Craft & Consumption

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bookbinding 101

I am, admittedly, a big journal nerd. Back in 2001 I started a travel journal and began visually documenting any trip I embarked on that lasted more than a few days. I've been doing it consistently since, which adds up to over 10 years of travel journaling (as I said: nerd).

Knowing this was a fond habit of mine, my sister got me a great book called "Real Life Journals: Designing and Using Handmade Books" as a gift a few months back.

The book is so amazing. First off, it walks you through a bookbinding questionnairee before you jump into actually crafting your book. The questionnaire is called "Choose your own bookbinding adventure", how freaking cute is that? As you go through the little survey, you answer questions like "Do you want your journal to open flat and stay open by itself so wet paint can dry easily?". My answer was YES ABSOLUTELY and OMG HOW DID YOU KNOW THIS BOTHERED ME IN OTHER JOURNALS?!?! After you've answered the questionnaire, you end up with a suggested book type based on your personalized needs. Genius!

Needless to say, this little book helped me embark on my very own journal-making endeavor that was tailored to my personal use for the book (read: traveling, watercolor, lots of collage, and overall durability).

I ended up creating a concertina fold, which allows you to sew lots of little "pamphlets" of folded paper together. I also got a little crazy and alternated regular drawing paper with vellum for the actual text pages. I'm so excited about the mix of textures in my new book.

You can see above that I used 3 concertina folds for the project, 2 white with 1 black sandwiched between. I sewed each pamphlet of folded paper into the concertina fold and added 2 strips of fabric for extra support.

I bought some panels of black leather and stitched them together for the cover. The end result is something I'm so proud of and can't wait to use! I hope it holds up through many, many trips. It will be stowed away in my suitcase on many adventures to come. Here's to a calm, creative, and adventurous 2012...

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