So, I thought I knew what I was doing when I cut fifty 4x6 inch sheets of patterned paper and got to work on creating my 50 little pages. "According to my research" (a quote from "The Magic School Bus") the norm in the world of minis seems to be using these binder rings to secure all of the pages together. I designed each page keeping in mind that I would be punching 2 holes on the one side, and stitching 2 back-to-back pages together to form a pocket for inserting a tag with notes on my accomplishments as each was completed.
One of the blogs I like to follow is Jenny Petricek's Starting Over Studio. I remembered her talking about a class she took learning to bind her own journals, and poked around the web looking for alternative ways to put my book together. That led me to a great tutorial by Jamie Butler, and a solution!
Since my double pagers were separate from each other, I cut some strips of leftover patterned paper to join each pair into a folded spread, then measured and pierced hold down the center, pre-drilling, so to speak, so I could sew through each to create a binding.
I still wanted those pockets, though. I stitched across the bottom of each set (each "signature"), hoping I'd still be able to feed a needle through the pierced fold. And, of course when I get an inspired idea I want to DO IT NOW, so I had to improvise with supplies as my local hunt for book binding supplies was unfruitful. I used 6-ply embroidery thread and a beading needle. The needle was a bit flex-y, but it held the floss securely and was long enough for me to wrangle it into the tight corner of my stitched closed signature. I used some scraps of old blue jeans for the binding tape, and also for a decorative touch, and followed Jamie's instructions for stitching through each signature, across each tape, and knotting through the previous signature to secure before moving on to the next.
After all the pages were bound, I stitched up the outside edges to seal each pocket. That was a bit challenging, but I just didn't see another way to get what I wanted the way I wanted it. Perhaps some further engineering for next time, but the stitching gives a finished look to the edges. I felt that sealing with tape or glue would lead to the pages getting peeled apart down the road.
Finally, the covers. I cut pieces from a cardboard box that were just a bit bigger than my pages, gessoed, and decorated the front and back outsides. I used Fabri-Tac to glue the binding tape to the covers, and also a ribbon on front and back so that I could tie the book shut.
I covered up that mess with patterned paper and then decorated the inside covers. I made one last pocket in the back that will hold a Master List of my 50 things that I can check off as I go!
Binding this album was really fun, I love the results, and I will definitely be doing it again-perhaps with a little better pre-planning on the construction side of things. It feels like such an accomplishment, and I can't even tell you how awesome it feels to flip the sewn-bound pages back and forth!
So, what do you think? Will you give book-binding a try?
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