Deluxe Little Stitched Books

The subtitle should be: bookbinding for pre-beginners, bookbinding paper journals, binding handmade journals, binding stuff together so they function like journals... Since 99% of my posts start with a quote or a photo, so I thought I would buck the trend and do the unexpected. Yes. Mix it up. A bunch of words and THEN a quote or a photo!

So this isn't a tutorial in any way, shape or form. It's just to show you that it isn't hard to stitch up a stack of papers.

The first book was too tight, too small, the pages didn't open because of the hard cover. These are the things that yes, somewhere, you could google or take a week-long workshop to learn, but then again you could also just try and figure it out and call it an experiment.

Time spent doing something you enjoy and learning isn't wasted.

For the first book my husband cut book-binder's board for me {I've got weak hands, can't hold the box cutter properly}. I poked holes in the board and the stitched pages with a small awl and a mallet. This was easy peasy, no hand strain. Then I ran beeswax along the linen thread and stitched the book up kind of sort of per the instructions for "stab binding" from Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms by Alisa Golden. This book is amazing. Tons of different bindings - glued, stitched, funky folds, just a very solid reference book for book making. The instructions were crystal clear, I just didn't follow them! I sort of skim stuff, look at pictures, and do my own thing. 

“It is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right.”
Lemony Snicket

So I cut the linen thread, took off the hard cover and re-stitched without the hard cover. I'd made a patchwork paper/fabric first page of sorts before the hardcover debacle so that became the cover.

My daughter stitched one of the next two journals, more than happy to take a break from geometry.

So here are the three little journals.

The culmination of a bit-by-bit process over several months.

Cutting the paper for the smallest journal (the papers in the larger two are "time cards" available at the office supply store).

Stitching the insides of the smallest one with little collages.

Stitching 4 patchwork covers for the larger two.

Figuring out what bookbinding materials to buy.

Buying the materials.

Punching holes with the awl.

Stitching the journals together.

Restitching as needed.

Enjoying the finished work.

In case you are wondering, here are the materials I bought specifically for bookbinding:

{Books by Hand Linen Bookbinding Thread, unwaxed, 35/3 gauge}

{Books by Hand or Lineco Binder’s Needles, 5 heavy duty blunted point (but between you and I these are sharp)}

{ Lineco Bees Wax, 1 oz}

{ Lineco Light Duty Paper Awl}

The other materials were a mallet, pliers (to pull the needle out when it was in too tight), thick catalog to handle the awl-punching without ruining a table, scissors to cut the linen thread, ruler to measure where to put the holes.

At the very first "stitch" through the very first journal, I felt like I do at the sewing machine, the feeling of JOY and HAPPINESS at MAKING SOMETHING.