My DIY Circa Sketchbook

So, I was inspired after seeing the sketchbooks others have made (see my post from yesterday). So I decided to make a discbound sketchbook with some Levenger Circa discs and watercolor paper. I had a pad of Canson 9″ x 12″ and trimmed it down to fit a clear plastic Circa/Arc /Office Depot Revolution cover.


The watercolor paper came in a pad of 15 sheets. Each was cut in half and needed half an inch on the top edge trimmed per page, and they fit perfectly in the Office Depot Revolution clear plastic cover I’m using. The pages ended up being slightly wider than the usual Circa/Arc refill page size. And picking a disc color was hard! I decided to try the Levenger Circa Spectra discs I just got because they are fun and colorful.


I decided I wanted the new DIY Circa sketchbook coversheet that goes under the clear plastic cover needed to have lots of blue, to match the discs. I found this perfect sized wooden board at my art store, it’s perfect for this paper size.


The finished inside cover of the DIY Circa sketchbook.


These Levenger Circa Spectra discs you guys, are going to drive me INSANE. I have developed a compulsive need for all the stripes to line up just so. If they don’t – which happens every page turn – it’s just ALL WRONG. ARGH.


All in all, I really like how this turned out. Excited to see how it works in regular use.

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7 thoughts on “My DIY Circa Sketchbook

  1. redharparts October 6, 2014 at 12:16 am Reply

    Oh, I really like those multicolored discs, too! Is the wooden board cut to the size of the paper and then inserted in the cover? if so, how do you punch a wooden cover with the Circa tabs?

    • pensandart October 6, 2014 at 1:16 am Reply

      Thanks! The wooden board is from a local art store, and isn’t part of the cover. I just use it as a table surface when I’m sitting on the sofa or somewhere without a table. No way would it be punchable though, it’s pretty thick! 🙂

      • redharparts October 6, 2014 at 1:20 am

        Ah, that makes more sense! I use a piece of coroplast (corrugated plastic…. think of those yard signs for politicians, etc) when sketching on location. It provides a firm support but weighs almost nothing.

      • pensandart October 6, 2014 at 1:22 am

        Ooh, that’s a great idea too! Definitely no shortage of those around. 😀

  2. redharparts October 6, 2014 at 1:28 am Reply

    Another question… for you or your readers…. How do you store your sketchbooks? Do you just keep the circa together on the shelf and buy another cover and more discs for the new one? I have a nice Junior cover in black from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. I’m a bit cheap, so I don’t want to buy more covers – even the thin plastic ones. Roz Stendahl sometimes sketches on loose pages and then collects them in an envelop instead of binding in a book. I’ve thought to do that with the punched pages.

    • pensandart October 6, 2014 at 1:55 am Reply

      I have been using Circa notebooks for more than 7 years, primarily for work but also personal planner use, so always keep extra notebook parts on hand. After awhile buying them it becomes second nature. I look for clearance agendas on sale, like after the next year’s planners come out, and buy the old ones at steep discount from Levenger’s Outlet just for the covers and discs. Or I’ll get the much cheaper Staples Arc or Office Depot Revolution discbound notebooks on sale or clearance, just to have some extras on hand. Typically I keep the assembled Circa notebooks stored on a bookshelf just like books, and all the other assorted pieces of unassembled notebooks in either little bins (for the discs) or in my file drawer in pendaflex folders (for extra refills, dividers and other accessories). This is my first time using a Circa for sketchbook paper, so I think I will be keeping it in my art supply cabinet with my other sketchbooks, easily accessible when I want to work in them, unless I decide to take it with me more often.

  3. […] posted back in October about creating a watercolor sketchbook in a discbound format, and thought ‘d show how it […]

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