A Handmade Book

I have been wanting to try book making for a while but it has been yet another appealing idea that has had to wait. While I was waiting to try book making I signed up on Ali Manning‘s waiting list. Ali is a skilled book maker who runs the Handmade Book Club, a club where members learn, share and make. Before Ali opens the club for registration she hosts a 5 day challenge where you pay $10 and make a book by following her video instruction and daily zoom sessions.

Last time she offered the challenge I had too much happening. This time it fell on the same week I was launching my new class. I decided to sign up anyway even if I had to wait and make my book later. It has been a busy week and I soon fell behind with the book making steps. Yesterday after I hit publish on the last of the lessons in my new online class I had time to catch up. I’m writing this paragraph as I wait for glue to dry before I finish the last steps on my book.

As you can imagine I have quite a lot of paper at my disposal. When making this book it wasn’t a question of do I have the right supplies, it was ‘which of these lovely supplies do I use?’ I was hoping to make the whole book without having to buy anything new. I did need beeswax but that is the only thing I couldn’t find around here.

I don’t have book making supplies but I have tools, papers and random items that worked. One thing I have been saving for years is the sturdy cardboard backs of paper pads. I’ve culled the collection once or twice wondering why on earth I had so many. Now I know. Those thick card board pieces are covers for future hand made books.

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I covered the front and back of my book with beautiful paper from The Paper Place in Toronto. I bought the paper years ago with no plan in mind. It has Australian native plants illustrated and labelled. I used coloured watercolour paper made in Montreal for the neutral, green and blue pages. I bought a pad of it a few years back and have used it a few times for cards.

The vinyl straps are from my daughter’s stash; she makes bags, and the buttons are from my collection.

I won’t try and explain the steps involved in making it, that is Ali’s job and she did it brilliantly. The explanations and demos are excellent and she gave an extra hour a day to answer questions on zoom.

Another thing I enjoyed about this project is the scope for customization or personal touches. There are different ways to attach the hinges, to finish off the spine and of course size, colour and paper choices make everyone’s book unique.

Can you tell I enjoyed this project? It was just the change of focus I needed to keep my creative juices flowing.

Do you have a creative project wish list? Mine is long but exciting to contemplate. ( ‘I hear you calling me gel plate; I haven’t forgotton you!’) Let me know in the comments what you would like to try one day.

And remember you still have a chance to win a spot in my new online class. I will announce a winner on Monday. The lessons are all published and available now; I would love you to join me in creating Wreaths – Stamped & Painted


8 Comments on “A Handmade Book”

  1. nancystiz says:

    Oh WOW! This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Your book is fabulous and love the extras on the binding.! Great paper choices too. Thanks for all the photos too not that I’d ever be able to do something like this. Love all the angles you used too.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Nancy. You could definitely make something like this. Ali Manning had all the steps broken down and her video instruction was wonderful. I would highly recommend!

  2. June says:

    My wish is to learn to use gel plates.

  3. Bonnie says:

    This is such a treasure, Heather, and will be even more so when you fill the pages.

    Every time I see you post about doing journal pages I want to do that. But if I look at blank pages in a journal, I draw a blank.

  4. Patricia Rowe says:

    I have been fascinated by these books. Your paper is perfect.
    Thanks for all your information. It helps to have most of the supplies.
    Absolutely beautiful.
    Tish

  5. Loll says:

    Your book is beautiful, Heather. Isn’t it great to get a chance to do a project you’ve always wanted to do??!! And you can tell that you loved every minute of making that book. It’s awesome.

    Someday I would like to try doing a journal with different techniques I want to learn. I never seem to have the time to keep up with my schedule now, so adding something new is not in the cards in the near future. For instance, I really wanted to finish my winter course from you and the other course I signed up for an haven’t even started. Someday! 🙂 xx

  6. Pat says:

    This is absolutely brilliant Heather and the covers are so pretty and the vinyl straps really add to the finished look. I know that you will fill it with beautifully creative pieces. x

  7. Godelieve says:

    How beautiful! Perfect paper choices. Love the combination of everything you used.
    Doesn’t it feel good to use things you already have collected? I also have a pile of sturdy cardboard. So your daughter makes bags. Such a creative family!


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