Observational Sketchbook Printable

Free Nature Sketchbook

Nature Sketchbook with Prompts and Saddle Stitch Binding

I love my I Spy series even though it is not very popular and even though it is probably a little confusing since it has almost nothing to do with the I Spy car game. It started off as interesting things I saw when driving that I would try and draw from memory. The series has evolved a little to include things I also see while walking and sometimes I include books or other related links. I like seeing extraordinary in the ordinary. I love to day dream.

I also really love all those sketchbooks with drawing prompts. We have a fun Klutz one and a Taro Gomi one called DOODLE ALL YEAR that I love. Then I thought maybe it would be fun to create a sketchbook with prompts to inspire interesting “I Spy” like everyday observations then give it to you and my kids. It gives me a nice feeling to think of others making interesting observations too.

Each page includes a short written prompt and drawing starters or inspiration. I also included instructions for creating a saddle stitch bound booklet without an expensive saddle stapler. I like saddle stitch or staple binding because it is easy and super functional.

To make your own observational sketchbook you will need heavy weight paper for the cover. I used student watercolor paper that I cut to to 8 1/2 by 11 because I like the texture but you could also use card stock. You will also need a printer, craft knife, straight edge, a pushpin, box, and staples.

easy booklet binding instructions

Here’s how…

  1. Open the following PDF: Nature Sketchbook with Prompts and print the first page using your heavy paper or card stock.
  2. Then select two-sided printing (flip along short edge) and print pages 2-15 on regular paper.
  3. Then take the whole stack including the cover, carefully fold in half, and crease the edge.
  4. Open the stack pack up and put on top of your box. If you want you can use a couple binder clips to hold the stack. Measure two inches in from the bottom at the crease and press the pushpin through the stack.
  5. Carefully release a couple staples from your stapler and measure where to create second hole for the staple. Now press pushpin through again.
  6. Then you can insert the staple, flip stack, and press the ends of the staple down with the pushpin.
  7. Repeat step six for the second staple at the top of booklet.
  8. Trim the edge of the booklet to make the pages even (this step is optional).
  9. Now fill it with lots of interesting things!

I hope you like this printable. This booklet might be nice to take on a road trip for when you are not playing the game I Spy!



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. I love these little folding book printables! I found one that you had titled “Nature Journal” that has little framed openings and I printed it off, but didn’t save the file! And now I can’t find it! Can you point me in the right direction for that printable? Thanks!

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