Book Binding

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It all started with staple saddle stitching in order to make some illustrated pocket journals as another way of sharing my drawings and now here I am, diving deeper into the art of book binding.

Over the weekend I got myself a basic book binding kit. Since I started making my journals I’ve developed a growing interest in book binding and this interest has surprisingly come just when I thought there was nothing else in arts and crafts that could capture my interest. So I’m a bit excited to have a new interest. I find the whole idea of book making fascinating. I’ve always loved books but not necessarily for the stories they told but for the artistry that goes into them. I’m a sucker for a decorative gold leaf classic or a well illustrated cover. And yes, I’m one of those people who literally judges a book by its cover…as well as its paper quality, font and feel. In the past I’ve bought books simply because I found the cover and construction to be appealing yet never actually read the story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story, if it’s short but my love of books has always rested on the craftsmanship rather than the storytelling. So, it’s not surprising that book binding has sparked an me.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on book binding and decided I’ll try my hand at what’s called the “perfect binding” method. Right now the only binding method I know is saddle stitching with staples, which is a quick and simple method to use if you’re putting together a brochure, comic or booklet of less than 40 pages (that’s counting the front and back). Perfect binding is good for making books and journals of more than 40 pages, especially if those pages are single sheets of paper. While saddle stitching uses staples (or thread, another method I haven’t tried yet) to hold your pages together, perfect binding uses glue but not just any kind of glue, rather a PH neutral PVA glue specifically for bookbinding. I had to order this separately from my book binding kit but neither the glue or the kit cost much. It’s a basic kit that I got all together for $22 on Amazon.

Prior to any gluing, I prepared a soft cover made from heavy weight card stock then cut and cornered 48 4.25×5.5 single sheets of 20lb paper for my pages. I don’t have a book press and since my journals are pocket size and no more than a quarter inch thick, I can probably get away with not having one, so I use four binder clips to hold the sheets of paper together while I added three coats of glue to one edge. Once the pages were dry, I added glue to the spine area on the inside of the cover and then adhered the pages to the spine. Once dry, voila, I had me a perfect bind 96 page pocket journal…all that’s missing is a nice drawing on the cover.

Koi Pocket Journal

I’ve cut, punched and stapled up a new pocket journal this week. This one is “Koi”. The cover illustration is from a piece I drew some time ago but never did anything with it. I really like how the ink work prints out on this cream cardstock, it really stands out. So far my pointillism drawings work well as cover art for these little journals which gives me a positive incentive to make more and it helps that I really enjoy making them. Plus, I use them myself to jot down random thoughts and notes. As an avid journal writer, knowing how to craft my own journals mean I don’t have to go out and buy them anymore…so long as I’ve got some paper and staples on hand. It’s always nice to know how to do things yourself.
Along with the Koi, I have a few more “Buddha-Tao’ sets now available in store for those of you looking for something a little unique to scribble and doodle in. ๐Ÿ˜€

Art For Your Pockets

Budda Tao Blank Pocket Journals

I should have been working on my Riverbed drawing but I fell down a DIY rabbit hole last week and this is what I came up with; a handmade pocket journal featuring some of my art.
I’ve been fascinated with the idea of creating my own books and paper goods for a while now. It started with the handmade greeting cards and now I’m delving into bookbinding, or more precisely booklet binding. I’m not all into the glue and thread deal…yet. Right now I’m just working with what I got on hand which is just paper, cardstock and staples. Although I did purchase for myself a cute corner puncher to get those nicely rounded corners for a finishing touch. I only got two sets of these available in store for now but I definitely plan on making more of these with different illustrated covers so be on the look out for more artistic paper goods that can fit into your pockets. ๐Ÿ˜€

Sometimes You Have To DIY It

I’m not sure if this is ingenious or just down right cheap and trifling. I’m an avid diarist. I’ve got drawers and footlockers full of diaries/journals, that honestly, I cringe to read through but yet can’t help but to continue writing. Typically it takes me one to two months to fill up a journalโ€‹ so I’m frequently heading to the corner store or local B&N in search for a new notebook, journal, diary or whatever I can find to write my thoughts in. (I also have a journal app on all my mobile devices.) But the journals I’m most fond of are the slim pocket journals that run about $15-20 a pop depending on where you get them. I’m close to finishing my current one and I just don’t feel like shelling out another $20 for a new one. So I made my own. I had some college ruled notebook paper, some cream colored cardstock, some minty dental floss and a hole puncher lying around to whip up this DIY journal. I know, it’s makeshift and not all that pretty but it will do for now. Actually I had fun doing it. For $20 I could go buy a pack of writing paper, some nicer cardstock and twine and make four or five journals, designing them to my own liking,  adding my own personal touch to them, like some drawings and whatnot instead of buying ones that are premade. So here’s my little DIY project for the day. 

…btw, the minty dental floss adds a nice wakeful aroma. ๐Ÿ˜Š