Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I think a lot of you are noticing the same things I am. More people read blogs on a reader, and it's harder to comment; Instagram and Facebook are a quick alternative to blogging; and some people have simply lost interest in the time it takes to blog. My conclusion, mentioned by many of you: blogging changes and evolves just like everything else.
My love for vintage office supplies, Dennison in particular is something I've mentioned a time or two before. In my ongoing project of cleaning and condensing my craft room, I put all my little red edged labels in one box, which left me with some empty boxes.
I love old boxes, too- and just couldn't throw away a Dennison box, so using inspiration from a project I saw here, I made a mini journal.
Note: The steps may seem long, but after you make one book, you'll be able to make a second in less time than it takes to read these directions.
1. Measure your box to figure out what size to cut paper for your pages.
- The height of your pages will be the height of your box less about a 1/4". So if your box is 3" tall, your pages will be 2 3/4" tall.
- The width of your paper will be twice the width of your box less 1/4". If your box is 2" wide, your paper will be 4" minus 1/4" = 3 3/4".
3. Cut eight pieces of paper of the size you calculated in step 2. I used a light weight cardstock, but you could use just about any paper that is sturdy enough to be folded.
Fold each piece of paper in half so the short sides meet. I used a bone folder to get a sharp crease on my fold, but you can use the back of a spoon or a ruler. (or you can skip this step, a really SHARP crease isn't necessary, I just like it.)
Nestle four folded pages inside each other like the group on the bottom of the picture above.
Do this with all eight pieces of paper, so you have two groups of four pieces of paper. ( Each group is called a signature.)
4. Mark the holes that you'll use for sewing the book together. I usually make them about a fourth of the length of the total book from the top and bottom.
In other words, if your page is 8" long, I'd mark the holes 2" from the bottom and 2" from the top. (The math on that is 8" x 1/4" = 2").
But if you hate math and measuring, just eyeball it.
5. Using an awl, a Japanese screw punch or just a skewer from your barbeque grill, poke the holes all the way through all four sheets of paper.
A trick I learned from Mary Ann Moss is to use the center of a large telephone book to cradle your paper. It's best if you open the yellow pages to the home security or plumbing sections.
(I just made that up to see if you were paying attention. It doesn't matter what page the book is open to.)
Do this with both signatures (sets of four pages). After you punch the first group, use a page from the first group to use as a guide to punch the second group, so your holes match up.
6. Cut the box open. I admit, it was hard for me to cut a perfectly good Dennison box, but when I convinced myself that I was actually saving it, it made the cut easier.
7. Using one of the pages you already poked as a guide, make two sets of hole on the spine of your box.
We'll be sewing each signature (group of four pieces of paper) through a set of vertical holes.
8. The next step is sewing your pages together. There are many kinds of special thread that are made just for book binding, but I've mostly used baker's twine or dental floss (if I want a minty fresh book).
Line up your signature with one of the sets of holes and pull the threaded needle through all of the pages and the spine of the book.
9. Don't pull the thread all the way through, live a "tail" long enough to tie when the thread comes through the other side.
10. From the back (or outside) of the book, bring the needle through the second hole. You'll be bringing the needle back to the inside of the book.
11. Tie the two threads together and your first signature is in the book. Repeat with the second signature, and you've got a mini- book.
I'm using my mini book to write up my daily "to do" list. Since the book is so small, I can't fit a lot on a page, so I've been much more selective about what I have to do, and much more successful with completing that list!