Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Book making

And now for something different today...
One of the things on my New Years resolution list was to learn a new craft but I had no idea that it would turn out to be book making/binding after nearly 20 years of wanting to do this.
from left to right: 
Coptic stitched book, White textured cover, Green casebound book
 and a cover made to repair an address book.

I have 3 books on this subject and over the years I have made a few mini album type of things and always wanted to learn about book binding but never followed it up in a serious way. 
More recently I had seen a few of Beate's wonderful books and intended once again to have a go but never did. And then out of the blue dear Beate kindly sent me a 'text block' to inspire me further to actually do it - and of course I had to didn't I? 
And so with Beates help, advice and tips and watching some good videos from Jennifer aka Sea Lemon  and Sage Reynolds this is what happened next...

In case you didn't know a 'text block' (or Book block - I hope that's correct as I'm still trying to understand all the terminology) is where the folded papers are grouped into 'signatures' and cleverly sewn together to make the inside of your book.  
All* I needed to do was finish that off with some 'end papers' and make a cover and glue it altogether. *It will get easier - I know!

 You can just about see the verticle lines of the stitching that Beate did to sew it together. 
 The 'text block' needed to be clamped and glued along the spine.
Beate showed me a photo of how she did hers and I was able to do exactly the same using some pieces from a Silk Painting frame.

While that was drying I made a cover and at that point could only find a plain piece of A3 white paper that was large enough to cover it all.
The corners I folded over like making a bed but that was slightly bulky so next time I would cut a triangle off the corner instead for a neater fit.

But the cover was fractionally too small when I tried the pages inside so I have saved that for another project

 And then I panicked assuming I would mess it up further, so I decided to practise on some other things first.

 I cut up some paper to make some new pages, cut some board for covers and made a different style cover and totally different style of book instead.
This is a Coptic style book with open spine - and when open it lays really nice and flat.

Then I found an old address book where the cover had fallen off and been lost so made a new one for it. I believe its also known as 'case bound' book. This was good practise for sticking on all the additional reinforcing bits and papers on the book to stick to the cover.

And next, finally I made the cover to finish Beates book.
This one was covered in 2 pieces of patterned paper
 with a thick textured paper for the spine.

Then a further piece of patterned paper glued along the inside spine 
to reinforce it.

Next I chose bright green papers for the end papers, folded them and stuck them in at each end and added the white paper along spine to reinforce that too (all as suggested in books and videos)

The hard part at present for me is sticking the finished textblock to the covers so that the papers don't wrinkle and are in the right position but hopefully that will get better as I make more and learn more.

This is the finished book .. a simple, traditional looking book ..
Thank you Beate for kickstarting me into doing this :)
And now I know a bit more, next time I won't feel so apprehensive
 and can experiment and decorate the covers.

And still talking of books (sorry) you may remember I had a go at making a Traveller's notebook recently too which at present is just being used as diary/planner. The cover was made from felt and probably not ideal so I found some lovely Grey faux leather material to make another one and couldn't resist some pretty floral cotton offcuts for book covers maybe.
So this is now on my list of things to do next :)

I love the pattern/texture of this faux leather

I was pleased when the snow went the other other week and the postman could then safely deliver my order of beeswax, thread, bookcloth and yet another (better) book on bookbinding - I'm addicted!

Thanks for stopping by today
and listening to my ramblings.
Hope you're having a great day.
Gill x


  1. I am impressed to no end, Gill. These hand bound books turned out great. The learning curve can be quite steep on new crafts, but it appears you have mastered it in a short amount of time. I was really impressed with how quickly you picked up on this technique. Good for you, dear.

  2. Your books look wonderful Gill, you have learned a lot and worked very hard to make such beauties. Hugs, Valerie

  3. Wow, your books are amazing! It looks like you are having so much fun learning all the different techniques and terminology, and I loved seeing how you created them too 😉. Your grey faux leather is stunning, I can't wait to see the cover that you create with it 😀. Wishing you a great week! J 😊

  4. Wow Gill. You have been busy making your books. They all looks amazing, you will enjoy using them all. The materials you found look great as well, they will all be super covers. I look forward to seeing more of your book making skills.
    Yvonne xx

  5. Wow Gill. Your books are gorgeous and look like you're a seasoned pro. Nice new craft to learn! Now you can fill them up and share all your art! Congrats on finding the new craft. Hugs-Erika

  6. It's always good to learn something new and if this is the beginning, well, you look like a pro already. Looking forward to seeing the grey faux leather cover, it looks as if it has a fabulous texture.
    Avril xx

  7. Oh wow.. I can see that you are really addicted now to bookbinding! GREAT! WOW ! Have fun dear Gill! All you made already looks fantastic!
    oxo Susi

  8. Wow,wow,WOW - your handmade books are gorgeous! I really really admire you of doing such great bookbinding! All books look very beautiful and I cannot believe that you are a beginner!
    This texture of this faux leather is magical!
    Liebe Grüße und eine schöne restliche Woche!
    Rike xx

  9. Your handmade books look amazing Gill, and that faux leather will make a beautiful cover! Like Rike, I can't believe you're a beginner!
    Happy Wednesday,
    Alison xx

  10. All your books look very beautiful, Gill! Thanks for showing all this pictures.
    I'm glad that you have started bookbinding and have so much pleasure and fun with it!

  11. Wow Gill! I'm so impressed and learned a lot from your post. This looks like a rewarding and fun hobby. Great job.

  12. This is terrific and such neat work.Thank you for sharing how you made it

    Love Chrissie xx


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