Welcome to the New Year! I can’t believe how fast we got here, and once again we have to get used to writing the eleven instead of the ten at the end of the date. Over the years, whenever thinking of new year I have never taken the resolutions all that serious. Maybe because I lacked the maturity or maybe because I didn’t believe that by writing it down it made me more accountable.
This year, as a way to do something creative that I could not only share with the world, I decided to make a beautiful little book that could capture my resolutions. I wanted to be able to have them in a place where I can be reminded of them.
For this project, I decided to make an Accordian Book. When I was in school, I took a bookmaking class where we learned to make several interesting different types of books. This book was among them. Now this book, I find very simple to make. Of course, I have had practice, and I enjoyed making them after I was done with school.
It’s also a process that requires working in stages and with a lot of patience. It may take a day or so, but in the end it’s worth the effort. I find that this book made well makes a beautiful gift. It can also be used for several different things. But for the sole purpose of the project that I am presenting here, I decided to keep it simple.
As a sidenote, when I was taking this class, I lived in Arlington, Texas. So I would drive to Dallas to a wonderful little store that specialized in bookmaking supplies. They not only had a huge array of decorative papers but they also had everything that we could possibly need for book making. Here in Southern California I have never attempted to look for such a store. In fact, I’m not sure that I will ever find such a fabulous place. But, it may be worth it to do an online search for a place that sells decorative papers and book supplies.
The supplies needed for this project are, a piece of Arches 88 paper, PH Neutral White Adhesive, precut book board by a company called 7 Gypsies, paint brushes, a jar for water, paper towels, paper plate, acrylic paint, decorative papers of your choice, ribbons of various thicknesses and colors, two weights and two flat pieces of wood, or anything that will stay completely flat, a bone folder, utility knife, a self healing cutting board, scissors, pencil, a ruler, and most importantly a hot glue gun.
Now, I know that seems like a lot, but if you’ve tried any of the other projects, by now you should have a nifty storage box with all your materials ready to go.
The first step is to make the pages for the book. Take your sheet of arches 88 and cut a long strip measuring about 18″ x 6 1/2 “. Keep in mind that your precut book board measures to 5″ x 7″, and your page has to end up within that dimension. Therefore, your piece of arches 88 paper has to be folded so that each page measures 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2”. You should be able to make four pages.
Once you’ve folded your pages set them to the side.
Take your decorative paper, and cut a piece thats large enough to cover your book board as well as give a one inch border all the way around. Once that’s done place the book board in the center and mark the paper in the four corners with a pencil. With your ruler draw a somewhat diagonal line to the outer edge of the paper. Do this to all of the corners. Take a pair of scissors and cut along these newly drawn diagonal lines until they are completely off.
At this point, when you place your black book board in the center of your paper there should be a flap on every side of the board.
Put that to the side for a brief moment and prepare your glue mixture. Pour a generous amount of your PH adhesive into a small container with a lid, next add a small amount of water to it loosen it up (3:1). Be sure not to add too much water. Mix it thoroughly until it’s the same consistency. It should be loose but not too much. Once you, have your glue mixed up fill up your jar with water.
Take your paintbrush, and brush your glue mixture from the center of your paper to the outer edges. Cover the entire surface, and work quickly.
Once you’re finished carefully place the book board back into the center over the wet glue and flip it over so that the decorative side is facing up. With your bone folder, gently work out all of the wrinkles from the paper until they are completely gone.
Once you’re finished, flip your book board back over. Now we are ready to glue the flaps. The flaps are to be glued one by one. This will allow you to do it neatly.
Take your paintbrush, and glue one of the flaps from the inside towards the outside of the flap. Once you are finished take your bone folder and run it along the decorative paper side flattening it out as you work it towards the inside of the board. Be sure to take the time to take out the wrinkles.
Take your boards, once they are completely glued and place them between your two wood boards and place your two weights over them. If you have a wooden floor, or a flat counter that would be ideal. Be sure that your weights are at least 5lbs or heavier. You will have to allow your boards to dry under the weights for at least 24 hours. This will allow your book boards to dry completely flat.
Now we are ready to move onto the body of the book. Take your accordian pages that you made earlier, look at the top and the bottom of your pages and be sure that the pages are even. If not, take a ruler and make an even line along the top and bottom. Take your ruler and place it along the line and with your utility knife cut carefully along the edge of the ruler. Be sure that your utility knife has a new blade or your cut will be rough. Skip this step if the pages are already even.
Two of your accordian book pages will have to be left blank since they will be glued directly to the bookcover. It’s not very hard to figure out which they will be. So, one side will be completely exposed, and on the other side you will have two pages that are exposed that will be where we paint the resolutions.
We will begin with the side of the accordian that’s completely exposed. For this you can use a different decorative paper of your choice. I chose to use a green one with a flower pattern embossed into it. I also decided to use a few lacy ribbons. At this point you want to plug in your glue gun.
The idea is to cut them into strips that are long enough to be folded along the entire side of the back. Take one of the ribbons, and make sure that you have some hanging over the edge of the paper. Carefully add two small drops of hot glue right on the edge and place your ribbon on it as evenly as possible.
Place another two drops along the fold of the page and press the ribbon into it. Make sure that you get your ribbon lines as even as possible. Repeat these steps for all of the ribbons that you decide to use. You can use as many as you want. Keep in mind that the more you use the more bulky your book will be. For my book I used four.
Once you are done the back of your book pages should look fantastic. You are almost done with the process, and I hope that you have’t given up. Like I said, this project requires a lot of patience.
It’s the next day and we are ready to move to the last and final stage of this book. We have now completed our book covers, which should be completely dry and flat. It should be safe to remove them from underneath the weights. If they feel cool, they may not be completely dry.
At this point, get your paper plate to use as a paint pallette, clean out your water, and get ready to decorate the front side of the pages of the book. I decided to paint my pages before gluing the book altogether to make it easier on me to work.
The brush that I decided to use was a liner, but depending on what you want to paint you can choose any brushes that you like. Add a small amount of paint to the pallette and add a few drops of water at a time so that you can loosen the paint. By loosening it you make it easier to work with.
Keep your hand steady and be sure that your paint doesn’t dry too much or have too much water. Arches 88 is a super absorbent paper and it sucks up water like a sponge, so you have to be very careful. It may be a wise idea to do a practice round before working on the book. I wish I had.
To add a nice touch I took an element that I found on the decorative paper and I painted the pattern on the pages to tie it all together. As much as possible I tried to match the color that I added to the background as well.
I think I did a pretty good job of that.
Once the entire side is decorated and the paint is dry it is time to glue the pages onto the covers. This part requires the glue gun again.
Take the glue gun and add four small drops of hot glue to the pages that were originally left blank. Center as much as possible the blank page to the inside of the book cover. Gently press the page until the hot glue sets.
When gluing on the other side repeat the steps with the hot glue but be sure that the covers line up with each other before gluing. If not your cover may be lopsided, and all your hard work will feel like a waste of time. Like I said practice makes perfect, starting again may not be too bad. But preventative measures are good in the beginning.
Once your hot glue sets, your book should be complete. The last step is to cut a ribbon long enough to tie it closed and Voila your done.
WOW! We made it! I know this was a long one but it was worth the effort. You’re friends will be super impressed with your new book and I promise you they’re going to ask you to make one for them too!!! Happy Bookmaking!!!! Come check out some cool art at www.luciaperez.info