Friday, April 5, 2013


Mommy camp rolls on. Our Easter holidays are three and a half weeks long, so we've been doing our best to find a balance between unstructured downtime and guided creative play. The other day Charlie asked out of the blue if he could make a book, and I was totally game. Like so many craft supply hoarders I know, I happened to have a stash of bookbinding supplies in my studio that I'd yet to use, and finally got to crack open. 
In my craft library, I also have a copy of, "At Home with Handmade Books", by Erin Zamrzla. Like a lot of craft books, it gives basic instructions for simple book binding techniques and then a bunch of projects that use variations of those simple steps. Since we're newbies at this particular craft, we kept it simple, and made cardboard covered (and backed) journals filled with blank pages, bound with a traditional Japanese four hole binding. You don't need to buy a book to tell you how to make this book; Google abounds with videos and tutorials. Supplies are pretty basic: paper, an awl (or hole punch), glue, and some binder's thread (or any string, really).
We went into the recycling bin and dug out some cardboard to make our front and back covers, and cut them down to the size with a steak knife that never gets used since we never seem to eat steak.
Charlie chose a piece of pretty origami paper from my paper stash for the cover, which got glued on. He also wanted patterned paper for his inside pages, so we stuck them inside and laid them flush with the edge of the book. I do have an awl, and a self healing mat, so punching the holes was quick work.
Though I do have a package of binder's thread, any string, yarn, twine, whatever you have lying around, will work for a simple book like ours. I used my binding thread, but wonder if colorful yarn would've been a better choice here.
I followed the steps for threading the pages and covers (which was trickier than I thought it would be, since I don't really like reading instructions all the way through before starting a new project).

And Charlie had his new book. He wanted the title to be "Nevero's Land" for reasons I can't understand, but, okay. He wrote the story inside in his own special secret typography, so I'm not sure what its about. But I hope someday he'll tell me.

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