Hello lovelies! How are you doing? We are good here in Two Crafty Brownieland. I so enjoyed Lu’s post about kindness. I really do believe kindness is the key to everything, and we can't begin to be kind to others until we have learned to be kind to ourselves. Are you kind to yourselves, darlings? I try, but I forget now and then, so it's good to be reminded. Thanks, Lu!!
Recently, I have become obsessed with making notebooks. Lu and I often ponder over the fact that we can't just stick to one craft. It is simultaneously a blessing and a curse! I guess we just love making things……
I've spoken before of Creativebug, where I learned to draft my own patterns? Well, they have some courses on book binding that I started to watch, and before very long…… I was hooked! Oh my goodness, a whole world of book cloth, altering old books, making your own junk journals……. I just had to give it a go. I made myself a Christmas round up journal, and I love, love love it!
I decided to make some little notebooks, inspired by Wainwright Bookbinding, who make gorgeous little personalised ones, like the one top left, in African print!! It's so easy and satisfying that I thought I'd share what I had learned with you. To be sure, it would be far easier to go out and buy a notebook, but what's the fun in that?
Little A6 Fabric Notebook
What you need is
A sheet of A4 card
6 sheets of A4 paper
Fabric for the cover
Paper to line the inside cover
Something sharp like an awl or needle
Waxed linen thread (but you could use any string or yarn that you fancy)
A needle to fit your thread
Double sided tape
Cutting mat and rotary cutter help but are not essential
Bone folder, but a ruler will do
An old book/magazine to rest on
What you do is
Cut your A4 card in half. These two pieces, folded in half will make the covers for two little notebooks. For an A5 cover, just fold the A4 in half and use. Here I'm making little A6 notebooks.
Cut your fabric so it's about an inch, or 2cm bigger than your card all round.
Brush the outside of your card with PVA, starting in the centre, and lay your card, glue side down onto the wrong side of your fabric. Smooth it all over with your hands, or bone folder/ruler to get rid of any air bubbles.
Cut the corners of the fabric off a couple of mm away from the corner.
I tried various ways to fold the corners…..what worked best was cutting a little slit into the corner, parallel with the shortest edge. You should be able to see what I mean if you look HARD at the picture above.....
Put more PVA along both short edges and fold the fabric over, pressing it down well at the long edge. You will have a little triangle of fabric, you can snip that off to make the corner neater. This is tricky to explain, I'm sure Lu has glazed over already, but if you try it, it'll make sense.
Glue and fold the long edges. While the cover is damp, fold it in half and check for any wrinkles or bubbles and smooth them out.
Leave the cover, folded in half under something heavy to dry overnight. Meanwhile you can prepare your papers. The bundles of paper that make up the pages in a book are called signatures. Books have varying numbers of signatures, we will just be making one.
Fold all your A4 sheets in half. Use a ruler or bone folder to really flatten the fold and break the fibres down. Fold and refold each sheet backwards and forwards around 5 times. You can then easily tear them in half. You should have 12 A5 size sheets. They will be the same size as your cover, so you will need to trim the long edge so they sit nicely inside. Fold each one in half again, and arrange them inside each other. You'll see that the short edges aren't lined up straight…….put the bundle inside your cover to see how much you need to cut off, and trim again.
Once the cover is dry, we will want to stick some paper to the inside to cover the raw fabric edges. You can use the same paper as your signature, or a contrasting paper.
Start with an A5 size, fold it in half and put it in the cover to see how much to trim off. Once you're happy with the size, apply double sided tape around the edges of the outside of this paper. It's easiest to do two sides, take off the tape backing and then apply tape to the other two sides. I would also put a strip along the inside spine of the cover.
Line up your paper and stick down, again smoothing out any bubbles. It's best if your cover is completely flat so as to allow room to fold.
Phew!! We are now ready to assemble our notebook. Take one of your pages to use as a template. Mark three points along the centrefold, one right in the middle and the other two around a half inch down from the edge, or whatever you prefer. Poke a hole through at your marks. Make sure you put an old magazine or book underneath so you don't make holes in something precious!
Use this sheet to make the holes in your cover and your signature. I also ran my needle through the holes to make sure they were big enough.
To sew the book together, thread your needle, you'll need about twice the height of the spine plus a little more. Sew through the middle hole, from inside to out. Then back through one of the holes near the edge. Then sew back through the centre hole, making sure not to sew through your thread. To the other hole and then pass the needle around the thread at the centre and tie tightly, having checked that your stitches are tight.
Cut the thread and admire your gorgeous little book!!
I'm making various different ones to gift through the year. I'd love to give one to one of you, our lovely readers, we so appreciate you coming to see us here in our little crafty space! Just comment below, tell me whether you make any gifts to give away, and whether you are more a pink or blue person. I'll pull names out of a hat next Thursday!
Well, darlings, that's all from me. Have a lovely day, and do remember to be kind to yourselves!