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Friday, 14 March 2014

Hand made books and journals

I have found handmade books very attractive for a long time. They are 'special'. As I now felt for a job I decided I needed a new hobby and chose to try book binding.
I have been thoroughly enjoying myself trying out binding techniques that I didn't even know existed and experimenting with different covers. Here is what I have made so far with varying degrees of success.
The first one I made was the purple 'lists' book. It has a simple Japanese stab stitch binding and what girl doesn't need a book for writing lists in?
The second book is coptic bound and I use it as an art journal. The next picture shows the stitched spine. Although still strong it is starting to look a bit tatty from lots of use.
The third one I made has a long stitch spine and a wrap around felt cover. I don't find this one terribly exciting and the long stitch was not completely successful. I think a different fabric would have worked better. I will probably give this one to one of my daughters.
 The last one is the one I found most satisfying. This one was a folded concertina style book. I have always thought these fairly useless as usable books because there are not enough pages in them. Then I discovered that extra pages can be added. You just make little pamphlet booklets and stitch them between the folds. You end up with little sections within the book. I've tried to show this in the photograph but it may not be clear.
 Both the back and front covers can be seen when the pages are stretched out. The house collage is the front and the flowers the back. I had great fun making these.
Surprisingly this small book has over 60 pages in it.When the book is closed it needs a wrap around closure as there is no actual spine to the book. In this instance I decided that string would fit the naive theme of the collage. It looks neat when closed.
Next time I will give you a quick tutorial on making this type of book.


  1. Your journals are so charming. So creative. You should be proud of this art.

    1. Thank you Shirley. I hope to improve though.

  2. The concertina style book is lovely - it had never occurred to me that you could add the extra pages - what a good idea!

    1. Hello Francesca, No it did not occur to me either. I saw it in a book called 'the bookbinder's handbook' Which has lots of great ideas but I would have liked more 'photos. It's a really simple way of making a folded book more useful.