52 week book challenge: Week 9 – Krazy Kreature Notebooks

Another busy week at work, so here is another ‘one 1 made earlier’.During an afternoon browsing charity shops for other people’s ‘junk’ that can be used to make books or, my other passion, junk jewellery I came across a small tin which contained a card game for young children. I had never heard of the game, but I could immediately see the potential in the brightly coloured cards with pictures of crazy-looking creatures. I had some plain notebooks picked up on a previous shopping trip. The cards themselves were just a bit too small for covers so I mounted them on some stardream card. I separated the paper sheets & used the Bind-It-All to punch holes in them for the binding & voila! – a set of jolly notebooks.

Krazy Kreature notebooks

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52 week book challenge: Week 8 – Stapled Pamphlets

When making cards I like to make sure embellishments are well-attached. I often sew them on or use staples, which can themselves become embellishments. How frustrating it is when a staple would make the perfect embellishment, but the perfect place to put it is just too far into the card for the stapler to reach. I have had a long-reach stapler on my wish-list for some time now. Imagine my joy, when browsing the charity shops to find, lurking at the back of a shelf, a long-reach stapler for the princely sum of £2.

I roughly tore some A4 sheets into quarters & folded each piece in half &  used 12 folded sheets to make a signature. I had a block of patterned card that I have had since I first started card-making many moons ago. Although I liked the colours & patterns, it never seemed to ‘go’ with any project I made. Never throw paper away. It will always be useful for something someday.The size of the sheets was perfect to make covers for my signatures. The addition of 3 staples from the aforementioned long-reach stapler transformed them into nice, simple to make, wee books.

Stapled pamphlets

Stapled pamphlet spines

Stapled pamphlet inside

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52 week book challenge: week 7 – Mini origami Notebook

I was inspired to make this book after seeing a video link on Pinterest to a You Tube video by Paperkawaii on how to make a mini modular origami notebook. In the video she used 6″ square paper sheets to make a really tiny book. I used A4 sheets. I will be trying this with other sizes to see how the books come out.

Mini origami notebook

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52 Week Book Challenge: week 6 – Coptic-bound Mint Sauce Book

Unfortunately I have had a really busy week at work (my real job) so a slight cheat this week with a ‘here’s one I made earlier’.

See post from 21st April t014 – Mint sauce – Coptic Bound

Spine detail

Spine detail

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52 Week Book Challenge: Week 5 – Mini Pamphlet Stitch Notebooks

Pamphlet stitch was the first true bookbinding stitch I learned. It is a simple 3-hole stitch. In pads of scrapbook paper / card there are always a few patterns that, although very nice, never seem to fit into any project. These were perfect for these notebooks as they didn’t have to match with anything else.

Mini pamphlet notebooks

Mini pamphlet notebooks spines

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52 Week Book Challenge. Week 4: Coptic-Bound Lego Book

16 x 16 pin square Lego baseplates make perfect sized notebooks. The only problem being that at 5″ square they make for some awkward paper trimming. That was until I found 10″ square artists drawing pads. These are easily cut in half to make signatures, or quarters for spiral bound notebooks.

For this book I folded 6 signatures & used Coptic stitch to bind them to the Lego covers. Although the finished book looks great from the outside, I am not entirely happy with it. I wanted the decorative Coptic stitch to stand out so I used 1mm  thick red waxed cotton thread. It does make the stitching stand out but it was a bit thick to go through the holes in the paper easily & the knots were very bulky. (Note to self : I really must learn how to tie a ‘weavers knot’). Also I slightly underestimated the amount of thread so I ran out at the start of the last signature & had to join a new thread with a bulky knot. Never mind, I can always unpick it & start again. Practice makes perfect.

Coptic lego book

Coptic lego book open


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52 Week Book Challenge. Week 3: Leather Long-Stitch Journal

I have collected a few offcuts of leather over the years. This piece was exactly the right size to make an A6 wrap-around long-stitch journal. I found a flower-shaped button that perfectly matched the thread I used to bind it.

Leather Long-Stitch journal

Leather Long-Stitch Journal inside

Leather long-stitch spine

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52 week book challenge Week 2: ’52 Things I Love About You’

When I first saw one of these books it ticked all the right boxes. It was made from something not originally intended to be a book, it was using recycled stuff, & it was quirky. I have seen several versions of this book – this is my take on it.

Old, unloved decks of cards, in all shapes & sizes, are always readily available for next to nothing in charity shops. Firstly I bound them using my Bind-It-All. I then cut the individual letters for the title from vivelle, with the word LOVE in red so that it stands out. This makes the words nice & tactile. There is a blank label on every page for someone to write each of their ’52 reasons’ before giving it to their loved one. It would make a great valentines gift.

Playing card book

Playing card book open 1

Playing card book open 2

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52 week book challenge

I love paper. I have always loved paper. I bought a Bind-It-All machine a few years ago which meant that several sheets of paper & a couple of sheets of decorated card could easily be made into a nice wee notebook. Soon I was looking for anything flat which was thin enough to fit into the machine. It can punch through not only card, but also thick felt & plastic like Cds & floppy disks.  After doing several  bookbinding classes at Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts I discovered the joy of hand-bound books. Inspired by Kathy Fritz in Cloth Paper Scissors, PAGES vol 5 who challenged herself to make one hand-made book every week for 1 year, I have decided to set myself this challenge.

Ideally I would like to start this on 1st January, but I can’t wait till then & I want to start NOW. For my 1st week I’m possibly cheating slightly by saying in true ‘Blue Peter’ style -  ‘here’s one I made earlier’. I still love my floppy disk notebooks & am always on the lookout for them in charity shops. Recently I came across a real gem – a box of rare coloured disks languishing at the back of a shelf. Unfortunately coloured floppies were not big in the UK, so not easy to find.

Floppy disk notebooks

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Notebook display

One thing that interests me at craft fairs (apart from seeing all the lovely goodies made by fellow crafters) is seeing the original way they display their goods for sale. Some of the best displays are those using up-cycled items that were never intended to be used for that purpose, but that work very well.

I came across this bathroom shelf in a charity shop. It was intended to be wall-mounted with hooks at the bottom for hanging things on. It was standing perfectly on these ‘hooks’, which made perfect feet for it to stand on. It looked like it would make a perfect two tier stand to display my floppy disk notebooks……

…..and it was.

Floppy disk notebook stand 2

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