Easy book binding tutorial

Here's something new and different for the PlumWater Cottage blog...a tutorial!  I think the last tutorial I documented was back in the summer of 2008 when I showed you how to make a dress form, using my daughter as a guinea pig.  That was fun...this is much easier.

It's easy to make a little travel journal using postcards(cut paper twice the length of the postcard), or, as I've seen on Pinterest, you can bind postcards into a booklet.  Send postcards home from all of your travels, and when you get back, voila!, a nice little memory book.  It's all done using the same process.  

In order to better utilize your resources (paper, etc.) here's a simple Japanese Stab-stitch binding to use.

Here's what you'll need:

·         Notecard, cut in half, trimmed to 4” x 5.5”
·         Copy paper, trimmed to 8” x 11”.  Sub-cut this paper to 4” x 11”
·         Ruler
·         Pencil
·         Awl or Screw punch
·         Waxed linen thread
·         Needle
Select note card.  Cut in half along the fold-line.  Measure, and cut the card(s) 4” x 5 ½”.

Cut copy paper (regularly 8 ½” x 11”) to 8” x 11”.  Cut this paper down the middle to create two long strips 4” x 11”.  Cut 8 full sheets, making 16 strips.

Fold each sheet in half (they are now 4” x 5 ½”) and crease the fold.
After all sheets are folded and creased, put them together with the folded edge to the right.  We will be binding the journal through the cut edges, then open up the folds for a nicely finished edge.
 Measure in ½” on the front and back journal covers and score.  Fold these scored sides so you can see the crease.

 Using a ruler, make 4 marks an equal distance from top to bottom.  In this case, make a mark at ½”, 1 ½”, 2 ½”, and 3 ½”.  Put the marks in the crease of the top cover.
 Add the paper (also called a “book block”) to the journal covers, making sure all folds are to the right, and the marked cover creases are to the left.  Hold pages and covers together with a clip.
Using an awl or screw punch, make a hole through the cover and the pages beneath.  Make sure you go all the way through the book block and come out through the back cover.  Continue with holes 2, 3, and 4.
The journal is now ready to bind. 

Follow the ins and outs of binding, using this chart from Lineco:
And this is what you end up with:
 After you bind the journal, it's time to take care of the page edges.  Insert a bone folder (or in this case, a Popsicle stick!), and slowly "cut" up the edge of the folded sheet.
 This will give you a nice, finished deckle-edge.
This is from one of the bookbinding classes we've held at the library.  It's a fun, inexpensive, and personal gift!



Not that 2013 was a bad year...it was far from it...but I like fresh starts.  New Years, new months, new weeks, new days.  There's always a fresh start, sometimes right around the corner.  I have no real resolutions this year...seriously...why bother?  I'm not very good at keeping up with something that I truly don't feel a part of.

I've signed up for a couple of on-line classes...one is just for January, the other runs the entire year.  Alena Hennessy's Year of Painting, and N*Studio's (January) Creative Jump Start.

My simple goals are to somewhat pare down the massive amount of art and craft supplies I've accumulated over the years.  If I can't do that, I'd at least like to have them organized.  That's the hard thing...I'm an "out of sight, out of mind" girl, so if I don't see it (or can't easily put my hands on it), I'm either frustrated, or I buy a replacement.  That's not a good thing any way you look at it.  I've been working on this massive project since just before Thanksgiving, and I probably won't finish it any time soon.  Taking my time to do it right.

I started 2014 off by attending a yoga class.  Yoga seems to work out some of those kinks I have, and the feeling of well-being in the hours following a practice is, as they say, priceless. 

The year seems pretty fresh and new to me, even though it is already (already!!) the 10th of the month.  We've had "way-too-cold" to go to work cancellations, an early dismissal due to a serious city water treatment issue, and now we're at the end of just week #2 of the new year and we haven't had a normal work-week yet. 

While at home on my "bonus day off",  I fell down the Pinterest rabbit-hole.  I came across a pin that truly inspired me...and took off with it like a dog with a tasty bone.  The pin was of a hacked Moleskine planner/art journal, and as I clicked links I came across a wonderful huge group of journalers subscribing to A Documented Life.  All it takes is a weekly planner (Moleskine or other), add-in papers (they call them tip-ins) and Washi tape.  You end up with a thick, chunky combination planner/art journal.  I used the small size of Moleskine (because it's what I had...and I like the fact that it easily fits in my purse) and spent some quality time with my paper cutter making tip-ins of watercolor paper.  Add the colorful and fun Washi tape and here's what you get:

Instead of stressing over a large art journal (the plan, for 2014), I now will just be following the weekly prompts and documenting my little life...and reveling in all of that Washi!


Happy 2014!

Sunny day...my favorite!  No resolutions this year, but hoping to document life a bit more than in the past few years.
Star Jasmine

Looking forward to sunny days (and warmer temperatures) ahead!