Tag Archive for Binding

Handy Dandy Notebook

Several years ago, I made my sister a handmade journal cover for Christmas. And I just found the pictures of it (though most of the design process photos are missing *sad face*)!

That said, here’s a glimpse of what I made.

I started with some pleather/vinyl that was on sale at my local craft store. I measured and cut two hunks: one for the outside cover and one for the inside “pocket” flaps.

Then, since the wrong side of the fabric was so blah, I gave it a little pizzazz by painting it with a teal acrylic paint (which absorbed into the lining and gave it a nice, muted color).

My mother-in-law assisted me with sewing the flap fabric to the outer layer of fabric. ((I don’t own a sewing machine, nor do I know how to use one…add that to my crafting to-do list!))

These flaps would house the corners of a standard spiral-bound notebook.

Here is the finished piece unstuffed:

Complete with my sister’s doodles. :)

The covers of the notebook were then inserted into the sewn flaps.

Though I could’ve bound her a traditional journal or sketchbook, I wanted to make her a long-lasting cover that she could use for multiple notebooks. When you are a prolific writer like she is, you tend to go through a lot of notebooks!

I added a fun, jazzy button enclosure, too.

And here’s the finished product, all buttoned up and ready for the next story (based on the undone stitching around the button, you can tell this picture was taken months after the journal cover had already seen lots of action!)

Sonny, you are a terrific writer. I believe in you and your dreams. Go get ‘em!

Green Bambino Guest Log

It’s so fun when a new local store opens up and sells exactly what you need exactly when you need it! For me, Green Bambino is the perfect example of that truth.

The eco-friendly cloth diaper/natural baby products store opened up just months before I was due with my first baby (now known as Beau the 19 Month Old!)

I took a Cloth Diaper 101 class, registered for baby gifts, took a baby-wearing class, and got to know the incredible owner, Morgan.

Morgan’s #1 concern in her shop is providing an excellent customer experience. And, boy, does she! Not only does she have vast knowledge about diapers and natural baby products, she also has the heart of a teacher. Which keeps people coming back time and again.

Last year it became clear that Green Bambino was out-growing its location and Morgan made the decision to relocate…across the street!

Since I now consider Morgan a friend, I offered to make her a guest book for her new store.

In keeping with the store’s philosophy, I used only repurposed fabric or recycled paper to create their book.

All great guest books have a place to keep a pen!

I had this green fabric leftover from my wedding nearly 3 years ago. Its bright color fits perfectly with Green Bambino’s fresh and earthy decor. A brown ribbon gave the fabric a nice, finished edge.

I then used a scrap piece of acid-free davy board and carved out a baby footprint (no easy feat with davy board, let me tell you!)

For the inside pages, I used repurposed letterhead from my old job! They were just going to throw it away. Can you believe that?! So, I cut the top portion off to get rid of the logo, and printed a motif on the cover page of the book.

Then, the inside pages were filled with lines where store patrons could write their names and hometowns. Though Green Bambino is a local store, it’s the only one like it in Oklahoma City. Even people from surrounding states travel here because they have no such stores at home!

Last time I was in the store, I saw several pages full of signatures, but I didn’t get a chance to really look through it. I can’t wait to see how far people have traveled to experience Green Bambino! It’s a terrific place.

If you are expecting or know someone who is, I highly recommended swinging by the store (or their website) to see how their offerings might make your life better! :)

Nothing But the Blood

In college I took a class called “Experimental Bookmaking.” In the class we were encouraged to explore a range of materials, try new stitching techniques and even redefine what “book” means.

It’s always fun when someone hires you to make a book and they trust you enough to just let you run with it. The book below is a perfect example.

Theresa has had me make several books for her over the past few years. Mostly she has ordered gifts for others, but this time, she wanted a prayer journal for herself. And she said I could design it any way I wanted! :)

I experimented with exposed board for this book. I cut ruby-red bookbinding cloth in a wave shape to cover the spine and connect the covers, and the white part of the cover is raw Davy board, which I shaded with a white Prismacolor pencil.

I then added snowflake brads to the spine for symbolism and to give the book a little embellishment.

Inside the book, I designed the paste pages. I printed the lyrics to the worship song “Nothing But The Blood” and accented that particular line.

I knew Theresa was planning to use this book as a prayer journal, and I wanted to keep this reminder at the forefront of her mind every time she opened her book.

Theresa: Thank you again for being such a loyal customer. I always enjoy designing books for you. I hope the pages of this book are now filled with answered prayers and reminders of God’s provision in your life!

Be blessed!!

Burlap Book

I mentioned in this post that I love making books for other artists. Some times, other artists are even willing to trade their art for mine. Win-win!

Abi and I were meeting up to do a photoshoot for BodSchool, my personal training business. She takes incredible photos and I wanted to bring a thank you gift that I could give her until I was able to make her official sketchbook.

In college, I purchased a book that teaches how to bind books without any glue. As you can imagine, that makes the process much quicker, as you don’t have to wait for anything to dry!

I had some burlap scraps another friend had given me and decided that would be the perfect material to try something new.

I chose to make a “quarto” sized book (a fourth of a page) from 8.5 x 11 paper. The final size was roughly 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall…a great little book for stuffing in a purse or camera bag!

