little mini coloring book is for. There are four volumes so comes to my website and check that out. And that can tuck right in here as well.

Duct Tape Loop on VelcroNow we can accurately judge where on this strip I want to do the final attachment of the velcro, so I’m just going to remove that final piece of plastic and I just put the loop part right back on top of the part that we’ve already secured on the book (so you know it’s going to line up.)

Press and Hold Velcro for Thirty SecondsI’ll bring this around, line it up give it just a little slack in case some day I decide to bring more things with you. And then press and hold and go ahead and count to 30 again.

Triangle Cut the Duct Tape FastenerNow we’re going to cut off the excess–I think I’m going to do a little triangle cut on here.

Finished Portable Art Sketch KitAnd there you have it–let’s get out there and do some art!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please subscribe to my channel and come and visit me on my website coloringbliss.com and I hope you have a blissful and colorful and beautiful day! Thank you. 🙂

6 comments… add one

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6 comments… add one
  • Linda Stay July 20, 2016, 7:57 pm

    This is the coolest!! I can’t wait to make one and get the little booklet. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Stay July 21, 2016, 10:52 am

      You’re welcome Linda! I’m so glad you like it. 🙂

  • Kathie Solus August 4, 2016, 8:58 am

    Jennifer you have a wonderful site/page. Your art is great and I love the ones you have colored. They are vibrant and so pretty.

    Thank you for sharing your free pages. It helps me to keep the cost down as gel pens, colored pencils, markers etc. can get quite costly. Have a lovely day.

    • Jennifer Stay August 4, 2016, 5:35 pm

      You’re welcome Kathie, and thank you for the kind comments. I know what you mean about the tools costing so much! Be sure to check your local dollar store for some gel pens–honestly, some of my favorite pens come from there. And I’ve also found great deals in the classifieds–many people buy big expensive sets, never use them, and then sell them for a steal! That’s how I got a large set of Cotman water colors. 😉

  • Daisy Machado February 8, 2017, 7:21 am

    Thank you so much for share you idea for a DIY Portable Art Sketch Pad kit. I love it.

    • Jennifer Stay February 8, 2017, 10:48 am

      I’m so glad you like it Daisy. 🙂

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