Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Supplementing Your Summer: Book Binding, part I

[music  at the bottom]  Would you like to make your own book?  It's really rather simple, but it takes time and patience.  I used a manila folder, and found that along the fold, there was an addition fold line, so that you could thicken your folder and create more room for a bigger bulk within.  This came in handy for the design of the book you see in the photos, but you could easily take another folder or similar material and fold it to make the spine that you want.  In fact, you could use something completely different for the cover, but this was all my craft supplies could allow.  If you have a good suggestion for covers, let me know!
I should begin by saying that this design came about rather by accident, and that it is not finished.  I intend to apply a design to the cover, but my plans include a picture I found on the internet and our printers are not functioning properly.  However, I will walk you through the steps as coherently as I can, given that I rather made it up as I went along and there were many adjustments as the plan began as a handmade spiral bound and soon became what you see here.

I have an entire box of papers that measure four-and-a-half by eight-and-a-half inches and they come in four different colors: off-white, off-pink, off-yellow, and off-orange.  I chose to use all white, although I thought about making each section a different color.  Arranging them in bunches of four, I folded them in half and made a pile.  I believe I ended up with about eleven bunches of four, folded in half, which comes to eighty-eight pages if I calculate correctly.

Lining them all up evenly, I marked them with a sharpy along their folded edge at the inch markers, because they were four inches wide.  This gave me three dots along the fold, which I then poked through with a regular sewing needle and double thread (which may not be the correct term for folding the thread through the needle and tying the ends together).  I first poked through the middle hole, went up through the top hole, again through the middle whole, down through the bottom hole, and then again through the middle hole.  I did not take pictures while I was doing this project but I believe this to be fairly straight forward.  It is a figure eight through the holes and it is commonly used in projects to stitch paper together.

Often times, people will put a whole lot of pages into one bunch and sew them together that way.  This is efficient if you have only a half-dozen pages or so, but not if you intend to have as many as, say, eighty-eight.  Instead, I did each bunch of four individually.  Threading the needle under one section of our "figure eight", I put a knot in the string and pulled it down as close to the nearest hole as I could to secure the pages to together permanently.

When I got through all of them, I cut a section out of the fold of the manila folder, cutting along the given fold and one of the extra fold lines.  I had previously determined that all the pages could fit within the limits of this section.  Therefore, I continued to sew.

Because of the detailed and complicated nature of this post, it will be in parts.  Part II tomorrow.


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