Saturday, August 7, 2010

Demo Book #1 (part 1)

The other day I posted about making my own headbands for a book I was working on. Unfortunately, I had put away my camera before installing it. Here is what the finished headband looks like in the book.
Hand made headband
I was making it for a demo book I have been working on. The original book was a paperback copy of Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham. The book was misprinted and thus unsellable. Since it is a very popular seller in my shop, I decided to use it to showcase some of my re-covering skills and available materials and techniques.
I started, as usual, with tearing off the paperback cover, measuring the text block, cutting front and rear boards and a spine out of chipboard, and gluing them all down to a paper hinge that had been carefully measured. That part is apparently something I'm still working the kinks out of, because my square (the overlap between the book board and the edge of the text block) still ended up a little short on the for edge. Just a millimeter or two, but notable. I used a new technique, putting the spine on the opposite side of the paper hinge as the boards. I saw this done on several videos I watched on YouTube. I'm not really sure how that makes a difference, but I thought I would give it a try.

After the basic case pieces were assembled, I decided to add some embellishments. Since this is an herb book, I cut out some leaf designs with a hobby knife and a stencil out of some chipboard, and glued them to the front and back boards. I used my usual wrinkled kraft paper and glue covering technique, which I gave my usual three layer painted finish, which I have become quite fond of. After the glue is dry, I give it a base coat of black tempura paint (because it's cheaper than acrylic), then a sea sponge daubed coat of a darker, and then a slightly lighter green acrylic paint, and finally I dry brush it with antique gold acrylic paint. The gold dry brushing really picked up the edges of the chipboard appliques, as well as the wrinkles in the paper, and makes them stand out nicely. Afterward, I gave it a coat of clear matte spray sealer.
As usual, click through for a larger image.
Once all the paint and sealer were dry, I trimmed the excess paper to a uniform width around the edges (which is a step I usually skip, but I am trying to improve my technique and make a neater product) and "turned in" the edges. You will notice that I am linking to a couple of my favorite videos about bookbinding that I have found on YouTube. I particularly like the ones posted by Ceropegia. I have adopted several of his techniques from those videos and I think it has improved my final products.
And here is what the final covered case looks like before "casing in" the text block.
I'm going to leave it there for now, as I am trying to train myself to make shorter posts and to post more frequently. I'll be back very soon with pictures of the finished book and some of the finishing details I used that are unique to this item. Stay tuned!

Update:  Part 2 has now been posted. See the final product.


  1. Can I ask what type of clear sealer you use? Want to have a go at something like this.

  2. I'm not too particular about the brand. Right now I am using Mod Podge spray sealer ( Before that, Walmart carried a different brand, but I don't remember the name. It was in a blue can.