Hand-bound books

I lost the free diary my university gave me about a week after getting it, which left me with the options of either buying one, scrounging for someone who wasn’t using their free diary, or making one myself. My older sister learnt to bookbind as part of her degree (design) a few years ago, and taught me how (just a very basic bind, but still attractive) and my memory was refreshed by http://www.jamiebutler.com/tutorials/bookbinding1.php, giving credit where it’s due.

Then a friend who watched me make it (we have craft nights every friday, it’s great!) asked for help making one as a gift, which gave me an excuse to make a second one. It’s not as pretty, because I didn’t care about it as much.

Here they are.


The red one is the very beautiful diary. I found the fabric in a tiny craft shop just down the road from uni, and fell in love instantly – I tried to keep looking through the shop in case there was a better one, but I just kept looking at the fabric and stroking it. I love the positioning of the design, and the back also looks pretty good:



There’s also a silhouette of a house amongst greenery in the fabric, but I couldn’t place it nicely on the covers, so couldn’t use it. This looks lovely anyway.

The endpapers are from some wrapping paper I bought over a year ago – I like my Christmas presents for others to all look lovely and like a cohesive unit, so in 2012 I bought two especially lovely papers to wrap them in (last year I used white paper with variously coloured bows). One is long gone (though I think one of my sisters still has some of what her present was wrapped in) but I had fragments of the other, and it was perfect for the endpapers.



I really love red things, can you tell? And I love that while the endpapers are red, matching the covers, they’re also white – keeping it classy. Or something like that.

Pages are printed on standard 80gsm printer paper, with the days of the week typed but dates handwritten (I decided that’d be easier than trying to type them in right, not at all an aesthetic choice). They are A5, and I separated them into 4 signatures which are sewn together. They’re stuck to the covers with linen tape and a linen mull (a rectangle of fabric binding signatures together and making a flexible back to the book) made from scraps from a white linen dress that was the first large sewing project I ever completed, a year and a half ago (I really am a new sewer). The dress isn’t amazing, but I am wearing it right now so I guess that means I like it well enough?


The diary only starts at March 10, that being the Monday after I made it, so I’m only a couple of weeks late in posting about it…

Another picture of the front cover, for good measure. Covers are backed with cardboard that I found in my recycling bin of a decent thickness, around 1/8″ thick.



Endpapers and pages of the second book:




You can kinda see that the endpapers and pages don’t line up especially well with each other, sadly. Details the same except the endpapers are an ordinary craft paper I happened to have and the fabric was from my friend’s stash. I’m not as happy with it, but it’s still a decent book which I’ll either find a use for or a person to give to… (perhaps part of my new must-give-made-things plan).


There’s some exciting stuff coming in the next post, just a warning… it should be fairly soon, too.





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