Book Binding for Art Journals | Tara Mercer | Skillshare

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Book Binding for Art Journals

teacher avatar Tara Mercer, Mixed Media Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. BB Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Preparing the Covers

    • 4. Signatures 1

    • 5. Signatures 2

    • 6. Binding

    • 7. Covers

    • 8. Thanks For Watching

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Tara Mercer

Mixed Media Artist


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1. BB Intro: Hi there. My name is Terry Mercer, and I'm a mixed media artist from Western Canada. And I love books, all sorts of books, and I especially injury making my own. In this video, we're going to learn the basic cattle stitch. We're gonna use a minimal amount of supplies and we're just going to spend an afternoon together playing with paper and string to make a beautiful hand bound journal that we could be proud of, so I hope you'll join me. 2. Materials: for today's project. I'm using Kansan Cold Press, £140 watercolor paper. I just buy this at my local Wal Mart, and I really love the cancer brand. It's very sturdy, and it's very versatile because it can go for mixed media to also be used for water color. And it's really reasonably priced. This one happens to be 11 by 15 and there's 30 sheets to the book. I'm only going to use 12 for this for this project, but you're welcome to muse as many as you like for the covers. I have saved a couple of the backboards of some previous pads of paper, and I've just cut this one down to 11 by 7.5, and this one is ready to go for the cutting. I have a cutting mat and an Exacto knife as well as my ruler, and to cover the covers. I am going to just use £90 watercolor paper and no particular reason. Just because I had that on hand to graph vote or to Marco my holes where I want all my holes to go, I'm going to use a graph piece of graph paper a pencil and a ruler and decrease the pages. I'm going to use a bone folder. Or it could use the handle of a pair of scissors also for create for folding the pages. I'm gonna use a pair of larger clips, and then I have a pair of smaller clips for when I get to binding covers. I'm also going to use a some double sided tape and a glue stick. And the reason I want to use a glue stick and not like a map medium is the glue stick is much drier and it will not work. My boards or my paper quite is badly, if at all, to poke the holes in my pages. I am just using a regular all, and I have two pieces of cardboard stuck together with tape and has just to protect my surface. You can use anything to poke the holes. You just don't want them too big or too small, especially depending on what kind of needle use all I'm using as a regular sized embroidery needle. You could use a sewing needle or a needle for using for book finding that's completely up to you. I am going to bind my book in embroidery thread on Lee because that's what I have Handy and I off also got a pair of scissors. 3. Preparing the Covers: so for the covers. Like I said earlier, I have already cut this one out. I just measured it with my ruler and cut it up with my Exacto knife. And now I have used This is a template on the other one. And no, I'm just gonna cut this one of this on there. I have my two pieces of before ready to go, and this one is quite flimsy. But it'll still work. So not to worry. Devote that. Now. I'm just going to do the same with my papers and get them ready to go. And for that's all I want to do is we're gonna have a lot of overhang because my board is almost the same. Size is my watercolor paper, But that's OK. I'm just gonna mark my corners. So I have a general idea where it will go back, and then I'm going Teoh taken over. - No . Try and line it up in the general area again. It really doesn t super for I'm just in a press that it over make sure everything is stucked over really good. And what I wanted to know is to make my corners. I'm just going to cut the corners just across a slight overhang, slightly bigger than where my paper is. And I'm still eyeballing it. What I like to do here is I like to fold it up first. Kind of Get the creases ready, make sure that everything's gonna work, then just a za precaution. I like to put down somewhere double sided tape. Just It doesn't even have to be the full amount just for insurance, I guess. - And there is a book Cover one. And now I'm gonna do the same thing with the other one there and now my car's air Done. No worried about the insides because that is going to be glued to the front and back pages of our journal. So I'm gonna set those aside to dry and get started on my pages. 4. Signatures 1: So in bookbinding, they call a single piece of paper of folio. And then when you put more than one folio together, you get a signature, and a signature can be as many pages as you like. Typically, it seems that they're usually between 18 and 32 pages each, depending on the thickness of the paper. Since we're using heavy watercolor paper, I'm just gonna use to signature or sorry to folios per signature. And then I'm gonna have six signatures and to get going, all I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna take my paper, which is still found in the book that I have that I'm taking it out of, and all I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna fold it over so that it meets up with the edge and then I'm an asshole with the one side and I'm gonna come back and I'm going to press down and from the centre, work my way out. Then I'm going to use my bowl folder, go in, and now I'm going to remove it from the pad of paper. I'm going to pull it back on itself, and I'm going to crease the other side to because I wanted to tow line nice and flat when the time comes. So I'm gonna do that with all 12 of my papers, and I find it putting it into this, leaving it in the book to do it works really, really well. And there is the first of our are There is our first signature, and now I'm gonna do that with all the rest of it. - So there I have all of my 60 signatures ready to go, and no, I can get onto marking this the end, punching the holes for the binding. So the only thing I would suggest is if you plan to use this for a watercolor journal, I would you wear gloves of some kind, Probably just caught in gloves just to keep the oils from your skin off of the paper. But since I'm using mixed this journal for mixed media, I'm not too concerned