Last year, when Dave and I were planning our tenth wedding anniversary, we each made a list of places we would like to travel. Sure, there were his adventure destinations (Galapagos Islands, Tanzania) and my lazy destinations (anything with a beach), but we both miraculously agreed on an epicurean destination: Paris.
I made this blank book for our trip, a combination of an old cereal box, brown grocery bag, tissue paper, leftover red Canson paper, and a few sheets of 90 lb vellum finish sketch paper. Oh, and a skein of black embroidery floss for the Eiffel Tower on the front cover.
The hardcover case is a basic one-piece case using the cereal box cardboard as boards. I actually glued the cardboard together to make it 2-ply. Then I crumpled up the brown paper to give the surface a more tactile quality and added tissue paper between the boards for a padded feel.
For the book block, I cut down the white sheets of paper and folded them to make 3 signatures of 16 pages per signature. Then I cut down the red Canson paper for the endsheets (4 pages per endsheet). I sewed them together using a herringbone stitch and glued a few strips of tissue paper to the spine.
I can’t draw very well. (Ok, I can draw buildings and flowers, but don’t ask me to do a portrait of you any time soon.) To ensure that my Eiffel Tower would be symmetrical, I only sketched half of it and folded the paper vertically in half. Then I made my embroidery pattern by poking holes with my pin tool while the paper was still folded.
There, wasn’t that easy?!
It actually is. I learned basic bookmaking at the Center of Book Arts in New York City, and if I can do this ANYONE can.