Friday, 8 March 2019

Handmade Sketchbooks

Every time I see a post on book binding or handmade notebooks I always feel really inspired. I finally put the project on my to do list and this is what I came up with.

I really wanted my books to have a mix of papers to make things more interesting, and each one unique. I started by going through my over flowing drawers of paper and picking out pieces to use as the pages. I've got cartridge paper, lined paper, coloured paper, squared paper, sugar paper, patterned paper, tracing paper and more.

I cut all the paper into A5 sized pieces and then folded them in half to A6 size. My tip for doing this is to fold them against a stack of post-its so the edges are alligned. It doesn't have to be post-its though, anything with a raised, flat edge will do, eg, a book, a box.

I then cut some card for the covers. I made them a millimetre or two bigger than the pages. I used Amazon cardboard envelopes which I have a fair few of as I love the quality of the card.
I arranged all my pages into books, making sure to have a good mix of all the different types of paper.
In my first attempt I used staples to attach the pages together but I didn't love how it turned out, so I tried sewing the pages together.

I started by marking four dots, about 3cm apart, along the fold of the centre page. Then I took a drawing pin and pierced four holes through the whole stack of papers. You can't see from the photo, but I had a lump of blue-tack on the other side of the paper so the pin had someting to go in to instead of my table top. I put a scrap piece of paper over the blue-tack so that it didn't stick to my book pages.
I then used one of the pages as a guide to pierce holes in the cardboard cover.

Then I used cream coloured sewing thread, doubled up, to sew the pages and the cover together. I arranged it so the knot would be between the last page and the cover as this would be covered up later.

Next I covered the card cover with something a bit more attractive. This was a chance for me to use some of the really colourful fabric I have in my stash.
I cut the fabric about an inch bigger than the card cover and cut the corners off. I used PVA glue to stick the fabric to the cover, one side at a time.

I then glued the first and last pages to the inside of the cover to cover up the edges of the fabric. This is also how the knot gets covered up.

The last thing to do was trim the pages so they all appear the same size when the book is closed. 

And before I knew it, I'd made all of these!

I really enjoyed making these books. I love the mix of pages. Much more interesting than page after page of blank white.

I hope I've explained my process well enough. Let me know if you have any questions!


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