Old Atlas Sketchbooks

After the success of my Rainbow of Sketchbooks, I needed to add some more to the stockpile. Someone had left a stack of “old” atlases (they were sponsored by MapQuest) in the teachers’ room at school, so I grabbed a few and cut them apart so I could use the pages as covers for the next batch of sketchbooks.

The atlas pages were just a tiny bit smaller than 8.5" X 11" but I didn’t bother to trim the edges, because most kids won’t care. And, for the ones that do, I’ll trim them if they ask :smiley:

I did these in stages, but I’d estimate that 15 sketchbooks took about 45 minutes to make. Counting out the pages (5 sheets for a total of 10 pages) and folding them in half took the longest. It took me about 10 minutes to stitch them together which, aside from choosing which pages to use for the covers, was the fastest part!

These are really fun to make and I’m thinking that I may dig around for some other papers to use and maybe even make some “mini” versions.


I think it is great that you are providing sketchbooks made from various sources.

I love your map notebooks!

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What a great way to give new life to the maps!

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Those are fantastic! I think they’d sell at a fundraiser, they’re just such a cool interesting item!

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AWESOME! I love maps and maps repurposed into something useful when they are outdated, so these especially tickle me. I’m so glad these are quick to make so it’s easy enough to keep sharing with your students.


Thank you! I love maps, and I couldn’t bear to see the atlases just chucked. While I didn’t take all of them (I still have some from the last time someone cleaned out their classroom), I’m glad I could find a good use for them.

@Magpie, I hadn’t thought about selling them, but I have been thinking of making a bunch of stuff over the year and having a “pop-up” shop in the teachers’ room before Christmas. I could add a few of these in! Thanks for the suggestion!

I have a bunch of old science posters that don’t go with my curriculum anymore, so I might cut some of those up next!


You’ve started a fun trend! I love how dedicated you are to your students. What a fun teacher! I bet they love you.

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I would have coveted these when I was in school!


Thank you! I don’t know if they love me, but as long as they don’t hate me, I’ll be happy!

And @gozer, I have one student who is already on her 3rd one! I don’t have enough in the stash to offer them to everyone, but as I add more to the pile, I can offer them more “publicly.” I’m trying to get them to my “primary doodlers” first, and then others can have access (since I fear some will waste them).


Great reuse of old maps! Using your sewing machine to stitch them has been working well? I totally hadn’t thought about doing that, I thought books had to be hand-stitched using some secret bookbinding technique. :shushing_face: :female_detective:

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I use a dedicated needle, and I found that stitching them on the longest stitch length with the cover facing up works well enough. It’s only 5 sheets of paper plus the cover. Nothing fancy!