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How I made a tiny book

My friend Polly is making dolls and so is making lots of miniature things, and it is quite addictive. And catching! So I decided to try making a tiny book. A proper book with a leather cover. This is not a proper tutorial in book binding but it is fairly easy and it is fun!

I used:

  • One sheet of 160gsm linen paper to make the pages
  • Top stitching thread and a chenille needle
  • One small piece of scrapbook paper
  • One small scrap of leather
  • One small scrap of mull cloth
  • Aleenes Tacky Glue (I should use book binding glue but I didn’t have an open bottle)
  • Helmar 450 clear glue
  • Ruler, scissors

I cut the sheet of paper into eight pieces by folding in half then half again then half again. Fold each piece in half and put them into pairs like this:

book1These are little “signatures” – the little groups of pages that are sewn together. You could have more or less depending on how fat you want your book to be. I then sewed each signature together along the fold, using the top stitch thread because it is heavier and softer than normal thread.  book2I just passed the needle to the next signature until all four were sewn and sewn sort of together. Then I passed the thread through the stitches to hold them together:

book3The next stage is where I went wrong – I put the mull cloth on at the wrong stage. Mull is a sort of crisp cotton net, a bit like buckram, used to provide an underpinning to bound books. So this is what I did but I will mention later when I should have done this:

book5I stuck the mull on with the Aleenes Tacky glue. Just a trip along the spine. Then I made end papers from a printed scrap book paper. I love the pattern on this one – plus it looks a bit old and beaten up. To make the papers I cut two pieces that when folded are bigger than the signatures.

book6I folded them in half, and then I cut two pieces of light card (the back of a pad from memory!) the size of my signatures. SAM_2300I stuck the bits of card to the wrong side of the end papers, with one edge right up against the fold. Then I snipped the paper so I could wrap it around the card and glue it down. Then I glued the non card side of the end paper to the little group of signatures, lining the fold up and making sure my wee card was centred. I must say that this is where I should now have put the mull cloth on, so it is stuck to the back of the wee cards, not in between the end paper. Ah well!

SAM_2301Next I trimmed it all up – I used scissors because I wanted it to look a bit raggedy. The last stage was to cut my scrap of leather to the size I wanted, which was a bit bigger than the cards at each end. I used the Helmar 450 to glue it as PVA based glues are not as good with leather. Then I gently rounded the corners of my leather.

book10And here it is! It’s only 6cm high and 5cm wide, and about 12mm deep. The next one will be smaller! 🙂

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