Tuesday, December 20, 2011

French Grammar Coptic Sketchbook


On a recent whirlwind excursion to Glendale, KY, I discovered a dusty bookcase lined with french grammars and textbooks! I loved the cobalt blue covers, so I scooped up several and brought them home to be upcycled into handmade journals.


I removed the inner pages, and filled this journal with sketch paper as a gift for my daughter. She loves to draw and make lists, so this will be a fun book for her to tuck in her messenger bag and grab when she's ready to make art on the go!


I used a coptic binding stitch for this sketchbook, so it will lay flat and stay open. A bit of washi tape over some black cardstock provides a finished edge for the tattered covers.

I like to put pretty endpapers inside my handmade journals, but I was so charmed by the bookplate and scribbled notes on the inside of this book that I decided to leave it as is. Coptic binding is a bit tricky until you get the hang of it! I watched many videos, and read many books, and this video was extremly helpful. Are you as obsessed with bookmaking as I am? If so, I would love to see your creations!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Graphic 45 & May Arts ABC Primer Book {Tutorial}


Welcome to day 5 of the May Arts and Graphic 45 Blog Hop! I'm happy to be participating along with these talented bloggers:


Nancy Wethington


Upcyling old books is an absolute passion of mine! The ABC Primer collection from G45 was a perfect match for a tattered junior dictionary I found at a library sale. This book would be a wonderful gift for a special teacher, a great scrapbook for school time memories, or for an art journal. Here's how you can make your own:

Remove the book block {all the inner pages} from an old book.
Use a brush to add glue {I used Collage Pauge} to the inside covers.
Add 2 lengths of 1.25" May Arts black silk ribbon {12" each}
{To determine the placement of the ribbon, center it on where the knob will be on the front cover of your book} Scroll down this page to see the knob on the front cover.

Measure the height and width of your book, and cut paper about 1/4" less all around.
The ABC Primer Paper is 12 x 12, so I had to cut an additional piece to cover the entire inside. To cover the resulting seam, I added a piece of Cavallini washi tape.

Use the ABC Primer paper to create 4 signatures for your book with 4 sheets each. The pages will be 12" wide, and should be the same height as the paper you used to cover the inside of the book. Fold each sheet in half, and stack 4 sheets together for one signature. The outer pages should be the full height and width, but some of the inner pages can be shorter in height.

Grid paper helps you create an easy sewing jig for your book! Simply cut it the same height as the book and the same width as the spine. Measure 1" from the top, 1" from the bottom, and in the center. Mark 4 evenly spaced holes as shown. Paper clips will hold the sewing jig in place. Use an awl or a paper piercer to punch each hole. If you don't have either, a large push pin works great!


Create a sewing jig for your signatures as you did for the spine, marking 1" from the top, 1" from the bottom, and in the center. This signature includes a shorter piece of paper in the center. Just make sure your shorter pieces don't interfere with any of the holes for sewing. Paper clip the pages and then punch the holes.

Sew each signature to the spine of the book, making sure to line up the holes. I used 1/4" black silk ribbon from May Arts to bind the book. Wrap the ribbon around the height of the book about 3-4 times to determine the length needed. Use a large eye needle {a size 22 tapestry needle works well} for the sewing. Begin stitching in the center hole on the inside of the signature. Leave a 3" tail {hold it in place with washi tape or masking tape} and then go through the top hole to the outside of the spine. Skip down to the bottom hole, then back inside through the center hole. Make sure the ribbon ends are on opposite sides of the center ribbon. Tie a square knot and snip off the extra ribbon. Phew! So easy to do, but tricky to describe! This is a basic 3-hole pamplet stitch. For a great visual diagram of the method visit this link at booklyn.org, a wonderful resource for anyone interested in bookbinding!


Embellish the spine by punching out some of the ABC Primer chipboard. Tie them together with silk ribbon and then tie on to the middle two binding ribbons on the spine.


Decorate the front cover with paper, washi tape, and a metal doorplate and knob from Graphic 45. The doorplate has a brad to attach it to the cover. The hole for the brad shows through on the inside cover, so I covered it with some 1.5" May Arts black velvet ribbon, and topped that with a ruler cut out from one of the papers. Embellish the signatures as you wish, and the book is ready to use!
I hope you've enjoyed the Graphic 45 & May Arts blog hop as much as I have! Don't forget to visit the other participating blogs, and be sure to leave comments at May Arts and Graphic 45 for a chance to win some amazing prizes! Thanks to both these wonderful companies for sponsoring a week of creative fun!





Monday, December 12, 2011

May Arts & Graphic 45 Blog Hop

If you love ribbon and vintage inspired paper goods as much as I do, you'll be excited to know that May Arts and Graphic 45 are teaming up this week for an amazing blog hop! All week long both companies will be featuring prizes, tutorials, and incredible inspiration. The picture above is a sneak peek of the products I used to create the tutorial I'll be posting on Friday, 12/16, but if you're ready for some fun right now be sure to visit the links below for Day 1 of this inspired week! Be sure to stop by the May Arts and Graphic 45 blogs each day for your chance to win beautiful prize packages from both companies! Here are the links:
{Day 1}