Bookbinding The Accordion Book | Bridget Morris | Skillshare

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Bookbinding The Accordion Book

teacher avatar Bridget Morris, Bella Forte Designs

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

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

1 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. AccordianBinding

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About This Class

In this class I will teach you the basics of bookbinding. It is a great starting point for my other classes. We will learn about the tools; what you need and what you do not need. We will discuss materials such as types of paper, cloth and glue. You will get clear instructions on how to fold paper properly, how to glue paper, and glue control-the key to making books that look professional. 


Meet Your Teacher

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Bridget Morris

Bella Forte Designs


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1. AccordianBinding: I'm Bridget, Laura's I'm Under a Fella four tape of finding Letter Press and our studio is just churning out some really beautiful work. So we incorporate finding screen printing and caustic photography and bossing and letter press and really create pieces of art for people. The clamshell boxes are all custom, and they are hand built, and the materials I use are beautiful clots from Italy, England, Japan. They're just really beautiful silks and linens and cottons. My clients are brides. That one. Ah, wedding album or invitations. Anybody that wants invitations. Photographers who want presentation boxes, galleries who want to put works of art in boxes to show book collectors. PR firms. I I actually went to school for interior design, and I decided to go to Italy for a summer abroad. And on the plane ride over, I saw bookbinding and papermaking on the course list. So I just said, Forget about the interior design. I'm gonna have fun this summer, and my summer of fun ended up being two years spent in Italy having fun and learning the craft of bookbinding. I had started out doing restoration, so I was doing restoration for libraries and collectors and booksellers, and it was a great way for me to learn the anatomy of a book. So I have a really good sense of how to create books that last. So I started to do custom photo albums and journals, and over the course of 15 years it's really evolved into something that is just really sought after and very unique. I am Bridget. Welcome to Bella Forte, but finding a letter press, I'm so excited to be doing these videos for you. I love bookbinding, and I want you to love it to my intention for teaching in these videos is to show you that bookbinding is easy. It just takes precision and practice and creativity. And if you're here watching this video, you're already creative. You just need to learn the tools of the trade. And one of the things I'm teaching in these videos is not that you need board shears and book presses, but I want to show you how to make the books. In a way, they all you really need are the tools that you see on this table scissors, a bone folder on Exacto blade, a ruler and some bricks. Yes, we use bricks. So the first book that we're going to start with is the accordion bind. It's one of my favorites, and it's one that Children can do. Teenagers love a great gift for the grand parents and attorneys both set. We can sit down in one hour and make 10 of. So let's make some. The accordion binding is like this right here. It's a beautiful small finding that when tied, it's a little keepsake. So you can make thes any size that you want. We're gonna do a square binding here today. We're going to do a five by five. So what he can do is go and buy a large sheet of paper and just cut it using the most length that you can get out of it and five inches high. And that's what I've done here. Okay, so this is we're gonna fold this an accordion, and then we're gonna use our before now. Book board is the only kind of board that I use for bookbinding, its specific for bookbinding. It has a grain, and it's super dense, so please don't buy chipboard or cardboard. It's not gonna be beneficial and cutting this convenes somewhat difficult. So if you're cutting using an Exacto blade or where I would say in that knife, you want to start with some thinner board? I'm fortunate enough to have a board sheer. So I'm going to use a thicker board here today. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna take your board and you're going to cut it 5.5 by 5.5. So our again our paper is five by five. So that gives us 1/4 of an inch on the top in the bottom. So we're gonna take our book board and start folding. I like laying down my book board. I'm not big on measuring. If you want to measure and measure out five inches, you can do that and make a mark. I like not to mark up my paper that much, and I really don't see a need for that right here. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna lay our accordion paper down so that it's equal distance on the top, the side and the bottom. From that point, you're just gonna put your finger about 1/4 of an inch in and then start to fold before you fold all the way. Just move your board out of the way and grab your boob holder. Now, folding can be somewhat challenging in the beginning, but here's my trick. You want to get a 90 degree angle, so the way you do that is you line up this corner with this edge of the paper. It's up a little bit. It's not a 90 degree and of its down, as you can see below here, it's not. So you really want to get that blush on the top in the bottom and then take your bone folder in full. And rather than flipping your accordion back and forth this way, I like to just flip it over this way and I don't have to measure again. I want that fold to be lined up with this edge, so I'm just gonna get it until it's just about two fold. But before I make that final crease, I'm gonna go back over here and I'm gonna line up my corner with the edge of the paper again, and I see that's lined up and then I'm just gonna do, and that gives me a 90 degree just keep doing that until I get to the end. And again, it's easy, but it's precision. So if you're doing this for the first time, you might not want to dio this folding of paper with paper that you just got. You might want to just grab like, a 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and just practice folding 90 degree angles. Okay, this is my last fold. And when I get to the end, I have a little bit of extra paper here. Right? So what I'm gonna do is just cut that off. And I don't like to use scissors because they don't give you a really clean