about any of the oils from my hands 5. Signatures 2: Okay, so now I want to get my graph paper ready so that I have my template for the whole alignment in our journal. So what I'm gonna do to begin with, I'm just gonna fold it in half either way. Doesn't make any difference whatsoever. Well, make sure full that properly your crease in the right spot and then all I'm gonna dio so you can use any kind of paper for this regular writing paper would work as well. I just happened to have graph paper on hands. That's what I'm using. And now I'm gonna start from the top and I'm gonna miss that first half. Fine. But I'm gonna start and just mark myself down the center an inch e each way. Since of having account, I've got my ruler out. But I'm so I'm gonna go. This here is my first line, and now I'm gonna mark every inch or every four squares, and it doesn't have to be a perfect line or anything like that. We just want a general idea. And now, when you fold it in half again, you have your template on either side ready to go. And so I just laid my paper flat line up with the top of my page and then I'm just going to take my pencil and I'm just gonna mark that center line again. And now you could just use this as a guide to poke your holes right away. But I have had more success with doing the pencil marks first and then poking my holes after Remove that I'm again gonna straighten out my pages, make sure they're on top of each other, and you could also do each page individually. But I've done that before, and I didn't have as much success with lining the holes up later when I started the binding . So I prefer to do each folio tear your sorry, each signature together. And then I know that those two holes air exact. And so then I'm just going Teoh, I'm just going to take my all and I'm just gonna go straight down and straight up, and I'm just gonna poke each individual hole piercing through. So I get both pieces of paper there. I know I have all my holes for my first signature. There we go have all six of my signatures with polls going in the right direction. We're sorry in the rate, uh, all going in the right way and they all line up. So this one looks a little off, And so my fold. I'm not quite sure what happened there, but when I goto find it, it will straighten out, and it'll all work out. So and now we'll get onto finding. 6. Binding: to find our books. I am using just regular embroidery thread for a few different reasons. I happen to have a lot of it so I can pick the colors, which will add a little bit of interest to the spine, which I think is fun. Also, it is really easy to work with. It's kind of silky, so it tends to not not as often ISS regular sewing thread has for me, and it comes in. Each piece has six strands to it, so I can pull that apart and get two sets of three, which works really, really well for the binding that I have found. You could use whatever you have on hand sewing thread or binding like book binding material to works just fine. And even in a pinch of your stuck, you could use dental floss. You just want something that's a little sturdier, and if you're gonna use regular sewing thread, I would suggest double or tripling up your strands. And so I have cut a length about four feet. I don't want it any longer than that just because I run the risk of noughts and I don't want it any shorter because I don't want to have to constantly be tying re tying and adding new strings and stuff like that. So I also have my little clips, which will come in handy later. And then I have my sister's I'm working on. I'm just have a little box that I've put on my desk, and I have found it's easier to work off of a ledge because you're stabbing up and down. It just helps to keep something off this off of the table. I have my signature is ready to go, and I'm gonna start with the 1st 1 so all I'm gonna do. Oh, and I'm sorry, I have my thread nodded at one end. Okay, So I'm just going to start at the back of my signature, and I'm gonna start at the top with that first hole, and I'm just gonna go up and down, in and out, all the way down and all the way back up, gets the end, and then just go right back up the other way. So by the time you're done, this first signature, you're going to have string or thread on the entire length of this of your holes on your spine all the way on the front and on the way on the back. Get to that top hole where I started. I'm going to go back in that top hole, and what I'm gonna do here is I'm just going to tie off. But I'm not going to cut my string. I'd like to tell you off twice, which is probably unnecessary, but it's just kind of my way. I'm gonna go back through that hole so that my needle is at the back of my work again along the outside of the spine for the next signature. So this is the only signature that will look like this, with thread going the entire length front and back. And now it grab my second signature and lined it out. Make sure I have my whole is going in the right direction, which I do. And now I'm gonna start again the same thing. So I'm gonna go in that first hole and down the second, and honestly, to begin with, it's gonna feel a little awkward because your signatures air going to scooch around and stuff, but it does get easier. So once I come out that second hole. I'm gonna go under the embroidery thread on the right hand side of the hole, and then I'm going to go around and come up under the left town side of the hole under the same embroidery thread, and then I'm gonna go back in the hole that I started with my second hole. So what I'm essentially doing is I'm creating a post almost is what I like to think about. So creating the loop around to attach the two signatures together, and now I'm just going to continue down doing the same thing. So under the embroidery thread on the right side, around under the threat on the left and back in that hole, wanna pull your string taut? But you don't want to pull it tightly because it could rip, and you really don't want to rip anything. - So on this last 12 I'm just gonna have to go on down the left side of the whole instead of the rate, But nothing really changes. I'm still going to go back into that first into that hole, and I just came out of here. I'm gonna tie off again and go and put my needle to the back of my work again. With my needle to the back, I'm gonna get my third signature ready to go. And now this one is different again. But this will be the one that the rest of the signatures are