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!
- 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:
These 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. I 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:
The 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:
I 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.
I 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. I 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!
Next 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.