Dec 312015
 

I like to make spinner cards, and I find that people like receiving them. They are so fun and game-like.

I thought I’d show you how I made a New Year’s card for a select few friends. It’s a remake of one I made four years ago during another election cycle.

political spinner 2012

The last nightmare.

"Happy" New Year!

 

I’d thought back then that things couldn’t get any worse. Never say never!

First, I start in Adobe Illustrator. It has a handy polar grid tool that is perfect for making spinner templates. It is found nested under the Line Segment Tool.

Polar Grid Icon

If you double-click on the Polar Grid Tool Icon in the tool bar, it will bring up a dialogue box. For this purpose, 2 concentric dividers and 8 radial dividers are just about right. I skew the concentric divider so that it’s close to the center:

Polar Grid Box

I actually hadn’t put in those measurements on top: 6.66 inches. I just noticed them as I was taking the screenshot. Very interesting . . .

At any rate, once you have your parameters set, draw your template:

Spinner Template

 

You could, of course, continue to work in Illustrator. But I’m going to be doing the rest with photos and I’m more comfortable in Photoshop. So I close the file in Illustrator and re-open it in Photoshop as a Photoshop file. You also, of course, could just draw it by hand if you don’t use Illustrator.

With your template open in Photoshop, select one of the sections with the magic wand tool and create a new layer.

Spin

Then you can find a picture of something you’d like to put in the section. It might be something nice… or it might be something disturbing, as in my example. You can combine images too, of course:

layer one

 

Keep adding images, working in a new layer for each section. If things overlap, select inside the shape of the section you’re working on, then select inverse and delete to neaten things up. When you are done, you should have a wheel filled with pictures:

2016... UGH!

 

As you can see, I got rid of the lines in the middle and filled it in with white. This also has a bigger circle in the middle than our original example, because I made it earlier using a different template.

You could then cut it out and glue it to your card. Or you could create a document in your layout program of choice and insert it. I use InDesign.

I created a new InDesign document with three joined pages of equal size. This is going to be a rather small card, since the arrows I will be attaching are small, and I also want to print it out on my wide-format printer, which can handle a page that is up to 13″ wide. Three pages that are 4″ across will fit nicely, so I made each joined page 4″ wide and 6″ long.

I placed the image on the page to the left, and added some text on the page to the right. The middle was left blank. You’ll soon see why.

card layout

 

I then created a PDF of the document, being sure that it was saved as “spreads” with all of the correct pages lined up together and the pages at 100% scale. It is also helpful to make sure that the crop marks will be included.

PDF of card

I printed it out on matte card stock. I then scored at the appropriate markings and trimmed along the outside, following the crop marks. I then made a mountain fold at the first score line, and a valley fold at the second.

card folded

I then made a hole in the center of the spinner, at the dot in the middle. It should be just big enough to fit a tiny brad. To keep the arrow from scraping on the card, I sandwich a little nylon washer between the arrow and the card.

Spinner parts

 

To help the arrow spin more freely, I find it helps to stick something thin like a metal spatula underneath each prong as you press down on top of it with a bone folder.

Using spatula

When it was all assembled, I folded in the mountain fold and sealed the card up around the inside edges. You can use glue or double-sided tape. Now you see why the middle page was left blank — when fully assembled, it hides the back of the spinner.

Card Folded Over

Now it’s done! Although… come to think of it, this is so grim I think I’ll lose friends if I actually mail it to anyone.

Spinner Card Front

"Happy" New Year!

Happy New Year! And best of luck in 2016!

Jun 212014
 

Last month, Randi Parkhurst came to town and taught a paper embellishing class. One of her techniques involves using matte medium to laminate together two sheets of a type of translucent paper from the hardware store. We painted the papers before adhering them. Threads and other things were sandwiched in between the sheets. I’d long been wanting to play around with laminating papers, so this was an interesting concept to me.

Once back in my own space, I decided to play around with some other materials. I wanted to use handmade paper. And I wanted to use paste, rather than matte medium. This is just a personal preference. I like paste. I wound up using translucent Japanese tissue-style washi and Thai unryu in different colors. Any similar type of paper would work. I began by brushing rice starch paste over a sheet of the unryu:

Pasting Unryu

Then I placed some linen thread on top of that:

The thread will be embedded between the two layers of paper.

