Archive for the ‘Book Making’ Category

Down and Dirty Perfect Binding

October 7, 2015

Recently, I discovered a manila envelope full of old song fragments and scraps that I want to go through to get into a digital format for my records. However, they’re not easily accessible in their loose-pile form and they are cluttering up my work area.
Solution? Make a perfect-bound book out of them.


Paperback to Hardcover

July 4, 2015

I’ve been using a perfect bound paperback ESV for the last year or two. I like it but it is getting worn. To extend the life I decided to turn it into a hardback edition by treating the original book as the book block.

I created a cover as usual from three pieces of chip board (scavenged from a three ring binder) and an old AAA map.

To make the book block, I glued a fabric tape to the back of the original spine, glued on a piece of card stock as a spine stiffener, and attached a head and a tail band.

To add strength to the Union of the book block and cover, I completely glued the end papers to the front and back covers.

Fun tip: paint a layer of Mod Podge on your book cover and lay a piece of plastic film over it. Burnish the film so it makes complete contact with the wet glue and leave it to dry. When it’s completely dry (don’t rush!), remove the film and your book cover will have a glossy finish.

Good Book Rescue

July 3, 2015

This was an interesting challenge. A friend had a Bible with years of notes but the spine was damaged. Since the end papers and Front and back covers were intact, I did not want to start from scratch. Using an old map, some thin chipboard and good old mod podge, I created a reinforced spine with “clamps” to attach the whole thing to the existing front and back cover. I will probably add some endpapers just to make the thing extra durable.

I rushed a little bit, which accounts for the cool script typography wrapping around the edge of the book. Lesson learned.


Soft spine Hard Cover Book

April 22, 2015

In my quest for cool, durable, easier, beautiful books, I developed a new idea for creating bookcovers. I use the sick card stock for the front and back covers but instead of creating a spine I glue the covers down onto a page of heavy craft paper (like a brown paper grocery bag), then fold the bag on top of the boards to make a “sandwich”. I finished by cutting excess paper on the sides at 45° angle’s and folding the remainder in to seal the cover.
For this particular book, I chose to use three different types of paper: card stock, printer paper, and thin brown packing paper. I’m enjoying my corner punched corners.

I actually sewed three signatures together then glued card stock and papers to attach the book block. I did a rush job of gluing the spine of book block in order to create extra stability.
Cover art is collaged from and add, a chipotle bag, and a white out pen with stencil.

Half page book

April 18, 2015

N needed a small sketchbook for a zoo sketch crawl. I gathered a comic book board backing, a brochure from a well known coffee purveyor, a few sheets of brown packing paper (perforated), printer paper, Mod Podge, needle and waxed floss, and a corner punch. Voila.
IMG_5340.JPGIMG_5342.JPGIMG_5339-0.JPG (more…)

Jack-O book cover (process)

September 26, 2014

T.E. needed a new sketchbook so I offered to make one with a custom Jack-O cover.
Below are thumbnails, penciled (and gessoed) cover, acrylic washes, and colored pencil finishes with lightning details in white-out pen.





Good News in Bad Shape (process)

September 15, 2014


This paperback New Testament was in a bad way: covers falling off and the glue on the perfect-bound spine was deteriorating on both ends. The solution: re-bind as a one-of-a-kind NIV New Testament.
Step 1: cut off front and back covers.

Step 2:
Attach new spine tape and end papers

Step 3: Attach board to cover, fold, glue

Step 4: connect the book block to the cover by glue the tapes and end papers. Finish by giving the whole thing a coat of Mod Podge to strengthen and protect the cover.



Book binding project

June 15, 2014

In preparing for my new sketchbook, I thought I would get back into the book making flow by doing a quick bindery project.
I have a bunch of copies of Before & After magazine, a design periodical published in the 90s. I have been keeping them in a three ring binder but wanted to do something a little cooler with a smaller bookshelf footprint. Since the magazines are saddle stitched, I removed the staples and essentially had 19 signatures ready to be sewn together.
“Making & keeping creative journals” by Suzanne Tourtillott was very helpful. This time around, I created fake “headbands”, used a spine stiffener, and attached the end papers to the front and back pages of the book block with only a thin strip of glue rather then laminate them thereby losing two pages.
Though not perfect and with plenty of room for improvement, I am pretty pleased with the outcome especially since I completed the entire book during about eight hours of work.