A blog for creative types interested in the (un)conventional world of Book Arts! Posts here will feature artist's books, illustration, book binding, typography, sketch-booking, scrap-booking, print-making, paper making, altered books, how to guides, zines, paper engineering and more! Feel free to submit your own work, thoughts around the subject, or even just inspiration new and old.
Starting tomorrow we’ll be kicking off a series of posts designed to provide a solid foundation of bookbinding knowledge, which, for the new bookbinder, will teach you all you need to know to get addicted started.
And for the intermediate binder, it should refresh some skills, teach you some new tricks, and maybe add a new structure or two to the ones you already know how to create.
We’ll discuss the materials, the tools you can’t live without, and you’ll learn to make many different book structures and how to combine them. By the end, you should be able to pick up any book on bookbinding and be able to follow along, which sometimes isn’t easy to do without already having some experience and a working knowledge of bookbinding vocabulary.
(Also useful for any beginner is this guide to Book Arts Terminology)
There’s lots of ways you can make homemade book covers, either by altering a cover which is already on the specific book/journal (which is simple enough, just re-cover it in book cloth, fabric, or even just sturdy wrapping paper) or you can just make your own book from scratch.
If you’re doing it entirely from scratch, you need to make the cover after you’ve bound all the pages together into one bookblock, as that will give you an indication of how wide to make the spine etc. I recommend you check out this simple guide to making a basic hardcover book using greyboard/thick card. Step 6 and onwards tells you how to make the cover itself. If you find these instructions confusing, you can also check out countless guides on youtube, but I find some of the tutorial people a bit irritating so prefer to work from diagrams! Below is a photo of the first proper book+book cover I ever constructed- the book cover is made with book cloth, which I then painted over with acrylic paint and silver ink to make it more personal (sidenote: you can also run book cloth through inkjet printers, meaning you can have virtually any image on your covers, all you need to do is attach a piece of book cloth with 2 strips of masking tape down the sides onto a sheet of A4 paper, and viola!) My first book didn’t turn out perfect, but I felt really proud to have made it with my own hands, and you really do get better at it with practice. Best of luck! x