Then, another layer of unryu is pasted on top. It doesn’t have to be all the same color or same piece of paper. In fact, mixing it up a bit makes it more interesting. In the photo here the paper has been arranged on top:

Adding Paper on Top

Then I go back over it with more paste and leave it to dry. The threads appear to be sitting on top because the wet paper is so translucent. Once it is dry, it will be a bit more opaque:

Finished and Drying

While it is still wet, you can peel it off and hang to dry or place it on a drying rack or whatever other surface you like to dry things on. In general, I like to use sheets of spunbonded polyester for this purpose (sold under names like Reemay or Lutradur). They absorb moisture and help the drying process, but don’t stick. It is possible to just leave it to dry where it is if you don’t think it’ll stick permanently, but with a caveat: sometimes if you leave it in place — especially on something slick like glass or Plexiglas —  the side on the bottom will dry glossy and not have a nice paper texture.  The one above is on a piece of Plexiglas. (If you do anything like this with acrylic medium, don’t leave it to dry on Plexiglas! It can become permanently bonded.)

Drying Sheet of Laminated Thread Paper

Here are straight threads using a piece of corrugated plastic as a working surface. I left it to dry on the board and both sides came out the same — no unexpected glossiness on the back.

You can also put things like stamps between the sheets of tissue-style papers:

The side that dried against the plexiglas wound up being glossy.

The side that dried against the Plexiglas wound up being glossy, but in this instance I actually liked it.

Sample Laminated Papers

Samples of dried and finished laminated papers.

I love the texture of these finished papers. They have a nice crisp hand and are surprisingly sturdy. I’ve been using some of these in my latest “plaything” (sketchbook). I’ve been able to layer inks, colored pencils, washes… and more layers of the same, without any tearing. The papers hold up remarkably well. I guess this isn’t surprising, considering that handmade papers can be sized with starch. And if you think of it, these are also the basic ingredients for papier-maché (if you were to keep going with more layers). Here are a couple of Audubon birds collaged onto one of the finished papers. There are also some light colored pencil marks on the page:

Collaged page on top of laminated Unryu

This is the verso of the bird page, which I covered with layers of inks and pencils. Note in the previous picture there is virtually no bleed-through from this:

This is the other side of the birds, which was drawn with layers of inks and pencils. Note in the previous picture there is virtually no bleed through from this.

Next to that is more ink and pencil doodling:

Another example of a drawing on laminated Unryu

On the other side of it are more layers of ink and pencils along with generous sloshings from a water brush. It all goes on beautifully with minimal (if any) bleed-through:

On the verso are more layers of ink and pencils along with generous sloshings from a water brush.  It all goes on beautifully with minimal bleed-through.

Another example of scribblings on a laminated paper page:

Another Example on Laminated Unryu

And here is the other side of it. There’s a little bit of bleed-through, but it’s quite minimal. The orange marks you see came from me moving the pen in the wrong place. It’s not bleed-through from the previous page:

The verso of the previous one. There's a little bit of bleed-through, but it's quite minimal.

Paper with embedded stamps. It’s double-sided — I placed the stamps back-to-back:

Laminated with Stamps

I also drew over them. This is the other side of the previous embedded stamp page:

The verso of the previous embedded stamp page.

At any rate, this is a great way to create durable decorative papers from delicate handmade translucents such as Japanese tissues and unryu. I’m also planning to experiment with using paste as a sizing and/or ground on different kinds of handmade papers, whether I laminate them with other papers or not. [Please note: I slightly edited this post to add more information about drying.]

Apr 072013
 
Superstition Prototype.

Superstition prototype.

My anxiety has been rising over my two Book Art Object Edition 4 contributions. They should have been finished long ago. Every time I start making progress, something happens to slow everything down. Let’s just say, in terms of productivity, a couple of weeks of dizziness and vertigo, capped off by an ER visit for something else, isn’t the most efficient way to go. (The ER was two days ago, and, I’m happy to say, what prompted that is now back under control.)

Alas. Books do not get made when the maker is in bed.

However, I have managed to carve out a little studio time here and there. I’ve finished prototypes for both of my editions. Here is the first one, a board book called Superstition. It will be an edition of 13.

The first page spread is a foldout. The secret to these is that they do not get folded straight down the middle and across for both top and bottom portions. There won’t be enough room for the thickness of the paper and the page won’t fold together neatly if you don’t allow a bit of an offset. It’s easier to show a diagram than for my inarticulate brain to attempt an explanation. This is from a commercial book with a similar style page that folds out:

Foldout Diagram

In diagram form, it looks like this:

Foldout Diagram

For 13 books, it’s impractical to measure and fold each one without some kind of jig. But how to easily construct a jig with so many fussy score lines? There are different ways to do this, but the solution I like is to use a piece of Mylar. I marked the one large and one tiny cut lines and the three fold lines, then carefully cut or scored and folded them, just as I would for the finished page. The transparent material makes it easy to line it up correctly with the paper underneath.

