Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A delicate stabbing

I had a couple of queries about the binding of the sketchbooks (all finished now, hooray!), so I thought I'd give a quick explanation. If a clamor for more detailed (read: actually decipherable) instructions ensues, then I'll try to be articulate about it.

Exhibit A: "Flora and Fauna"

This particular style of page gathering is called "Japanese stab binding." The interior pages are straight cut sheets rather than folded signatures. The stitching goes straight down through the covers and pages, but a clever little hinge device allows you to still open the silly thing.

In this case my book "guts" are 8.5" x 5.5" sheets, a US standard page cut in half, so the dimensions I give for the cover parts will give you something slightly larger than that.

The covers are not complicated. I've done a version of this construction with grade school kids... although an adult at the drill was imperative. I'm going to post the handout for the "kid journal" construction... I do a few more steps to make a nicer presentation, but you get the idea.

For each book:

2 pieces of mat or book board, .75" x 6" (the spine)
2 pieces of mat or book board, 7.75" x 6" (the body)
2 pieces of cover paper (I'm using acid-free "scrapbooking" sheets for production, but you can use anything.) 9" x 12"
2 pieces of "end paper" for the inside, 5.5" x 7.5"
I reinforce my hinges with linen tape, but it's not completely necessary.

So.... you can follow the kid steps above, but my extra steps are here:

Step 1.5... NOT included in the kid version: This is where you can add the linen tape, across the gap. Also trim the excess paper from the corners before folding up for a nicer finish. (See below)

Step 3.5: For kids I use a 5.5 x 8.5 endpaper and they just glue it smack in the middle. This works okay, but adds bulk in the hinge and doesn't necessarily fold back in an attractive way when you open the book. SO. I gave you dimensions for a shorter end paper. This shorter paper does NOT cross the gap or cover the area where the spine is. The thing to remember here is to leave more cover paper at the spine end when you glue the boards down so you have more to fold over on that end. Otherwise your short endpapers won't cover the exposed board. Capice?

Step 4+: This style of book leaves the spine open. I wrap a little piece of cover paper around the edges of the pages at the spine end to make it look a little more finished. (Plus it seems to add a little stability.) Like this:

A piece of double stick tape will hold the spine wrap in place while you stack everything together and clip it.

I'm stitching my books together with ribbon, but waxed yarn or thread or floss works great, too.

Clear as mud? Good. Now go make books.

1 comment:

  1. this looks lovely and will be a fantastic surprise for those teachers