Tuesday, January 14, 2014

She's Crafty | Book Bound

Over the Christmas season I made a few gifts. Handmade books to be exact. I've dabbled in bookbinding before but I kinda went overboard and made my projects more difficult than they really needed to be. Too many pages, too many little holes...if you have to grab a drill to bind a book and it's still too hard, your project may be a bit more ambitious than a newbie can handle. I abandoned my projects and set bookbinding aside, thinking it wasn't my thing.

Recently, I got the itch to try again while looking for a drawing book that would lay flat when opened and stumbled upon THE BEST bookbinding video tutorials EVER by YouTuber, Sea Lemon! Go on, check them out for yourself:
  • Click here to make a sketch book that will lay flat when opened.
  • Click here to make a book from a Junior Mints box!
  • Click here to make a sushi book...or two...or six.
For Christmas gifts, I ended up making three different book projects. The first, a coptic stitch bound sketch book for a friend. I bought a large mixed media drawing pad, detached all the pages and folded them in half, cut the cardboard backing in half, poked a bunch of holes in everything, waxed some thread, followed the video instructions on how to coptic stitch and within an hour the book was finished!

I heart binder clips!
The second project was a few sushi books with a perfect binding. Perfect binding involves gluing the spine instead of stitching the pages together. A few layers of glue and it's surprising how well the pages stick together! It's also fun deciding how to press the books while gluing. I decided to make six, three a piece to two little girls who love to go to sushi with the adults in their lives. It seemed like an easy-peasy project, and it really is, but six is a LOT more work than I thought! They are incredibly cute little books and decorating the covers made the tedious bits completely worth the effort.

The third project was going to be a set of small, bright blue notebooks with a perfect binding and gold leafing on the cover. Late, the night before I would be handing over this project as a gift I: got the pages bound together; cut the cover to size and scored it in all the right places following the Junior Mint recycled book tutorial; got what I thought was the gold leaf out annnd failure commenced. Now that I think about it, I believe the gold stuff I used wasn't exactly gold leaf. In the end, I had to purchase a gift, BUT I'm determined to revisit the gold leaf book project and find success.
Gold leaf imposter AKA gold stuff

I'm glad I found the Sea Lemon videos. They helped me bring bookbinding down from some lofty perch I stuck it on long ago with the title of Maybe This Isn't For Me. Dwindling are the days that I can't move forward in my pursuit of learning a new craft because I can't find resources to help me puzzle the problems out. At this moment in time, I may not know how to use a decades old kit of gold stuff with successful results, but I did learn how to make a few books!

And, not surprisingly, the library has many books on handmade books:
Whip up a book in no time!

There is even a picturebook about bookmaking for the little ones!
Until next time, enjoy your crafting endevours and keep at it. You never know, you might find a book or video that gets you going in the direction towards great success!

Kaye & Malia

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the fabulous tips! I gave up on making my own book too, but have wanted to get back into trying it but the classes are far too expensive for my budget.