Mylar Jig

As I score each section, I fold the Mylar down to reveal the next appropriate edge to score against.

Mylar Jig, First Score

Scoring against jig

I save the lines to be cut, rather than folded, for last. I carefully mark the end of each with a pin prick, and use a real straight edge for that. This works very well.

The platform/object you see me folding on is a corner jig a friend made for me. I have a small cutting mat that fits perfectly on top of it, if needed.

Corner Jig with Mat

However–at least with this mildly awkward foldout page–I’ve been experimenting with using my light box for the actual assembly (the part where it gets glued to the boards underneath).

Assembling page on lightbox

And now… to finish putting together the 13 books…!

Feb 042013
 

This is a belated P.S. for the post on making board books.

I knew as soon as I started making an edition of board books that I had to create a jig to keep the boards steady while gluing the page spreads on top. Even pushed up against a straight edge, the @#$% boards have a tendency to wiggle. This is not good. Accuracy is everything when making a board book. I also needed to speed up the gluing process.

The solution:

taped-in-place-with-boardsI began with my usual setup with an L-square taped to the table. Long ago at the hardware store, I found a thin metal bar that is exactly the width of my boards. The space between boards happens to be one board width, so I  taped the metal bar exactly in place between two boards. Then, to keep everything firmly in place, I taped a half-inch wide metal bar to the other side.

Here is what it looks like without the boards in place:

taped-in-place

After putting the boards in place, I trim the top of the page and line that up against the straight edge on top. I leave the other sides untrimmed for now. I line up the middle registration mark over the bar, so I know it’s centered right where it needs to be.

registration-mark

When it comes time to remove the freshly glued page spread, I tip up the bar on the side. The page spread easily pops out. (I loosened the tape over the bar just enough so that there’s room to do this.)
popping-out-of-jig

It becomes a little more tricky when it’s time to glue the double spreads to each other as the book progresses, but this arrangement still works. To make it easier, I taped two L-squares one on top of the other to create a space twice as deep.

The main thing to remember is that “removable” tape will cure after a while and become far less removable. So after a few days, it’s not a bad idea to pull up the tape and replace it, if necessary.

Sep 182012
 

I haven’t seen many instructions around for making a board book. So I thought I’d share mine.

Some things to consider before starting:

  • I usually use 4-ply museum board when making board books. Illustration board, matboard, chipboard or any thin, stiff and lightweight support can also be used.
  • The paper you use for your pages will form the hinge between your boards, so it should be strong enough to withstand lots of bending. As with most books, the grain of both the boards and paper should run parallel to the spine.
  • It is important to cut your boards accurately and squared. Take your time when you cut.

Making the Board Book Pages

To get straight page spreads that are joined together evenly, you need to line up your boards against a straight edge. This needs to be anchored down either with removable tape, or by putting it against something that won’t move, such as a brick or other weight. I prefer tape. [Note: many “removable” tapes will cure after a few days and become more permanent. I discovered this the hard way after leaving an acrylic quilting ruler taped down for a week.]

carpenter's square used to align boards

You don’t have to use a square–a simple straight edge will do. But accurate alignment is important.

At any rate, tape your straight edge to your work surface with drafting or artists’ tape. I prefer to use a flat L-square — it gives you two sides to line your pages against. [Edit: I later devised an improved jig setup for this. See note at the end for a link to it.]

Also make sure you have something close at hand for wiping your glue-covered fingers. As all bookbinders know, glue-covered fingers are the Devil’s friend.

To begin, you’ll need to have your boards cut to the size you’d like your book to be. Your page spreads should not be trimmed exactly to size before mounting. It’s easier to trim a little excess off of the pages once they are glued than to try to match paper and boards exactly when gluing.

The example instructions are assuming you have 8 boards, which will make a 14 page book (7 page spreads) and a cover.

  • Take two of your boards and line them up against your straight edge. When making board books, you don’t need a large space between your boards. When working with museum board, I use a single board thickness.

  • Place one of your page papers on your scrap paper and carefully put a thin, even coating of PVA on the back. Carefully position your glued paper onto your boards. It can be tricky to do this without your boards moving — it gets easier with practice. If the paper I’m mounting has to be positioned exactly (ie to line up text or pictures exactly on the page), I’ll trim off a side — one that will fit against the straight edge–and leave the others untrimmed. [Note: if your finished book is wobbly, you likely have gaps in the glue near the spine. Be sure that you have evenly glued the entire board.]

