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My nephew will be turning 7 next week. You may recall he has become quite the avid book creator and loves to draw anything. He has the patience and interest to sit and draw for hours and recreates most everything he sees. It’s amazing. He declared that he might just become an illustrator one day. Well. Say no more! With that nugget of knowledge I set off to make him some easy books made with some faux cloth bookbinding tape.
He will be getting a stack of these with the Illustrators 50 by The Society of Illustrators book and the 1971 edition of Childcraft’s How We Get Things I found at Goodwill. He will flip looking at all of the illustrations in both and I can just imagine him trying to draw his own versions of them. Oh I can’t wait. In the meantime, make your own easy books! Step-by-step directions below the cut.
Step 1. You will need some tagboard, or heavy card stock, for the cover and paper for the interior pages. I used scrap paper for both and made books that measured 5 3/4″ x 4.5″ when completed. I used 5 sheets, per book, of white scrap paper for pages that I cut to 8.5″ x 5 3/8″ so when folded it would be 4.25″ wide. The size is not terribly important, don’t stress yourself. You just want the cover to be slightly larger than the size of the pages. TIP: To get really clean cuts, use a guillotine style paper cutter. If you have one that doesn’t have a moveable fence, like mine, tape down a piece of scrap board so you get consistent cuts for the pages and covers every time.
Step 2. Fold both your cover and pages in half place the pages into the cover, lining up the fold lines. Using your sewing machine, sew along the creased pages to attach the pages to the cover. Hold on to your strings tightly when you begin to stitch and I keep long threads on both ends when I cut it off of the machine so I can knot the two ends together. This just ensures the ends won’t come undone. Sewing paper will dull your sewing needle so I keep a special paper needle on-hand. If you don’t have one yet, just remember to replace your needle before you sew fabric again. TIP: If you don’t have a sewing machine you can simply staple the pages together along the center crease. If you don’t have a long reach stapler, go to your local copy shop and use theirs for free.
Step 3. Cut the fabric for your faux book cloth tape. Quilting cotton weight fabric works best. You will need a piece that is 3″ wide by 1″ longer than the height of your book.
Step 4. On the backside of the fabric, draw three lines along the long edge, using a ruler and pencil, that are .5″ from the bottom, 1.5″ from the bottom and 2.5″ from the bottom. These will be your guides for the next two steps. If you are using a light colored fabric, draw these lines lightly.
Step 5. Place the fabric piece on your work table. Using Scotch brand 3/4″ permanent double sided tape, pull off a piece of tape that is longer than your fabric piece. (It’s important to use 3/4″ tape since it’s the perfect size for this project.) Line up this piece of tape underneath the top line you made, .5″ from the top edge of the fabric. You want the tape to extend beyond the edge of the fabric so it stays stuck down to your work surface. It will make it easier to handle.
Step 6. Fold down the top edge of the fabric onto the double stick tape. It will fold nicely along the straight line edge of the tape. Repeat for the bottom line you made, place double stick tape and fold up bottom edge of fabric. Next, you will want to place another piece of double stick tape over the folded edge of fabric you just made, right on top of the first piece of tape you put down. Note: There will be no adhesive at the very center line of the tape, which works out perfectly and allows for the book to open and close easily without bunching up along the seam.
Step 7. Place your sewn or stapled book onto the middle of your faux book tape, using the pencil line you drew as your guide.
Step 8. Fold over your faux cloth book tape and press down on both sides firmly to attach it to your book front. Trim the ends that hang over the edge of the book with sharp scissors. Finish off the edges of the cut fabric with a FrayCheck or small amount of white glue so the cut ends won’t fray over time.
Here they all are! For my nephew, I put them all in box with a blank sticker on top so he could label his book box. This box fit the books I made perfectly.
I think I need to make some for me now, too.2085
Entry Filed under: step-by-step