DIY Watercolour Notebooks

April 19, 2012 | DIY

I love the basic Moleskin Notebooks.. there’s something truly beautiful about their simplicity. My favourite ones are the kraft cover, creamy paper, stitched binding variety. I always seem to have a few hanging around the house with bits and pieces written in them, and when I found these two tucked in a drawer I thought it might be fun to customise them. I fully understand that customising them has taken away from the simplicity I was just talking about, but hey.. it was fun and they look pretty!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

– Some blank-cover notebooks (I used Moleskin pocket-size)
– Paint brushes in various sizes/shapes
– Watercolour paints
– A tray you can mix your colours in
– A cup with some water in it
– A blank piece of paper or cardboard

Step 1: Put some of your chosen paint into your tray (you won’t need too much), and mix in some water with each.

Step 2: My flowers are a combination of just dabbing the brush onto the card, and making short strokes. If you’re not super experienced with watercolour (like me!), a good place to start is by experimenting with your brushes and paints on a blank piece card. Dab your brushes from different angles, drag them, press them lightly and heavily. Doing this will just help you get an idea of the different ‘flowers’ you can get with the different brushes. You may also notice that you’ll get different results with more/less water, so just play around.

Step 3: Once you’re feeling confident, start working on your notebook. It’s best to start from the top of your cover and work down so you aren’t dragging your hand through wet paint. I did my flowers in stages – blue/orange flowers (the biggest ones) first, then layering the rest over that. Wait for each layer to dry before doing the next. My final colour on each was a metallic gold watercolour, which made everything really stand out.

And that’s pretty much it! The colours and patterns you can do are only limited by your imagination.. have fun with it!

Note: I’m not an experienced watercolour artist, so I can’t guarantee that my methods in watercolour are really correct! I’m just going with trial and error :)


  1. Those are adorable! You did a great job at making the pattern not look too random.

  2. Those are beautiful Claire!

  3. These look great – such a simple and effective idea.
    Lotts x

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  7. Pretty! A great way to customise the notebooks

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