If you can sew with a needle and thread, you can make a book. The steps are very easy and simple to do. There are many resources online and my favorite site is, Vintage Page Designs – www.vintagepagedesigns.com. The owner of the site, Ali Manning is wonderful and has excellent tutorials. If you want to really learn book making, Ali has a subscription program with a new book tutorial every month. Another great resource is the book, Making Handmade Books 100 + Bindings and Structures & Forms, by Alisan Golden. I found this book second hand on Amazon – www.amazon.com.
- PVA glue – Books by Hand – www.booksbyhand.com
- Heavy chip board or book board
- Waxed thread – available at craft stores. I found a great selection of colors on etsy – www.etsy.com
- Scrap paper to make hole template
- Bone folder – my new favorite is a large flat teflon bone folder – www.amazon.com
- Paper trimmer – my favorite is, Fiskars 12” ProCision Rotary Bypass Trimmer – www.fiskars.com
- Kraft knife – Fiskers Soft Grip Detail Knife – www.amazon.com or www.target.com
- Paper – Any type of paper can be used for the book pages
- Canson watercolor paper – www.cansonstudio.com
- Book cradle
- Mesh screen
- Decorative fibers
- Tim Holtz Distress Sprays – www.timholtz.com
When I made my books I did not use chipboard or book board as the tin plates were thick enough to support the structure. Instead, I chose to use a heavy canvas fabric. I measured the cloth leaving enough room between the tin plates for the signatures (pages) to fit in. I also wanted the canvas to extend beyond the edges of the tin on all four sides, so I added that into the measurement calculations. Prior to assembly, I sprayed both sides of the the cloth with Tim Holtz’s Distress Sprays to age the cloth. I frayed the fabric by pulling loose threads.
Next I glued the canvas to the back of the tin making sure to leave a space between the front tin and back tin for the signatures to fit into the middle of the book.
Once dry, I flipped the book over to the front and glued a metal mesh screen to the spine.
To make the signatures, I used the collage paper (Part 2 of this series) I had made and measured to the length and height of the book (minus fringe). I folded the paper in half making a sharp crease with a bone folder. My pages were very thick, so I put them in a book press overnight. Make sure to leave your signatures under a heavy weight (a pile of books will work) overnight, or the book will not shut properly. I decided my book was a bit too thick with every page being collaged paper, so I inserted watercolor paper for some of the pages. I used four sheets of paper folded in half for each signature and made four signatures. I like the pages in my signatures uneven. If you don’t want uneven paper edges, trim with paper trimmer or kraft knife.
I used a template and made holes in the spine for the signatures. Using the hole template use an awl to make holes in the signatures. A book cradle is a wonderful tool and worth the investment if you plan on making books. I got my book cradle from, Vintage Page Designs – www.vintagepagedesigns.com.
I sewed the signatures into the spine. Beads and fibers were added to the finished spine.
If you haven’t read Part 1 and 2, check out the articles!
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