Thursday, 20 February 2014

Learning to Bookbind with Make, Thrift London.

I love a good craft - making something with just my hands and some imagination is so satisfying, and much more productive than staring at the TV all evening.

When my friend Daisy asked me if I'd be interested in doing one of her bookbinding classes I jumped at the chance.  I did her stage 1 class in the Autumn and loved it!  The little notebook I made that day is still empty because it looks so perfect as it is.  I can't bare to spoil it. I did however, find the time to make a bigger version for my other half for Christmas.  I'm not quite sure he appreciates the time that went in to it but never mind!

Finished cover and signatures.

Last weekend it was time for stage 2.   This time we were going to use multiple 'signatures' (groups of folded pages) and try stitching them directly into the cover.  And instead of cutting our own cover out of cardboard, we were recycling food boxes.  My book started life as a box of instant mushroom soup!

We started by choosing from Daisy's extensive selection of wrapping paper.  I went for a colourful floral print for the cover with a smaller yellow for the inside.  Then we cut our boxes to size and carefully covered them with the paper.  I'm a bit of a clumsy lady so it was great to have Daisy keeping a close watch.  Her perfectionist eyes don't miss a thing!

The inside is just as pretty as the outside!

The delicate task of measuring and punching holes in the spine took us quite a while, and then we choose the paper for our pages and began cutting them to size.   I decided to use 2 sheets of brown paper and 2 sheets of white paper for each of my 10 signatures, but we also had ledger paper and graph paper to choose from.  I felt that with my busy cover it'd be best to keep the pages clean and simple.

Daisy also showed me how to put little envelopes in to the book! Don't they look cute?

An envelope waiting to be stitched in to the book

By this point our 3 hours were up - I think we got a bit distracted by all the herbal tea and chatting!  So we'll be arranging another date to stitch the pages in.  

I'm planning to use mine as a mini holiday scrap book but the possibilities are endless.  They'd make great birthday or Mother's Day gifts, and I'm planning to make one for all my favourite recipes.

Daisy runs loads of evening and weekend craft workshops at Alfie's Antiques in Marylebone.   Maybe I'm a little biased because she's my friend but she's a great teacher - very knowledgeable and patient with clumsy students like myself.  And the tea is always flowing freely when she's around!

Take a look at her website for full workshop listings (I've got my eye on the dip dye tights one).  You should also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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