all the same. So what I want to do here is I want to go in that first hole like we've always started. And then I'm gonna go down the second hole this time, though, instead of going down through the thread. What I want to do is I want to push my needle through in between the first and second signature right down inside the book. And then I'm gonna open it up to that first signature. And now I have my thread on the right side of my post. So what I want to do or the right side of the hole. So what I want to do now is this is where my clips come into play. So I'm gonna take one clip and I'm gonna put it on that first signature because my needle is going to come up in the on this In the in between the same two signatures for the rest of this room. So I just wanna have something easily toe hold to, uh, to find my way, because sometimes the needle can be a little tricky. So now I'm just going to go down the left side of that of that whole or post and again, it's gonna feel awkward while this one scooch is around a little bit, but it will tighten up quite quickly. And now I'm gonna go back in that hole and continue on doing the same thing. So in between the first and second signature and now I have that clip which I can just feel for and I know where to open my pages and there's my needle up on the right side, down on the left and something else to make it a little easier as well. You can take your second clip and add it to the signature you're working on right now that 1st 2 pages of your this signature again, it just makes it easier to grab on to my throat is getting quite short. So I'm going to tie off because they don't have enough threat to get back up to the top. So even in the center here I'm just gonna tie off twice. Go back down through the hole, let's get in the way. And then I'm just going to go down to that first signature underneath this the threat on the right side and just tie off a couple of times for added assurance again, Probably not necessary, but And I'm gonna re thread my needle and come right back to keep going, okay? With my needles re threat read, done with some fresh threat, I'm gonna go back in that same hole. I was just in, and I'm gonna just continue from there before I at my next signature, go to my clip in the back and I'm going to move it, because now my needle is going to come up between the second and third signature. Someone clipped those 1st 2 signatures together. And now I know where my where I will come up, take my clip off this signature, cause I'm gonna be using a different signature. And I'm gonna continue on with my 4th 1 exactly as I did the 3rd 1 All of the signatures from here on out will be the same. - And there we go. So I have found all six of interest together in what is called the kettle stitch, and your spine will look like So you're gonna have threat going down the one first signature, like we talked to vote. And then everything else is just bound together with that stitch around the posts that we created a holes. So when you open it, it will wife flat. And yes, I do realize there's a little bit of a gap here, but I'm not too overly worried about that because I'm using it for mixed media. I'm gonna end up taping this the middle's any of centers anyways, so that I don't get see pitch underneath. But each page is gonna lay nice and flat on you just got a really nice handmade journal. You could be product. 7. Covers: Okay, so we're ready to add or covers to our journal that we just finished binding, and all I've done to prepare my covers a little bit more is I've just put double sided tape along the four edges and two strips down the center. I'm going to be using the double sided tape and the glue stick again. I've also got my scissors to help me grab the corners of that's tape and my bone fuller to stick everything down on. All I'm gonna do is pull up my teeth. What about my tape? Oh, pulled up. I'm just going to add some xom glue stick just for extra stick because they really want back to be stuck well, onto that, go into those pages. And now to do this, all I want to do is take. And before I stick everything down, I just want to line everything up, eyeballing it just the best that I can. Andi. And then I'm just gonna press it down. Definitely not going to get perfection here, but I'm really not after perfection. I just wanted stuck down really good. It looks pretty good, actually. Use my filtered. Add extra pressure. One nice thing is that this is such a nice way to paper that you can't actually see or feel anything underneath. So that really makes a nice difference. And now I'm going to do the same thing with the other side. - And as you can see here, a kind of went over. I didn't do overly great job lining that up very well, and I'm not sure why, but all I know I am quite happy with how that looks. And now my journal is ready to go and really, really happy with how that works. And no, I can start putting pretty things in there. 8. Thanks For Watching: So we finished her journal and I hope that your is happy with yours as I am with mine. I can't wait to get started on putting some really great things in here. I just wanted to share with you some of the some of the projects that I did whilst getting ready for this video. This is just mawr. A couple more journals at the same way to paper, ready to go. They just don't have covers on them. I also did a I also did one in just a lighter weight mixed media paper that I had lying around. I did this one, and it is just a £90 watercolor paper, and I use the back cardboard for the covers, and it's all ready to go for a nice watercolor journal. And then I did a couple where I covered them in scrapbooking paper and I used to completely different paper. These ones are done with Bristol Board. I had a couple pounds of that laying around. This one is a definitely more of a professional grade Bristol board, so it's quite heavy, but it's gonna make a wonderful sketching journal. And then what I did is I tried to match the thread to coordinate with the scrapbooking paper that I used on either side and same thing with this one. I ended up using orange to go with the orange, and then this one is just a lighter, a lighter Bristol board. But it's still gonna make for a nice sketching journal. So hopefully you have put together a journal and I kids, I would love to see what you guys have created in the student projects section. Please do share. And if you have any feedback for me, please don't hesitate to let me know.