Making the Book with Kirsten

I am back this week to share a more in depth look at how I created the book I shared last time. The book structure is a combination of an accordion book with three-hole pamphlet stitched signatures.

Let's get started!

To start I used a 8.5"x17" piece of kraft colored cardstock and accordion folded it to have three "mountains" and two "valleys". If I measure from the left to the right there is a fold approximately at 1.5", 5", 8.5", 12" and 15.5". Finally I trim down the height of my book from 8.5" to 5". These dimensions will change if you are making a book to fit in a box. Just measure the inside dimensions of the box and decrease it by a quarter or half inch to give some wiggle room for your finished book.

Now is the time to decorate the cover! My first layer is dry-brushing white paint onto the cardstock. Dry-brushing is exactly what it says, using a DRY brush to loosely apply paint to the surface. This is a great way to add texture. Here is a short clip of me showing this technique:

On one side I used an old hotel key card to scrape thin layers of paint swatches across the surface. I then use the Quasi stencil to add more color and texture. The other side of the paper gets a few layers with the Halftone Dots Shadow stencil and one layer with the Quasi stencil

As a finishing touch I glue down (with matte medium) a few pieces of torn gel printed deli papers from my stash. 

Now it is time to create the inside pages! For this I gathers some old dictionary papers, vintage magazine papers, book pages, old photocopies from previous art projects. Just a variety of paper ephemera. These particular papers I have previously colored with acrylic inks. I was very inspired by Rae Missigman's techniques when she creates her signatures for her Pocket Journals. To find out what size I need to make the inside pages I measure my book at the section I will sew the papers onto and find my pages should be about 5x7 inches or smaller. to fit into the area. The following video shows how I tear down the papers to the size I want and then how I organize them into signatures, which is a group of sheets folded down the middle. 

The last step is to sew! 

I used black waxed linen thread and an embroidery-type needle with a larger eye. If you don't have waxed linen thread then use what you have! Embroidery floss works great! The wax just helps the knots to stay in place. I have even heard of people using dental floss too! This last video shows the entire sewing process from piercing the holes (with a small awl, you could also use a push pin) to stitching all three signatures with a final look at the finished project at the end. The video is 7 minutes long because I chose not to fast-forward it because sometimes seeing things in "real-time" helps create better understanding. 

I hope this inspires you to create your own!

Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau


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