Making a Backwards Sketchbook

A backwards sketchbook starts with drawings on paper which then get constructed into a book. They are a great way to both store your drawings, and to help learners reflect upon and rework existing drawings.


  • A way to collect together old drawings which might otherwise not have a life.

  • An opportunity to reflect upon old drawings, and make new marks in response.

  • The drawings can be removed if needed.

You Will Need:

  • A selection of old drawings made on paper. These might be drawings made as a result of drawing exercises.

  • Elastic band

  • Cardboard


1. Collect. Collect old drawings of various sizes together.

2. Make the Cover. Cut a piece of cardboard twice the size of the finished sketchbook and fold it in half.

3. Fold the Drawings. Fold the drawings so that they fit in the sketchbook.

4. Secure. Secure with an elastic band.

5. Revisit the old drawings by using the sketchbook – you might choose to reflect upon the drawings and make notes in the sketchbook, or add new drawings to your old.


Making a Backwards Sketchbook

This is a sample of a resource created by UK Charity AccessArt. We have over 1100 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

AccessArt welcomes artists, educators, teachers and parents both in the UK and overseas.

We believe everyone has the right to be creative and by working together and sharing ideas we can enable everyone to reach their creative potential.

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