    Lining up one edge, saving the others to trim later.

  • Immediately after gluing, quickly wipe the glue off your fingers. Using your bone folder or a hard brayer, carefully smooth down your paper-covered boards. Put your joined pair of boards aside (preferably under weight) to dry. When they are dry, trim off the extra paper around the edges.

    I actually find a brayer easier to use here than a bone folder. Either will do.

  • Make three other pairs the same way.
  • Now take two joined pairs and line them up on the straight edge, closed, side by side, with spine edges facing each other. Check that the tops of the pages are in the right place. Join these with a paper page the same way you joined the single boards.

Two pairs lined up.

  • Join the other pairs the same way. Ideally you will end in the middle of the book with the last remaining page spread, with an equal number of pages on either side. If, however, your book does not come out with an even number of pages on each side, prop spare boards under the shorter side until the height is equal. Then you can glue your paper on them without distortion.
  • After the book block is dry, you can go back and brush a thin even layer of glue over the spine and then let it dry before proceeding. You want to ensure that there are no gaps at the spine that will make the book wobbly.

Making the Drop Spine Cover

  • Place your book face down (front down with edges facing the edge) on the left end of your cover paper, allowing a little bit of extra room on the side to trim off later. Where the spine begins, (keeping in mind the paper “hinges” that stick out a little bit between the boards–roughly half a board width extra), carefully mark in pencil. Draw a line. Measure the thickness with of the spine with dividers (or fold a scrap paper over the spine to determine the width) and transfer this marking to the appropriate place on the cover paper. (Or, if you’re feeling lazy, tip the book onto its spine, carefully lined up with the mark you made where the spine begins, and mark the width on the other side of the spine with a pencil.)  Score both spine edges.

Tilting book on spine.

  • Now on the back cover side, to the right of the spine width you just marked, repeat the same measurement as the spine width to the right of the spine. Mark and score this third line.

  • Turn the cover right side up. Make mountain folds for the spine, and a valley fold at the extra score. Smooth well with bone folder. Then lightly straighten the valley fold (don’t bone).

    Checking cover fit.

  • Wrap cover around the book to check the fit. If it looks ok, place your cover on scrap paper, wrong side up, and place a thin even layer of glue everywhere except between your first and last score lines. Neither the spine nor the extra space next to the spine should have any glue. I find it helps to mask the area you won’t be gluing with a scrap paper.

  • Carefully fit your book into the cover, smoothing the glued portions onto the front and back boards. Wipe glue from your fingers. Smooth the glued parts with your bone folder or roller. Put waxed paper between the pages and press under weight until dry.
  • When dry, trim off excess paper around the edges.

When There’s a Specific Page Order

It’s possible to attach each page spread in the order it will be in the finished book (ie begin with pages 1 and 2, then 3 and 4 . . . ). However, this is awkward.

A better way is to determine your page order beforehand and make all of the 2-page spreads first, followed by joining those pairs together with the remaining page spreads (the same way we made our prototype). The only hitch is that we need to figure out ahead of time which pages are going to be the 2-page single spreads and which will be the pages that will be joining the separate pairs together.

To do this, you need to make a mockup before beginning. You can just use little scraps of paper folded in half to stand in visually for your page spreads. Place them in the order of your book, piled one on top of the other (not like a pamphlet), making note of which pages represent the ones in your final book. By looking at this, you can determine which spreads will be “pairs” (the single spreads you made) and which will be “coupler” pages that will link the pairs together.

When you’ve figured this out, make a chart or list for quick reference.

An example of pages mapped out for a board book I’m working on. (This particular board book will include a 3-page spread and a pull-out, so not all of the details apply to our example.)
An example of pages mapped out for a board book I’m working on. (This particular board book will include a 3-page spread and a pull-out, so not all of the details apply to our example.)

Now you can go ahead and make your single pairs first, then join them with the “coupler” pages in an order that will make the book easier to assemble.

If you want rounded corners, you can trace a round object, such as a coin, that’s the right size and trim. Or you can use a corner rounder or punch that will go through board. If you become obsessed with board books and other structures with rounded corners, you might even invest in a more durable corner rounder…

Corner lust–this will cut through 6 museum boards at a time.

The finished example, showing the drop spine on the back cover.

[Edit: I later added another post with more info on making a gluing jig for board books. This might make the process easier.]