I burned the edges of the burlap to give it a more finished look (and also in hopes it would keep it from fraying so badly). Have you ever smelled burnt burlap?! Eww.

Since Abi loves green, I chose olive-colored paper for the pages. It also looks really great with the earthy burlap, don’t you think?

The stitching I chose was Long Stitch/Link Stitch. The sections are sewn together so the stitches are exposed on the spine like this:

I really like how you could see the stitches if you knew to look for them, but that the twine also blended in nicely with the burlap.

This was a really fast book the make. The thing that took the longest was learning the new stitch, but even that went quickly once I got the hang of it.

Abi, thank you again for being willing to trade art! I love making unique things for unique girls like you!

Pin It

Dear Abi

I believe everyone is an Artist. Some people may not recognize what they do as “art”, but it takes on so many different shapes and forms. Perhaps you’re surrounded by art right now and don’t even know it!

Cooking is an art. Loving your kids and keeping them fed, bathed, and entertained is an art. Crunching numbers in a budget is an art. Maintaining a healthy marriage is an art. Masterfully hammering boards together and building something that didn’t used to exist is an art.

Since art is everywhere, sometimes even the people who DO call themselves Artists don’t realize how many artistic passions they’ve left undiscovered.

One of my favorite artists, Miss Abi, is an A-MAZING photographer. And fashionista. And writer. And, and, and…as it turns out, a sketcher!! Who knew?!

Abi and I love to trade art with each other. She took some terrific photos for my new business, and I paid her back by making her an 8.5 x 11 sketchbook.

Her favorite color green in a fun pattern, plus her name and some BLING!

A pen loop (because what good is your sketchbook if you forget a pen?!) was built in as well.

Abi, thank you for being my go-to girl for all things photography (and fashion advice, which I am certain I desperately need more of!).

I love your zest for life and hope this book will be just one of the many places you chronicle all your dreams and adventures this year and beyond! Love you!

Donna’s Turn

I know a gal named Donna who is one of the sweetest, giving people you could ever hope to know. She’s always putting others before herself, so I was ecstatic when she asked me if I would make a custom journal for HER. Just for her.

Her thoughts.

Her prayers.

Her struggles.

Her dreams.

Her gratitude.

Her frustrations.

Oh, the many things we can write in a journal that is for our eyes only!

Donna wanted a journal that was artsy and fun and had a biblical Scripture inside the front cover to set the tone for her journaling. Donna chose Psalm 51:10.

I just love this wild (but not too crazy) patterned paper, don’t you?!

Donna is a mom to four very energetic and imaginative kiddos and I wanted to make sure they knew this journal belongs to Mama and no one else! I added marquee letters to the front to personalize the cover.

As any parent knows, it’s good to occasionally have some ‘me-time’, whether you use it for journaling, exercise, gardening, reading, or just drinking a glass of wine alone! :) I am sure Donna has already begun filling up the pages of this book with the contents of her heart, soul, and mind.

Donna, when this book is full and you’re ready for another, let me know. From one mom to another, I want to help make sure you have the space you need to ‘roam free’…at least on paper!

Day 17 AEDM: Petal to the Metal

I’ve had a huge box full of silk flower petals for over 2 years (or has it been three years?) It’s time to do something with them. Today I figured out what that is…a book cover!

I still need to glue in the book block, so this isn’t technically finished, but I wanted to show the progress so far…

Photo 257

I ripped the flowers off their stems, pulled the petals apart, then stuck a sequin and a mini brad in the center of each one. The mini brad was then stabbed through the pleather cover fabric and fastened.

I’m excited to continue working on this…once it’s done it will be available for purchase under the “For Sale” tab in the top right corner.

Day 15 AEDM: Baby Girl Photo Album

I hinted about it and gave a couple sneak-peek shots in this post.

Here’s the final product…a personalized photo album that I made for my SIL Ali and her soon-to-arrive (in January) 3rd little girl, Ensley Grace.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect reason to use this fabric!

cover

I love adding names to the front of albums. There will be no mistaking to whom this book belongs!

ensley

Satin ribbon tie closures:

ties

The back cover. The paste pages and the photo pages both coordinate with the cover fabric.

guts

Day 9 AEDM: Paisley Peek

Today my good little baby took a two hour nap and I finally got a chance to start on a project that I MUST have finished before this weekend.

Since it’s a gift, I can only show little peeks today. I’ll show the total, finished project after I’ve given it to its new owner.

inside

outside

Theology, Repurposed

A while back, Kendra, an old co-worker, found several books that she wanted turned into journals. They all had such awesome titles, so I was excited to redo them for her.

stacked

Here’s a photo montage of each title and its inside facing pages. My main goal was to match colors and, if possible, theme.

teach-out

teach-in

service-out

service-in

rules-out

rules-in

revivalists-out

revivalists-in

fire-out

fire-in

This last one is probably my favorite…not only a cool book title:

miracles-out

But the perfect excuse to use this ethereal scrapbook paper. :)

miracles-in

Thanks again, Kendra, for asking me to make these for you!

Anyone who has attended an online Christian college or has a library science degree would love these books!