I have a couple of confessions. The first one is that I have made these little books before. So it isn’t an entirely new make for me but as I didn’t exactly define the guidelines of what I could and couldn’t include in this project, I thought I’d put it in. One of my regular readers is making a doll’s house from scratch and I thought it would be fun to make a book for her to put in it when it is fully constructed.
My second confession is that I deleted a bunch of photographs from my camera by accident. So, I don’t have photographs for the first few steps…ooops.
The good news is that at the bottom of this post there is a link to a downloadable pdf of instructions that will mean you can keep it close by while you have a go yourself.
This make is a bit complicated but well worth it when you get to the end and you can even size up the scale if you’d like to make one that you can use as a notebook.
One of the pictures that is missing is the one of what you’ll need:
Glue – PVA will work; small brush; a couple of clothes pegs; plain paper for pages/backing/cover/endpapers; thick thread; needle; some sandpaper; scissors; light card; thin ribbon; bead or button
As far as possible I recycle bits and pieces of paper and card. There is a downside to doing this…you’ll never throw another piece of paper away.
1. Cut 9 same sized rectangles of plain white paper. These will be the pages. Fold each piece in half and crease the fold with your fingernail. Open out again and lay them in 3 piles of 3 sheets. Fold each pile in half. You will now have 3 sections of pages. These are called signatures in the book making world.
2. Mark the spine of each signature with 4 evenly spaced marks. You’ll use these as a sewing guideline. Using your needle make a hole on each mark through all 3 sheets of each signature. Now sew the first signature together. Start by putting the needle in from the outside of the crease. Rather than pulling the first stitch tight, leave a short length of thread (another of the deleted photographs but you can see what I mean in the photograph below – the middle signature in this picture). Follow the holes you’ve made with your stitches. When you have completed the first signature your needle will be back on the outside of the folded paper. Without cutting the thread sew the next signature in the same way as shown below.
3. When you have finished sewing the second signature tie the thread to the piece that you left at the start of the first one. (No need to cut the thread yet). Repeat to attach the third signature.
4. When the third signature is sewn. Catch all three together as shown below. When you get to the bottom and have tied the ends together, cut the thread.
5. Now paint some glue down what will be the spine of the book and hold it with clothes pegs while it dries
6. Once completely dry use the sandpaper to even the edges of the pages on all 3 sides.
That is the most complicated part over.
7. Next job is to make the cover and attach the end papers that hold the pages to it. Cut two pieces of card slightly larger than each single page. Yes, I know the picture below shows one piece of card. I was experimenting to see if it worked with one piece to make it easier but it turns out much better if you use two small pieces leaving a gap down the spine.
8. Pick your cover paper and cut a piece about a centimetre larger than your two pieces of card with a space in the middle for the spine. My paper is from an urban design leaflet.
9. Turn the paper over and glue the pieces of card to the inside of the paper. (Remember to leave a gap for the spine if you are using 2 pieces.). Then cut the corners off the cover and save them, you’ll see why later.
10. Fold the paper over the card and glue down.
11. Glue a small piece of ribbon down the inside of the spine. This will be easier when you have 2 pieces of card for the cover. Leave enough ribbon hanging that will be able to reach down between the pages to act as a bookmark.
12. Now cut 2 rectangles of paper that will be your endpapers. Each piece will be a bit bigger than one of your unfolded pages. You can see the size in the picture below. I used a very light paper with a gold thread running through it.
14. Do the same at the back of the book. Glue one half of one end paper to the inside back cover and one half to the last page of the signatures. Glue the triangles that you cut off earlier to the inside corners of the covers. When the glue is dry close the book and leave it under something heavy while you find some decorations for it. When dry sew a bead or button to the end of the ribbon.
15. There is a picture on the pdf (link below) of some little books I’ve made so you can see the type of decoration I mean.
16. I’ve personalised this book for Penny.