Other Resources for Learning to Make Board Books

 

Aug 192012
 

We all know we should be changing our knife blades frequently. Dull blades make displeasing cuts and are more likely to harm you. But it’s a nuisance to stop in the middle of working to wrap each blade for proper disposal (and we do this, of course, because we care about our trash collectors and the roaming animals sampling our bins on garbage night… right?).

Or else the blades sit out on our work tables waiting to be disposed of. Need I even mention why this is not such a good idea?

There is a better way. If you don’t have one already, consider making yourself an arts ‘n crafts sharps collector. Get a container with a tight-fitting lid. Something like a margarine container will work.

Cut a slit in the lid that will comfortably fit your blades. Securely attach the lid to the container.

And since this is for arts ‘n crafts, you might want to appropriately decorate your new item. At the very least you should write on it to make it clear it has dangerous sharp things in it. (And, of course, this is only for adult-friendly workspaces! Very dangerous, not a plaything, use caution, blades are sharp, you have been duly warned, I’m not legally responsible if anything bad happens, etc.)

I made this one here several years ago. It’s one of the most used things in my studio. I’ve been dumping all my old scalpel and rotary blades in here for all that time, and there’s still room for more. (Although I have to slip off the lid for the big rotary blades.) Nothing has ever cut through or poked out of the plastic container, but I’m sure that doesn’t mean it still couldn’t at some point.

When it’s full, I might carefully seal the blades in a sturdy container and dispose of it in a garbage company-approved manner. Or I might fill a jar with all these scalpel blades and keep it as a decorative piece in the studio.

Jun 032012
 

Time to add to my collection of soft weights. I actually have more than I’ll ever need. But I don’t yet have any chipmunk weights . . .

These are so handy when you need to weigh down small or irregularly-shaped items as they dry. Not everything fits in a press or under boards or a brick. I often use these when making miniature books or boxes.

I originally found instructions on Pam Sussman’s Book Arts Studio blog. This is very similar, but with my own tweak or two.

Aside from some cloth, you’ll need some BB’s. As Pam recommended, I’ve been using the copper coated premium type. Lead buckshot is traditional. However, I’m thinking unless you like the idea of sacrificing for your art in the way of Caravaggio, it’s probably not recommended. [Actually, I believe these are lead-based as well, but coated. I wanted an excuse to insert the Caravaggio link.]

For each weight, you’ll need:

  • BBs as described above
  • 2-3 plastic Ziploc-style bags that are around 3″x5″ (7.5 x 13 cm) or 4″x6″ (10 x 15 cm)
  • Two pieces of fabric cut 1″ ( 2.5 cm) larger on the sides and about 1.5″ (4-ish cm) longer than your Ziploc-style bags

Place the fabric right sides together and sew around 3 sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance (my metric conversion says approximately .6 cm, but the 10 mark on my sewing machine gauge is the one closest. You non-Americans can probably figure it out.). I go over the seam 2-3 times to make sure it is really strong. Clip the corners and press the seams open. Tuck the open top down about 1/2″ all around and press. Turn right-side out.

Fill one of the Ziplocs with BBs. Make it full, but not too full and tight. The feel of a firm beanbag is good. Personally, I don’t care for the slight scent of the BBs. I also don’t trust one flimsy plastic bag not to tear. So after I fill up the Ziploc and firmly seal it, I tuck it inside another Ziploc the same size, top side down. This one here in the example is actually triple-ply. This makes your weight sturdier, and also insures that the slight aroma of BBs stays inside where it belongs.

Slip the filled sack of BBs into your sewn pouch. You could hand stitch it shut, but for laziness and durability I prefer finishing with a regular straight stitch on the machine. Like the other seams, I go over it at least once more. This will give you a nice solid weight that will feel like a heavy beanbag. This one here is 3 1/4 lbs (1.5 kg). The smaller ones in the first picture are more like 1 to 1-1/2 lbs (.5-.7 kg). Either size is handy for weighing down small and awkward items as they dry.

Ta da!

Dec 092011
 

Have you ever forgotten to wash out a glue-soaked brush? Here’s a tip you may or may not know: soak it in rubbing alcohol. I just saved another “ruined” brush and thought I’d pass along this most useful tip.

Do you have a helpful studio suggestion you’d like to share? Please do!

As for the alcohol bottle’s label design… hmmm… What’s next? Papyrus on tubes of hemorrhoid cream? (Forgive me.)

