ncharshaf handmade Adventures of a self taught bookbinder

30Jun/10Off

75 Minutes to Hardcover Redemption

I have already talked about my first bookbinding experience and how lovely it was. I am so thankful for this first experience, because my second go at bookbinding was disastrous. I was in my advanced typography class, the third and final one in the series, and probably the class I had been most looking forward to my entire college career. The main focus of the class was to create an artist book. Basically this meant finding something we are really interested in, research it, find the content, and then produce it in a creative artistic way. In continuations of my love for bookbinding, I decided to create a hardcover notebook.

I had done some research, bought the supplies, but never practiced actually creating a hardcover book. When it came time to bind the book (the day of my final) things went from bad to worse real fast. The book fought me at every single step, and then fell completely apart when I tried to adhere the fabric cover to the board, and then the book to the cover. It was a wet sloppy mess that was barely holding together. I think I was about an hour late to my final at this point, and needed to just go to class and accept the wet, sticky, mess of a failure to my first experience with hardcover bookbinding.

So, fast forward a few years, and here I am, finally brave enough to try it again. Spoiler alert, there is a happy ending this time!

Delicate flower & bold polka dot hardcover notebook

These little pint sized books are a true labor of love. Although they are a lot of work, it is so rewarding to finally have some redemption.

Here is how in 10 steps, and 75 minutes I got my hardcover redemption.

Step 1: Fold paper into signatures - 10 minutes.

2. Punch holes in signatures to prepare for sewing: 5 min

Step 3: Sew book and apply cheesecloth to spine allowing for structure, while remaining flexible - 20 min

Step 4: Trim book - 10 min

5. Cut illustration board for 2 covers and 1 spine - 5 min

6. Adhere the fabric to the two covers - 10 min

7. Attach spine to cover - 5 min

8. Attach book to cover - 5 min

9. Glue end-papers to inside of book. - 5 min

10. All done!

16Jun/10Off

A Bookbinder is Born

I fell in love with bookbinding in college when I decided I wanted to perfect bind my final project after my teacher showed a small demo in class. The first attempt at bookbinding turned out fantastic, and I was hooked. A  year later I took a workshop on how to to a 3 hole stab bound notebook, and my love for bookbinding was re-ignited.

My first handbound book

It was not until my first day at work after graduation that I pulled out this little notebook that I had created and began to use it. I wrote tons of little notes in it from tracking my time, my to-do lists, random thoughts, sketches, project revisions and meeting notes. I carried the notebook with me everywhere, and captured my stream of consciousness for a period of time. It became so much more inspiring to use a notebook that I loved to look of, rather than the plain books I had been getting from the art store throughout college. I found that I wanted to sketch more, and the small size meant that I could carry them everywhere with me.

The book I made at a workshop and later used at my first job after college.

It was at that time that I made a goal of creating these books to sell on etsy, and here I am today nearly a year later. This has been a challenging, and rewarding learning experience, and I am looking forward to how my shop will continue to evolve.