I just made a plain old little book, with card stock for the cover. I trimmed the copy paper inside to be 8.5 x 10.5 or thereabouts, just to make sure the cover hung over the edges a little bit.
Our workroom has one of these fascinating devices which I am honestly in love with at the moment. It's called a saddle stapler. I'd never heard of it until moments ago. Apparently you can put the folded book over the arch and staple into the crease without bending the staple!
See it. Love it.
I think it will be very easy to make a million of these for the littles, and I might even decide to make them for the big kids next year, if all goes well. Right now the big kids are using their brad-folders with blank paper inside as their sketchbooks. But I feel like those will be harder to use for drawing, since they won't lay flat. Ideally, I would like to have all the books spiral bound but I suppose that's dreaming...since I don't have anybody to help me do that, and they would all be huge when we were done.
Even though I love my red Swingline stapler, it isn't really up to this task.
I'll let you know how things go! My plan is to have all the sketchbooks made by the end of the next class rotation, and have all the kids ready to draw in them ASAP. I want to start the year with a Zentangle lesson so they will all have some go-to art activity when they finish things or when I have a sub.