Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Secret Belgian Binding

Recently I made a 'End of Financial Year' resolution to reorganise my studio and storage space.  I suddenly became overwhelmed by how much 'stuff' I had acquired and decided I should focus on using what I already have rather than buy more.

So I'm abstaining from op shops for a while (sigh) and am determined to reuse and reorganise my stash.

My first project was to repurpose some small concertina books.  I made these using gelli-plate prints some time ago and never did anything with them. 

I also decided to challenge myself and try something new.  I searched through my books (in my book 'stash', another example of using what I already had) and found Alisa Golden's 'Making Handmade Books'.  Its one of my favourite books, having a wide variety of techniques with easy to follow instructions.

Step 1 - I deconstructed the concerntina books to create two covers.  The inner section will be included as a page within the signatures.  I then made a hard spine from a scrap of board and a gelli plate print.  The photo below is the outside view of the covers and its new spine.

Step 2 - I then sewed the spine and covers together.  A rather tricky stitch, working with the boards flat and leaving a gap between the spine and the covers.  The photo below is the view from the inside of the book.

Step 3 - To complete the book, I sewed the signatures to the spine, looping the thread around the stitches created in the previous step.  A curved needle made this so much easier to do.

What I like about the finished book is the decorative stitching on the outside.  And its surprisingly stable, given that the pages are only sewn on using a looping action.


It was very fiddly to stitch so I don't think I'll be doing a lot of books using this binding, but it was enjoyable to try something a bit different.   And to chip away a little bit of the stash....

1 comment:

  1. I love this little book. The technique is very interesting. I will have to investigate.