Friday, September 16, 2011

Creating an Art Journal: bookbinding

My small Derwent sketchbook is almost full, time to make a new one. I wanted it to be bigger, but not to big...with a hard cover that I can decorate, and with heavy paper. And very important (for me) : pages have to lay flat, so I can easily work on them...
I couldn't find a journal like that, so looked up some info on bookbinding. You can find the most amazing tutorials on the net. This is the list that helped me the most:
I followed these steps, except for the "grain of the paper runs the same direction as the spine of the book", because I wanted to use a block of spiral-bound watercolor-paper.

You'll need:

For the inside and cover: a watercolor-block
For the cover: 
Decorated or white paper (to paint later), the size a bit bigger than half-watercolor block.
The cardboard back of the watercolor block!
A strip of cardboard (not to thick, same height as book-page)
For a "punching template": strip of paper (same height as book-page)

Bookbinding stuff:
A piece of Mullcloth//Cheesecloth to cover the spine.
3 strips of fabric for the spine. (you don't need them for a small book)
Headbands (optional)
Piece of thread, long needle, beeswax (or a white candle)
Bookbinding glue (or white glue) and wallpaper-glue.

Other things:
Scissor, water, towel


1 Folding:
- Remove the pages from the block and fold them in half. Make "signatures": insert one page in another.

2 Prepare sewing:
- Tape 3 strips of fabric to the edge of the desk.
- Make a punching-template: take a piece of paper the same height as your pages, lay it on the fabric-tape and make 8 markings: at the edges and on both sides of the tapes. 
- Lay each signature half-open on a towel, align the template in the middle and punch the holes with the needle.
- You'll need as much thread as the sum of the height of all the signatures. (When it is to long to sew, just cut it, you can knot it later) Run it against the candle to make the sewing easier.

3 Sewing:
- Lay the first signature on the tapes. Put the needle in the first hole on the right, from outside to center, (leave a tail to knot later). Go back in the second hole, around the tape and so one...
- At the end of the first signature you just lay the second one on top, put the needle in the first hole on the left and sew to the right...
- At he end you must attach the second signature to the first by knotting it with the tail.
- Repeat the sewing with the third signature, but at the end now you go under the previous signature and again trough the loop just made (Kettle stitch)
Good demo here. 
- Sew the rest of the pages the same way, at the end just make 2 knots.
- (For the "lay flat": don't pull the thread to hard....)

 - Remove the tapes from the desk. Volia, "book block" finished.

4 Glueing

- Lay the block on the edge of your desk.
- Put white glue on the spine, rub in the creases with brush (or fingers).
- (for the lay flat): don't push the glue to far in between the signatures, use a weight on top.
- Put the piece of mullcloth on, (more glue) and headbands (more glue) and a strip of paper.
- Leave to dry.

5 Cover
Do these steps with the wallpaper - glue.
- Cut the cardboard (back of the watercolor block) in half
- Cut a strip of cardboard (from cereal box ....) the same size as the spine.
- (For the lay flat): don't use a stiff material for the spine. You could even use the paper from the front of the watercolor block, and put on the decorated paper later. (no cardboard)
- Cut a strip of decorated (or white), wider than the spine, and longer than the book.
- Glue the cardboard strip in the middle of the decorated paper.
- Glue the other cardboard pieces at both sides, leave a small gap between the cardboards.
- Turn everything and glue papers on the sides. (decorated or white...)
- Well, you could just use one big paper, but I don't have it now :)

 - Turn it again, cut the corners and fold the excess to the inside. Glue!
6 Assembling
(To be sure the book opens flat, I use my own method for glueing the book block...)
- Take the book- block, put white glue under the tapes and mull, wallpaper glue on the rest of the first page.
- Hold the book block up with the spine on the spine of the cover.
- Open te first page align it, and push it on the inside of the left cover, from inside to outside.
- Because of the thick paper (and wallpaper glue) you can redo if needed....
- Do the same thing on the back.
- Test the lay-flat.

7 Finish
- Let dry and decorate!

Have fun!

1 comment:

Tessa said...

Wow... echt super mooi, je hebt de cover ook ├ęcht super mooi gemaakt zo met die boom!!

xx Tessa

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