Friday, February 25, 2005

My first try at bookbinding

My first home made book
Posted by Hello

Last week my printer threw a hissy fit, and printed out pages and pages with odd looking characters in red, yellow and cyan. Usually I just hand anything like that over to John to use for shopping lists. But this time I decided that I'd make a book out of it. I must be mad!!!

I found some nice clear instructions to make a simple book on the web. It looked easy enough, and I've just bought a cutting map (note to self - must get one twice the size as it will exactly cover my coffee table then) and cheap 45/90 cutter. I'd have liked a de-luxe one, but given the small number of pictures I'm likely to frame it didn't really seem worth it. Besides, I'm broke!

I managed to fold the signatures OK and punch holes through them for the stitching. I laid the opened signatures across two video tapes, with the fold along the gap between them, and pushed through with the narrow needle of a bow compass. The sewing up was rather more difficult, and I had to redo it several times.

My choice of paper for the cover was not (with hindsight!) ideal. We bought a roll of bright shocking pinky purply textured paper for Christmas wrapping, and I had some smallish pieces left over. Just the job I thought. But it proved a nightmare. Turned out that the colour is only a printed layer on top of a silver foil, so with all the pressing and handling the colour began to wear off, especially at the edges. And the texture of the paper made it kinda hard to glue down properly.

I'm afraid I made a mess of trimming the paper cover - I took too much off before turning it to glue down on the inside. One of those cases of measure first, then cut, rather than the guess wildly and hope! I will be more careful next time!

But I did finally present John with the book on Saturday, after it had been pressed overnight under a large pile of heavy books - always knew those psychology textbooks would come in useful some day!


Sharon said...

Bravo!! thanks for posting the link to the instructions. I have loads of extra paper that comes out of my printer that is of no value so now I can make something of it!
;~) Sharon

Jim said...

I'm wondering if this process will work with thicker papers, specifically in mind....watercolor papers????

Maggie said...

I think it would be an uphill struggle as a first project! I was using standard photocopy/printing paper, and cheapest I can find.

If I was working with watercolour paper I would be inclined to only fold the paper once maybe and also use less sheets for each signature. Remember this was my first try at bookbining, so I'm only one step ahead of you! That's assuming you haven't tried it yet of course.

Practising a new technique with cheap materials is usually a good idea from my experience. Give it a go with cheap paper and recycled stuff to get an idea how it works for you. Then you'll be able to judge better how you can work with good paper, including watercolour paper.

I made a stupid mistake at the end (as well as having to undo all my stitching several times before I got it right) and cut the cover paper without measuring the overlap I needed. I would have felt REALLY sick if I was working with good paper!

Watercolour paper is thick compared to copy/print paper, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to make a book using it, but you will have to think about its extra thickness and heaviness.

Hope this makes some sense!