Flag Book Button Closure

When this flag book was posted on the Bookbinding Team blog, Olive Art commented with a question of how I attached the button and thread. I gave a short description; I attached the button and string by punching a hole through the cover board and the valley of my first accordion fold. I used one length of string, with the ends knotted underneath the button.
But after writing that, I thought it might be nice to offer a visual description.

Click on the diagram above for a larger view. If you start with the red arrow, you should be able to follow the path my thread took.

Gift Envelope Tutorial

A fun and simple way to dress up a small gift or sweet note, the envelopes above were featured in my last post. I made them in both a vertical & horizontal format with the sealing flap on either a short or long end of the envelope. The images below depict the making of the vertical variety.

Cut a strip of decorative paper that will be long enough to envelop your gift, and wide enough to include a strip of adhesive on either side. Make sure to leave enough overlap in the length to allow for adhesive on the flap, in my case a strip of thin double stick tape. Fold the paper as shown above.

Lay strips of double sided tape along the edges of the the fold opposite the flap. I prefer 3m #415. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, I find 1/4" to be very useful. One of great things about this tape is that it comes with a backing. This backing adds an extra thickness to the tape, against which a straight edge can be positioned, as in the image above. Cut a strip away as indicated by the gray dotted line. Do this on both sides.

Your paper should look like this. Fold the taped strips under and then form the envelope by peeling off the backing and folding the sides together.

Rounding the corners of the flap is a nice touch. Either trace around a coin and cut the corner off, or use a corner punch for a nice swift job! Add another strip of adhesive to the edge of the flap.

The final touch is to add a tag to the front of the envelope. Slip a hole puncher through the opening of the envelope and punch through both the tag and the decorative paper. Secure the tag to the envelope with thread or thin ribbon.

Folded Star Book Tutorial

Pictured above are an assortment of folded star books. From left to right; pages made from colored construction paper & covers made from Chili's coasters, printer paper pages with covers using decorative paper and a turquoise bead embellishment, a typography journal made with printer and decorative papers, a gift from my friend Erin - made by Jen Swearington of Jenny Threads with ketchup artwork for the covers, and finally the little book featured in my last post.

The following is a tutorial for making these fun books. They can be made in any size, but if you use the dimensions that I provide, a basic printer paper can be used for the pages. Have fun, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Creating the Basic Structure
Using a sharp blade such as an Xacto or an Olfa utility knife, cut out two 4¼ x 4¼ inch squares from a piece of board (binders board, cereal box, any board will work). Be aware of what is underneath the board while you cut. If available use a cutting board or self healing mat. These two pieces will be your covers.

Making the Covers
Cover these two board pieces with paper or fabric. Use an adhesive appropriate to your cover material. Mix (PVA & Methyl Cellulose), Paste, Glue Stick, and HeatnBond are all acceptable. I like to brush Mix onto the paper and then place the paper onto the board. Use a bone folder to smooth cover material onto boards.

Adding Embellishments
You may add a decorative element to one of the boards to create a distinction between the front and back covers. Use contrasting paper, beads, or found objects to create this sense of a cover.

Folding Paper
Fold an 8½ x 8½ inch piece of paper three times. From one corner to the opposite corner create a diagonal fold. Flip the paper over and then continue from the left side to the right side creating a vertical fold, and from the top to the bottom creating a horizontal fold. A bone folder will help create crisp folds.

Creating the Book BlockPlace your pages in front of you so that your diagonal fold is vertical. Next, flip every other piece onto the opposite side. Adhere the folded pages one to another in an alternating manner. A glue stick may be used for this, a thin even coat of adhesive is desired. When all of the pages are connected, this is called a book block.

This construction paper version is a good example of how the pages should be attached.

Completing Your Book
One at a time, adhere the front and back covers to the endpapers of the book block. Be careful to align the covers evenly. The book should be able to stand on its own when dry. A glue stick or the PVA and Methyl Cellulose mixture may be used for this.

After you finish your book, if you find that you need more pages, no problem! Just fold another page and glue it in -- as I did in my typography journal (above).

Fabric Wrapper Covers

Pictured above are a few Christmas gifts that I made this year. They are pamphlet sewn books with fabric covers. A notebook to jot down grocery lists, music, or general to-do lists were the end-uses I had in mind for these checkbook sized books. They were each wrapped with an extra set of pages. The cover is secure, but easy to remove when it is time to replace the pages.

I made this diagram to demonstrate the 3-hole pamphlet stitch and the folding process of the cover. Click on any of these images to get a larger view. I've made many of these covers using paper, and discovered a few differences should be employed when using cloth. As in the paper version, sewing and adhesives are unnecessary. It is necessary, however, to use a hot iron, rather than a bone folder to make creases. The dotted line on the left and the right indicate the first fold which is unique to this fabric version. I found that it made for a cleaner look to have a folded edge on the inside of the wrapper. In the future I might introduce thread to the wrapper by serging or hemming that inside edge.

Here are standing versions of the book, so you can peek inside and see how the wrapper extends all the way inside to the valley of the folds.

The image of the seal on the book to the left (and below) was transferred onto the cloth using a Vogart hot iron transfer pattern. I have an assortment of these and have had luck finding them at antique stores and garage sales. I've also come across some on etsy.com.

In its original form, the image looks like a layer of acrylic painted on very thin parchment paper. The side with the pigment is placed directly on the surface of cloth or paper. Use a hot iron on the back of the parchment paper until the pigment is transferred to the new surface and the parchment readily peels away from the newly pigmented cloth or paper. If heat is not applied long enough, bits of the parchment will remain. The image will still transfer, but it can be rather time consuming to pick off the little bits of paper! Just test the corner of the parchment before you pull it off completely.