Getting Serious with Books & Boxes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hi Friends! I hope you are all staying warm, wherever you are today! I haven't been active in my craft room (or my blog) much since I started homeschooling my daughter, but in my last post, I did mention that I have been working on my bookbinding and boxmaking skills. It's quite different than making cards because, at least for now, I'm focusing on the construction and not doing much in the way of embellishing. But, I am enjoying it, immensely! 

This project is a clamshell box with a French Link Stitch blank book inside.
This is what it looks like closed up. I am using bookboard to make the box and the book covers, so these are very sturdy, unlike my usual chipboard boxes, which, while nice, are delicate in comparison. The biggest problem I have with using bookboard, though, is cutting it. It is thick and dense, so I was having to use a razor knife and ruler and cut it by hand, which, frankly, is exhausting. But, in my frustration with it, I found a good cutter that will actually handle this type of board, and, it wasn't too pricey--the Zutter Kutter. I had problems when I first got it, but I got in touch with the company and they were extremely helpful. Now, it cuts great! I'm planning to post a video on the correct way to use the Zutter Kutter in the next week or two.

Here's a look at the book and box, together. I found this paper at Hobby Lobby. It's heavy, a bit glossy, and the designs are beautiful.
Here, the box is open. The spine is made of bookcloth rather than paper, so it will stand up to a lot of openings and closings. 

Since one side of the trays are left open, it is possible to have the book fit inside snugly and still be able to remove it easily. You can see how the top tray is slightly larger than the bottom tray so that it completely covers it when closed.

The bookcloth spine is a piece of canvas that I backed with tissue paper so glue wouldn't seep through.

The stitching over the ribbon is called French Link Stitch. The end stitching is Coptic. I like having decorative papers along the outside of the signatures when the spine is left open.
This type of binding allows the book to lie completely flat when open. Each signature (group of folded pages) has a decorative, die cut piece of paper folded around it. Sometimes I prefer the white pages to show in the spine, but it seemed too stark for this particular book.
I used Neenah 24lb. linen texture writing paper for the blank pages. 

This was a great project to work on. I learned several new things while making it, such as backing my own cloth, and making my own wheat paste. Between YouTube, blogs, and instructional books, easily found at the library, you can get quite a bit of information, but, I want to learn more.

I have been searching high and low for bookbinding and boxmaking classes that are fairly close to me and that won't break the bank, and I finally found one at Smokey Road Press in Athens, Georgia! Yay! I've never been there, so I can't say what the class will be like, but just based on the photo of the books and box we'll be making, it looks like it will be a fun week! The website says there is also a retail store, which I'm hoping will have bookbinding supplies, so I may be taking a trip there next week, just to check it out. If I do, I'll give you my thoughts on it. If you are interested in this class, it is small--only 8 people, so don't wait too long to sign up!

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm entering this project in the following challenges:
613 Avenue Create #108: Anything Goes--Create Your Own Challenge (Patterned Paper, Die Cut, Solid Color Paper, Stitching, Ribbon)
Fresh Brewed Challenge: January-FAVORITES (Book & Boxmaking)


Supplies Used:

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Conniecrafter said...

Wow this is beautiful, so much work but I am sure it is a wonderful feeling when you have it completed!

Deborah Anton said...

Wow Cheryl!! Always fabulous projects!! I love all the attention to detail!!

Desire Fourie said...

Cheryl this is so perfect for our ‘FAVOURITES’ theme. Just love the colours and design. Thanks for sharing your talent with us and good luck.
{Fresh Brewed Designs DT Member}
{Doing Life – my personal blog}

Leslie Miller said...

My goodness, how beautiful! This is quite a substantial and fine looking work of art, Cheryl. You've chosen to perfect this particular craft and I must say it looks like you've got it figured out. I'm floored. Love the binding on the book. I'll look forward to the finished product!