There is a lot of writing going on around here. Sketching, notes, and bits of this and that are filling up notebook after notebook. I was tired of purchasing Moleskines and decided to make my own. I wish I had done this sooner! I've made books before. My college roommate studied book arts and would take me down to the studios at night to watch her craft meticulous hand bound books with handmade paper. I still have a scrap of the beautiful fabric I used for one we created together. That was another lifetime ago, and I'm now more of down and dirty, whip em' up kind of book maker. I've sewn over twenty in the last month. They have gone to my kids, friends, b-day gifts, my purse, in packages. My method is quick and functional. There are scores of wonderful tutorials online for every kind of bookmaking you can think of. This is not one of them. I am simply sharing what I've been making lately out of scraps from other projects.
Heres my general method:
- Extra kraft paper or cereal boxes form the cover.
- Using a ruler, I find the center point and score it with a bone folder down the middle.
- Fold in half a mix of printer paper and found paper.
- Cut it to fit the size of the cover with my paper cutter. Insert it into the cover.
- Positioning the center of the fold lines of the paper directly on top of the fold line of the cover, I stitch a straight seam down the line (making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end).
- Done! It takes less than 5 minutes if your supplies are on hand.
- Embellishments (like above) are a fun addition, but I've been liking the simple ones recently.
This is a different method. Some of my scraps of paper are too small to fold over. This style of binding utilizes them well. Two rectangles of a cereal box sandwich the interior papers. A seam on the top of the notebook encases it all together. Each side is then scored, parallel to the seam, to make for easy opening.
All of that "cutting paper to size" business left me with little pieces already folded. They make great inserts for tiny pocket notebooks.
Here's my new favorite: the mini folder. Determined to use up each scrap, I was intrigued by the cereal box sides. We often save them for bookmarks, but look what that little top flap can do:
A slit can be made on an opposite side to create a slot for inserting the tab and closing the folder.
The bone folder came out again to make creases for folding. Little bits were sewn into place on either side. The stitches create a perfect perforated edge for ripping off a quick sheet for a phone number and such. Mine lives in my purse.
I've always loved stitching paper and this is a wonderful new way to use my machine. I know traditional book arts is not about quick and easy, but this process is quite fun. If you have a favorite technique (and I know there are some experienced bookmakers among you) or good links, please feel free to share in the comments.