So there’s another cool craft organization called The Craft Lab. They hold frequent courses at material cost only, in cool subjects. Like book binding. So me and Kiki signed up for the five hour crash course in making a proper, flat backed book.

2015-10-11 10.53.22There were a lot of supplies. A lot more than on the photo. But you don’t NEED all of them, many are just very, very handy. Like the sewing frame slash book press in the background, which was a magical engineering wonder contraption that the teacher has invented and put together himself. It transforms into three different things, to fit your current step’s needs, and has tons of little tricks up its sleeve, like the allen key that slips into a little hole on the side, and held in place with a tiny magnet in the wood.

So, get your signatures (precut to size, thank you), use your template and awl to prick perfect holes in perfect places, and sew the signatures around the linen ribbons.

2015-10-11 11.37.45 2015-10-11 12.00.34Once that is done, transform the machine. Then glue the back to hold together, glue it again to add gauze (mull), trim everything, glue on some headbands, and glue it yet again for a paper spine part…

2015-10-11 14.09.38Then make covers. There’s the board, the spine, the book cloth, and lots more glueing. And it’s very important not to get glue on the cover, because… then you have a gluey cover.

2015-10-11 15.07.41Oh, and make neat corners by gluing the long sides first, REALLY firmly, then when glueing the short sides, press the corners before folding the cloth over.

2015-10-11 15.07.50

The book cloth was then cut into and peeled off on the inside, to make a thinner edge. After this, you glue the inside cover pages to the book, trim them slightly, and attempt to glue the other end of them to the book cover. Which is hard. Paper curls.

Eventually though, you may be able to get the thing into the magically transforming press. …after putting silicon paper between the glued cover and the text block, so it doesn’t just all get glued together.

2015-10-11 16.20.02…then you have to take it back out and put some regular paper in, to make sure it dries out nice and smooth, and put it back into the press, etc, but EVENTUALLY, you hopefully have a very pretty little hand bound book!

2015-10-12 07.58.06