Some people toil for years obssessively on an idea, concrete, never managing to bear any fruit. Others collect every piece of scrap-paper and stray postcard that they find and store them in a mysterious bag of goodies waiting patiently for the time when a spark will descend from the heavens and don them with the creative inspiration sufficient to produce a tiny wonder. The latter is what applies to this tale.
We decided to produce a small edition of these postcard booklets in commanding colours with a Japanese hand stab-stitch and a variety of threads. They turned out really well and for the interior covers, we used whatever we had around: scrap paper, namely. One even has a simple collage design which I think is quite funny, though you may never see it!
Overall, we learned a few clear lessons during the production of this edition:
- Don´t break your tools
- Don´t underestimate the importance of paper weight
- Don´t obsess over the finest of details
- If you care about what you´re doing your books will look good in the end
- Keep making mistakes and keep learning from them, but don’t ever stop.
Of course, there are numerous others but I´ll save those for the future. For now we´re going to bask in the glory of our fine achievement.
Not paying any attention to our recent undoings, we´ve kept calm and moved along; using some delicious paper found at a nearby shop, old tea bags, used kraft paper and other found materials, we assembled a tidy little treat for a dear friend of mine who lives just across the channel. It turned out beyond my wildest hopes; well, that´s a lie really, as of course the design was conceptualised in advance, but it was truly the best thing we´ve yet fabricated.
The design is a rather simple three-hole pamphlet stitch with a papered cover board and internal cover sheets made from the kraft paper. I would like to try putting a few together with some scrap paper we found that´s been printed on one side and see how they work as notebooks.
When it was finished I felt as if I was looking at my own newborn child.
The proportions here are slightly inverted as you can see by our little red friend. Today we learned to use the traditional Japanese stab-stitch; typically, this is done with rice paper, but we had some glossy card-stock lying around and decided to cut the pages individually.
It ended up being a bit difficult to punch the holes with our bodkin, but we managed fairly well, even though by the end, we realised that we´d been a bit cheap with the thread and had to find a clever means by which to finish the stitch and knot the thread. Thus, you are welcomed by the presence of our companion.
The cover is simply a cropped postcard. Everything, save the thread, is found.
The second and third books we´ve made utilise the pamphlet stitch, using only three holes. It´s very easy and the best part is that no glue is necessary. It´s quite possible with only a little imagination to make several and various alterations to this design.
The white book on the left is a simple chap book and the smaller, on the right, is made using recycled tea bags and packaging, based on the design of Trial & Error. We´ve created a how-to video of the process!
This book is actually a combination of your average accordion-fold and a simple cover; the pages can be removed and replaced by any other accordion and in fact this style of cover can be used with many types of folds, this one just happened to be what was offered as an example in our source book: The Bookbinding Handbook by Sue Doggett.
NOTE: Generally, all materials used are found.