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