Nov 092011
 

I’ve been a bit more quiet than usual, as you might’ve noticed. Mostly I’ve been recovering and trying to get things back together after last month’s show. The current decorative motif in the studio is Hoarder Nouveau. I’ve been attempting to shovel out. For a while I thought I was making good progress. I now don’t feel like I’m making good progress. It’s pretty hard to do anything in there at the moment.

However, last week I decided @#$% it, and managed to move enough piles aside to make room for a little paste painting. I’d come across an interesting set of scraper/spatula things at a store that were, the package said, for the kitchen. (Really–are you going to scrape dough and not paint with something that looks like that?) I also recently found some interestingly shaped toothbrushes and a square wire whisk. I’ve been wanting to try out my new toys tools.

 (Clean and unused) cat litter pans of water are great for wetting sheets of paper.

I like to work on a sheet of plexiglass. The white surface you see underneath is a super absorbent incontinence pad. It was a gift from a friend, who told me they’re wonderful for when her kids paint and do messy things. She’s right–it makes cleanup easier and keeps all the nasty stuff off my cutting mat underneath. This has been a very thoughtful gift.


A square wire whisk was new for me. This definitely has possibilities. This is painted on Tyvek.

 

Toothbrushes.

 

This one was made with miscellaneously shaped cut-outs of sticky-backed fun foam mounted on a rolling pin. After it was dry, a second layer with a comb was added.

 

This was originally done with a fat grouting comb and a golden color that I didn’t like so much (nothing against the tool–I just didn’t like the paper). Then I went over it again with a different color, and liked the result even less. So most recently I went at it a third time with a thin rubber comb pattern and a different color. Now I like it.

I added some more to a paste paper set on Flickr.
May 202011
 
A friend recently asked me to make new sides for her hole punching cradle. I decided just to make another one and give the instructions here. A cradle supports your book’s signatures so that the holes you punch with your awl come out centered on the fold where they belong.

You’ll need:

2 pieces of book board that will form the main body of the cradle. Shown here are two 13″x 4.5″ (33 x 11.4 cm) pieces.

8 pieces of book board about 3″(7.5cm) long x .5″(1.3 cm) wide. These will form the supports on the “legs” that will hold up the cradle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 pieces of book board for the legs/ends. The pieces here are 3.5″ (9cm) high x 6″(15.2 cm) wide for a 13″ (33cm) long cradle.

 

And you’ll need 2 strips of book cloth that are about 3.5-4″ (9 to 11.5 cm) wide and slightly longer than the length of your cradle.

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

1. Measure approximately 1″ down and 1″ in from each end. Mark a slit that is as wide as the thickness of your book board. It should exactly match the placement on the other board, but be a mirror image. See photo. If necessary, err on the side of making the slit too narrow–you can always use an emery board later to enlarge it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. On each of the smaller end boards, mark a 90 degree “V” in the middle. Do this on both sides, and on both sides of the other board this size. I find a small quilting ruler to be quite useful for this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Carefully glue each small side support piece along the sides of the Vs you just made. They will meet just at their tips on the bottom, as in the photo.  They won’t reach all the way to the top–don’t worry about that. Do this on all 4 sides. Put aside to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Join the two main cradle pieces by gluing a book cloth strip down the center, as shown (the book cloth is on the underside in the photo). Leave 2 board thicknesses space in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do the same on the other side. The book board will be sandwiched between the book cloth. It’s fine for the book cloth to hang off the ends. You’ll trim it after it’s dry. Put it aside under weight to dry.

6. After drying, trim the extra cloth off the ends and trim open the slits:

The book cloth isn’t exactly centered here because I was ditzy. It won’t be elegant, but it will work.

 

7. Using your bone folder, score down the middle of each side to neaten the joint in the book cloth.

8. Slide each slit over an end piece/leg. Use an emory board or trim slightly to enlarge the slit if necessary (but be cautious–it should fit snugly). The V-shaped supports will hold up the cradle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your finished item will look something like this. You can take it apart for storage and travel.

I’ve made a couple of these for my own use. One is smaller than the other. That’s the one I tend to use most, since I like to make small books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punch those sections with confidence.

This is my favorite hole punching tool–a pin vise. These are available with different kinds of handles, including some that look like craft knives. You can attach a needle on the end of it, for nice holes that are smaller than those made with an awl.

(I should add that it’s more correct to line up your pages and jig against one of the ends of the cradle. Your holes will come out more perfectly aligned that way. I should’ve shown this in the photo.)

Now doesn’t that look delightfully menacing?