Dollar Store vs Reasonably Priced Sketchbooks

This isn’t a exactly review, I’m more talking about my personal experience of a day.

Today, I got myself a new sketchbook from Michaels for $10.

Originally it was $20, but I had a coupon. My dad thought it was a waste of money, considering the fact that I already had one, but my dollar store sketchbook… Kinda sucks? I mean, in Dollarama they are slowly increasing the price. It used to be 2.50, and now it costs 4. These sketchbooks don’t last long (I’ve bought 3 of these so far…) so now I want a higher quality, longer lasting sketchbook for future things to come, than wasting more money.

I asked my art teacher before purchasing one. She gave me some tips on how to examine sketchbooks. Such as thickness, how it is snitched, etc. Thank you amazing art teacher! 🙂

So here are the two sketchbooks that I have now (that isn’t destroyed):


The one on the left is the new one, the one on the right is the dollar store one.

I wanted another professional looking pure black, but those were like 30 dollars, so I couldn’t be bothered to spend more money. At least the design is pretty?

One huge thing I’ve noticed is HOW NICE THE PAPER IS ON THE NEW ONE!! It’s so smooth, but has some more resistance and thickness than printer paper, whereas the dollar store one I had is so rough and smudges so much!

You can also use both sides of the paper more, whereas in dollar store sketchbook, you can only use one side. (Or it smudges too much/you can see the indents from the drawings in the other side).

Anyways, I’m unsure how well my new one will hold if I drop it or treat it without care (after all, I’m using this for art class as well and my friends will touch it carelessly), but I can tell you for sure that my old sketchbook that I’ve used for like a year is falling apart- and I’ve only used less than half of the pages!


In all honesty, the paper quality is enough for me to convince others to invest more money in their sketchbooks. I wouldn’t pay 20 dollars for mine, but I mean if you can use a coupon, do it! Dollar store prices are rising, and it’s totally NOT WORTH to get my old sketchbook for 4.


13 thoughts on “Dollar Store vs Reasonably Priced Sketchbooks

  1. hsajkdaHJLDKHJKa that sketchbook is amazing wow
    pls share what ur art teacher said i need to know too lol
    //i use a gray toned sketchbook now tho, since sketching on gray is easie r but idk lmao

    Liked by 1 person

    • She actually didn’t say much, but showed me what a high quality sketchbook looks like. (She had a bunch in the classroom) and compared it to my dollar store one.
      Few things she did say though, was to make sure it’s hardcover (so my drawings are protected), make sure the paper is thick enough, make sure the paper is glued on and stiched (don’t purchase things with coils), and to make sure the hardcover can protect itself if I drop it.


      • i feel ashamed reaing this bc my strathmore sketchbook is none of the above HAHHA AND IT HAS COILS!!! AND ISNT HARDCOVER!!!! NO WONDEER WHY IT SMUDGES AND GETS DIRTY EASILY UGHGHHGGH (or its actually bc i always put it in my dusty locker and forget abt it)
        thnks for telling me this tho, NOW i know what art stuff i should avoid >_>


  2. I haven’t gotten a sketchbook in years, but I never used to care about the quality. Case in point: I have several of those crappy 72-page paper sketchbook things they give you in elementary school. 😛 But really, when I actually draw physically (which I don’t really these days), it’s mostly on loose paper.
    The most memorable sketchbook I’ve had has been some random (probably cheaper) one with tear-out pages. I got it during one vacation and managed to fill it up over halfway just then. I wasn’t trying to draw masterpieces, I was just having fun with it, and that was what worked for me. The pages do annoyingly come out sometimes, though… -_______- Come to think of it, I should go look for that!

    Liked by 1 person

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