making books > reading books

i’m a sucker for crafting that doesn’t involve computers. so, prior to mary’s bridal shower, when my fellow cohosts and i were trying to think of a gift to give mary that could also be something she could keep and value, i volunteered to make a gift book.

we had to create our own books in one of the photography courses i took while i was working at the university of minnesota. it’s been a while so i felt a little rusty going in, but definitely excited.

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luckily, i still have a tackle box full of crafting supplies for such an occasion! i used to need crafting supplies for several classes i took and would forget to bring certain items (surprise) so i ended up buying way more than i needed during those years. i have three of those cork-backed metal rulers.


but they seriously make cutting straight edges so much quicker and easier. i’ll never throw them away.

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i’m lucky to have a resource like the minnesota center for book arts for supplies like book fasteners and pva glue. maybe other places sell these items but i also feel much more hip when shopping at the mcba.

after i got all of the pages cut out, including the pocket into which we placed mary’s theatre gift ticket…

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i constructed a table card to make sure it would stand up properly. and success!




remember: confirm orientation twice, glue once. (i didn’t make this mistake again.)


table cards done! on to constructing the cover.

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be patient when cutting book board. it will take several swipes with the knife!


this is the paper i chose for the covers. i thought it was funky and fun — attention-getting but not overwhelming. (for twin city residents who may be reading: the paper depot is a great resource with far too many awesome choices.)


i cut the ¼” gap in the cover so it can bend easily. not something that would’ve occurred to me, so it was a good thing someone told me in advance.


halfway glued and wrapped — looking good so far!


here is a close up of one of the covers finished. the first piece of paper gets wrapped around all edges of the bookboard, but the second piece of paper just has to fit around the “inside” of the uncovered side of the book, hiding the folds from the first piece of paper.


and then it was time for the industrial hole punch. i think i chose one size too big, but oh, well — as long as the holes aren’t too small that the book fasteners don’t fit or so big that the book fasteners fall out then it’s all good.

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voilá! a musical book for mary is born!

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from cutting to binding, i think the creation of this book took me about four hours in one evening. and can you believe i had so much fun doing it? of course you can. 🙂

i have a whole bunch of bookboard left, too. time to make more books!!

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