Saturday, May 3, 2008


It was a rainy day in Chicago today. Blah. So I decided to get all crafty with my bad self. Bookbinding is one of my favorite hobbies/crafts I'm capable of doing, and using this obscure skill of mine to make gifts for my friends makes me happy. So today's rainy day became a perfect day for bookbinding.

Cute little books like these are lovely gifts for all of the new moms in your life. A perfect place to put all of the pictures of the little one. And since my friends keep reproducing, I must keep making these cute little albums.

It starts with one of my favorite stores: Paper Source. While I should abhor it because it's created in me an unhealthy addiction to paper, I love Paper Source. They sell anything and everything a bookbinder would want, like textblocks with precut bookboard to match!
My first step is to peruse my ridiculous collection of pretty patterned paper and bookcloth to find a combination that shows my friends how much I love them and their new little bundles of joy. There's a lot to choose from.
I choose these papers - one for a new baby girl, one for a new baby boy.
Next, I get my tools and my handy notes on what size I should cut everything to, cut things up with an exact-o knife and ruler and voila! photo-album-sized paper, bookcloth and spines!
I then mix it up a little by cutting out a little window (though not entirely), so there's an indentation on the front for the name card to sit. (I've decided to forgo a full description of the process, as I'm not convinced you'll actually want to get into bookbinding after seeing me do it, but if there are questions, feel free to email me!) Next, I use my most excellent adhesives (a cocktail of PVA and Methyl Cellulose - am I cool or what?!?) to assemble it all. Of course, I constantly check along the way to make sure everything fits together.
The same glue gets used to put the paper onto the bookboards and with the assistance of a teflon bone folder (you're really jealous of me at this point, right?) everything gets all smooth and pretty.
So with the jacket complete, it's time to attach it to the textblock with more pvamethylcellulose goop and to make sure it sticks together, I use lots of heavy books to smash it together.
And bippity-boppity-boo, more little books! I'm leaving out the last step - writing the munchkin's name in calligraphy on little cards for the front cover - since that usually takes me 500 tries and 53 hours, but you get the gist.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Paper Source. I have recently started embossing and making my own greeting cards and that is the mecca of all things paper. YAY!