Joy Bathie’s Little Fat Books

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This article is written by Joy Bathie

I have always loved books and my interest was expanded after attending a workshop at the State Library of NSW in Sydney some years ago, where I learned how to construct a basic hard cover codex book.  Since then I have experimented further and my repertoire now covers “handmade artist’s books” of various types and sizes, filled with colour and texture.  I’m now creating smaller books and enjoy making ‘LFB’s” (Little Fat Books) which are generally 10.5cm x 10.5cm (4” x 4”) square; I love this size, which sits so nicely in the hand.

making Little Fat Books

This page from an LFB looks through the central circular  cut-out to the following page

making Little Fat Books

Here is a the page beneath

making Little Fat Books

and the close-up view.

Altogether there are five layers of colour and texture, plus clear and printed acrylic windows. Amongst other recycled materials these pages incorporate painted curtain rings and other circular metallic pieces, soft drink bottle caps cut, rusted, and patinaed, and also pulcinella (sequin waste).

making Little Fat Books

Here is another LFB, called “Twigs”, with two of its pages.  Again, each page in this book has a central cut-out section to view adjacent pages.

making Little Fat Books

making Little Fat Books

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Joy Bathie lives in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia. You can see what Joy is up to over on her Facebook page.

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Handmade Books – How to Make Covers

Creating your own handmade book is one of the most exciting mixed media art techniques. This is a simple process once you have mastered the basics. When you can make your own book covers, you then have the option to create anything from little booklets to full size books.

Step 1. Determine the sizes
When creating a book, the cover is usually a little larger that the pages, but the spine needs to align. I use my art sketchbook to draw a sketch and write down the size of the pages, the size of the covers and any notes as to colours, layout thoughts or items to use.

Step 2. Cut the covers
Using a medium weight board (or chipboard) cut out two covers the same size. Lightly sand the outer edges with an emery board or scotchbrite. This removed the sharp edge off the cover giving it better durability once it is covered.

Step 3. Cut the covering paper
The paper used to cover the covers needs to be a sturdy paper. If it is too thin, it will tear when glue and pressure is applied. If it is too thick, it makes it harder to fold over the edges and makes the covers too thick.
Cut this paper 10mm larger than the board cover on each side – this makes it 20mm bigger in length and 20mm bigger in width.

Step 4. Cover the cover with the covering paper
Do each cover separately. Cover the covering paper with glue. Most times a glue stick is adequate. Make sure you have an even layer, right up to the edges. Place the cover board in the middle and press out any bubbles. Cut each corner at a 45 degree angle, leaving enough to completely cover the board.

Fold one side up and over the back of the board. Use your finger nail to press it firmly and to fold in the little corner that will fold under other edge. Fold up the opposite edge. Then fold in the two ends.

Repeat this process with the second cover.

Check there is no excess glue oozing out. Sit them under a heavy book and leave overnight to dry.

Step 5. Attach covers to book pages
As the covers are slightly bigger that the inner pages, apply the glue to the pages then carefully attach the first cover. To ensure the two covers are lined up, close the book, apply the glue to the back page stick down the back cover, then carefully align the cover, checking that they two covers with sit neatly when closed.


Once you have mastered making your own handmade book covers, you can easily make your own books, ready to decorate into any style. They are easily personalised to make the perfect gift.

Happy creating!

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There is always more to learn when it comes to handmade books. For further reading:

Creating Handmade Books

Creating Handmade Books

Everyone has a story to tell–so make your own book to tell it with! From the scissors that snip the pages to the glues and stitches and ties that bind them; from elaborate compound structures with pockets to multiple signatures in a thick, sewn volume, here are the techniques you need and the styles you want. Cut and fold pages in a simple accordion, or hide a second book inside. Create pop-ups, fan, and slot-and-tab books. Construct handscrolls and hanging ones, soft- and hardcovers, even portfolios and boxes. Hundreds of illustrations and diagrams will guide you, and dozens of striking pictures will seize your imagination!

