For sketchbooks, I don't mind cheap watercolor paper. The Canson Biggie buckles with too much water, but it has a lined texture that I like. I was hoping to find it at Michael's but they didn't have it. Walmart might not have it anymore, but I think I saw it online at Blick Art in a smaller count.
The sketchbooks I made have a coptic stitch. I made the mistake of buying the wrong kind of thread for the first sketchbook I made (See above, pink sketchbook). I bought black jewelry cord which broke 4 times during the stitching. When I looked back at the packaging, I discovered that the cord was made of paper. Why they make cord out of paper, I don't know. It doesn't seem logical.
So, I went out again and bought embroidery thread in multiple colors as well as beeswax to wax them myself. It's super easy and quick to wax the thread. I used beads on my second attempt. The beads didn't all line up correctly, but I'm thinking that if I use less beads next time it won't bunch up. See above, top sketchbook.
You can use cloth to cover the sketchbooks, but I didn't do that for these first two. I painted the first one pink using acrylic paint and started a drawing on it. I plan on coloring it in with paint or ink.
Here is the unfinished drawing:
I haven't decided on the drawing for the second one, yet.
SeaLemonDIY has a lot of cool videos! She was even on HGTV! I am now a fan!