Technique Tuesday with Rachel Hall

Book Binding Technique Using Gutted Vintage Book Covers

While browsing through thrift stores I often find books with beautiful hardbound covers, but have damages, stains, water marks, etc on the pages. These can usually be purchased for under a dollar! I've begun using mine to create custom mini books and journals using the outer covers and binding new blank books for the inside!

Here's how to create your own!

1.) Choose your book cover and tear out the inside book part, leaving the covers and the spine in tact.

2.) Measure the inside in two places. The spine in width and height, and the inside covers. I like to write my measurements directly inside so I don't forget them!

3.) Cut out two pieces the measurement of the inside covers and one for the spine.

4.) Lay them out on your work surface for binding. Be sure to line them up evenly, leaving approx 1/8" gap between inside covers and spine. When covered with binding tape, this will be where the folds are to create the inside of the book.

5.) Using a book binding tape of some sort, tape your chipboard pieces together. You can use book binding tape, packing tape, masking tape or even duct tape to do this... whatever you prefer. It will barely show so you do not need to be too concerned with matching your tape to your project.

5.) Now cut out the pieces of paper that will be your pages. Each one is called a signature. You will be cutting these so that when folded you will have two pages in the correct size. For example, if your book needs 4"x6" pages, you will cut your paper to 8"x6" and fold. Ink, sand or other distress your pages if desired.

6.) Using a paper piercer, pierce the spine and the signatures where you will be sewing them in.

7.) Using embroidery floss and a needle, sew your signatures into place, tying them in place. Repeat until all signatures are sewn in.

8.) Cover the inside covers with pattern paper or cardstock of your choosing.

9.) Adhere book to cover of old book.

10.) Decorate the front of the book as desired for a beautiful and custom piece of art.
This is such an awesome technique Rachel, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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