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Handmade Books and Albums: An Introduction to Creative Bookbinding

Handmade Books and Albums: An Introduction to Creative Bookbinding

Making notebooks, sketchbooks, albums, and artists’ books by hand is an art in itself. For those who write, draw, sketch, paint, or collect materials in albums and portfolios, and want to do so in one-of-a-kind bindings, or for those who wish to craft exquisite books for any reason, this beautifully illustrated guide explains the main techniques of simple bookmaking and offers step-by-step instruction for numerous projects. Also included are a brief history of handmade books, the vocabulary of bookmaking, the tools and materials used, and the procedures for making adhesive-bound, tied, folded, sewn, and hinged books.
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Handmade mixed media books – a tunnel book

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This article is written by Katja Blum

My son Sam introduced me to bookmaking. He makes lots of books with his speech therapist and loves the process maybe even more than the result. His books can be anything he wants – he can cut, glue, draw, paint, glitter and write. What’s not to love?

One of my favorite types of handmade books is the tunnel book.

These three-dimensional books consist of several pages with cutouts of decreasing size. The pages are connected with accordion hinges on both sides. Because of the flexible connection, the pages can consist of many different materials from thick watercolor paper to cardboard. One of my personal favorites is foam board, because it is so easy to hang things from to “ceiling” of the cutouts – and because the book will be very sturdy and not prone to warping.

Making a tunnel book is simple. Design the cutouts of your pages according to the picture or story you want to create. Remember that each cutout will be smaller than the one before, so any designs around the edge of the first page should be on the smaller side, so that you leave enough room for the others.

If you want to create elaborate figures or landscapes in your cutouts, you can always add them later (especially if you use thick, hard to cut materials). Just cut your designs out of decorated paper and leave little paper tabs where you would like to attach them to your cutout frame.

You need two accordion hinges per book page – minus one page. So, if your book has five pages, you need eight hinges.

Cut strips of sturdy paper of the same length as the sides of your book pages you would like to attach. Fold the strips lengthwise into an “M” shape. Folding is easy, if you score the fold lines using a ruler and a bone folder, a butter knife blade or the tip of a knitting needle.

Steps for making a tunnel book – cutouts and hinges

Design, decorate and cut out your book pages and attach the accordion hinges. You can always add more decorations and elements later, as the pages remain pretty accessible.

In the example here, I wanted to highlight several decorative papers I had collected, so I simply covered my book pages with the papers, cut them and added some details.

A finished tunnel book with decorative papers

Tunnel books are fun to play with and add to. Sam likes books about animals. What do you want your book to be?

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Katja Blum is a writer and translator from Tulsa, OK. As an artist, she started with yarn, fabric and papier mâché (rarely together), branching out into collage and other paper arts about ten years ago. Her latest obsession is making soft stuffies and art dolls – to the delight of her son. She also likes to find creative solutions for ugly or broken things around the house – to the delight of her husband.

You can see more of her work with fiber, paper and words at www.thewaywardsheep.com

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Upcycle Paper Roll Mini Book

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This article was written by Melanie Statnick

We all have paper towel rolls and bath room tissue rolls. It’s recyclable and reusing able and some save it for all sorts of things. Something I have learned to do with it is make books and or note pads. These ideas can be found on Pinterest. There are many different ways to make and design these and I encourage you to find them and come up with something new and share your ideas in the comments. You can get your children involved also. They are fun and easy.

Melanie Statnick created this fun up cycling mini book

Supplies:

Paper roll

Craft paper or Scrap book

Gel medium/Mod Podge

Hole Punch

Binder Rings or Craft wire

Images, letters, word art

Micron or Copic Pens

Process for Creating your Mini Book

Begin by flattening out the paper roll. Here I used bathroom tissue, you can use a paper towel roll and cut it in half. Glue the inside of both rolls to create your front and back cover and let dry.

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

Next you want to take a ruler and measure approximately were you want to your holes and use the hole punch to punch through. Once you have them punched measure and cut your craft paper the same size as your roll covers and punch holes in each to match your covers.

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

When you have your papers cut use four and glue them to your covers front and back. The excess will be your pages. You can place images and word art on these as you like. Design the covers the same way.

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

When you are finished with your pages use your binder rings to hold the book together.  On the blank side of the pages you can draw in your own pictures and create your phrases.   Happy Creating.

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

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Melanie Statnick is a Canadian Mixed Media & Collage Artist out of North Carolina. Melanie creates art daily from her private studio. Her style is fun, whimsy and eclectic. Melanie is also an Art Instructor for local venues and community colleges for students of all ages.

handmade books with paper towel and toilet paper rolls

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