cut, right? Looks kind of sloppy. I'll take my ruler and I lift up my accordion fold, lift him all of close it, and just line up the edge of the ruler with the edge of the folds. Right? And then I'm gonna cut. But before I cut, we'll just lift up my accordion. Why? Because if I cut like this, I might nick some of these folds, in which case you might get a little peek a boo home. Right. So here's my accordion. Full Okay. The next step is to cover our board with paper, and I'm gonna let you in on a little bit of a secret here. I like paper as much as I like chocolate. And there's so much good paper out there. It's ridiculous. Marbleized paper screen printed papers. There's plant based papers. There's elephant dung papers. Um, anything that you can imagine. I mean, it's just so abundant the beautiful papers out there, and I'm gonna start here with a really beautiful um, screen printed paper. And, um, one thing about paper is ah, it has a different quality, depending on what kind it is. Um, the plant based papers, they're a little more delicate. The printed papers, they're pretty forgiving. The marbleized papers there are a little stiff because they have so much ink on it. So I'm just gonna go over quickly the different types of adhesives, um, that you want to use with the different types of papers. So let's start with the plant based paper a little bit fragile, soft. And so what you want to do is there's two types of glue that I use when I book Bind. Um, there straight TV a which is a cold flex glue. Please don't get mixed up with Elmer's. Do Not bring Elmer's into your studio ever, um, it's that would dry hard cracks. It's acidic, so you want to stick with the P D. A. Um, it's archival. It's water based, and it's drives flexible, and it's also pretty heavy. So toe lighten it up. I cook up some wheat paste and add it to the P d. A. Um, so when I'm using a plant based paper, which is lightweight, I want to use a light weight glue, which is the PV a mixed with the wheat wheat paste. So in this case, I'm gonna put the adhesive on the board. And that's because, um, the plant based paper is pretty thin, and what you don't want is the glue to start absorbing into it because it might absorb into it and go out to the surface. So you want to avoid that, and what you do is you put it on the board and the board is also poor. So right now, this glue is getting sucked into the board, so I'm just going to apply it very evenly. And when I teach this to the kids. I say you're not icing a cake, so you don't want a lot of glue on here. You want it to be nice and even right, Just like that, you're going to take your board and you're gonna put it in the middle of your paper. And before I do that, I just wanted to make notice something. When you're doing this kind of binding, you don't want to pick up your paper and put it on your board. Because when I do this, I don't know where my board is. I'm guessing, and you want it to be centered. So you always work so you can see where you're placing things, so you gonna place it right down in the middle, flip it back over and take your folder. Now, this is a Teflon folder. It's kind of new on the bookbinding scene. Uh, I think traditionally people are used to seeing bone folders and bone folders air. Fine. But the Teflon folders wonderful because it doesn't mark up your paper. So sometimes if you're rubbing on a piece of darker paper with a bone folder, you'll see little streaks. The Teflon is not going to do that. It also cleans up very well, so you're not gonna have dry glue on it. And then I like Teoh. Just go around the edge from the top just so I can see my edge better. And that way, if there's any glue that's coming or around on the edge, it's just gonna grab the pay for a little bit. And it also, um, sometimes you have a tendency not to put enough glue on the corners. So when I do this with my bone folder gently, I can see if my corners are noticeable. And if they are, then I know that the glue is on the corners and I want to show you another way, another type of paper that requires gluing in a different way. And it's the printed paper. So this is kind of like wrapping paper. It feels like paper that has, um, that's in a book like text wait paper, Um, as opposed to the plant based paper. This feels more like a fabric. It's softer, Um, so this paper acts differently when glued down to the board, and what I find is that this paper doesn't lay as flat. You tend to get air bubbles very much with the wrapping paper, the printed paper. So when you put glue on a porous surface, it sucks into the the material. So when you're putting glue on your paper, it's sucking into it. But this paper is coated with think so After a while, it just stops, right? So what I do is I put the glue and I'm gonna use the PV A and wheat paste on the paper, and it's getting sucked into the paper. But then it's stopping, and when the paper starts to kind of warped, that's when you know it's not being absorbed into the paper anymore. Alright, so I've put it on the paper and you can see it's starting toe wave and that the glue has nowhere to go now. So what I do is I put it on the board, and as soon as I put it on the board, the board starts toe suck in that glue, so that helps to eliminate any air bubbles. You can see there's air bubbles right now forming, but as soon as I give it a bone fold like this, they disappear right, because the glue has somewhere to go, and it's sucking it in, and it's taken the paper with it. So you'll find that if you have any problems with air bubbles, uh, this will remedy it. You want to put the glue on your paper and then put the paper on the board. So I'm just going to show you an example of putting the the glue on the board just so you can see the difference. So I'm gonna put the glue on the board right now. The glue is being absorbed into the board. If I put this on again, we're gonna place this down, flipping over something like this. Okay? And I bone fold this eventually. There's gonna be some air bubbles that are that are coming up. You might not be able to see it, but I can feel them right now. So then I have the bone fold again. And as they're coming up and I bone fold increasing the paper so you have to do a lot more work to get the air bubbles out, and I can feel it. It'll come up. It will keep coming up. The air bubbles will keep coming up. So the next step is cutting your corners. And I'm really particular about corners. And there's some ways that you can do corners that are sloppy, and then you can do it my way, which is very neat. Sloppy way is just to fool the corner over like this, right, And then fold this over, Unfold this over and you can see you end up getting pretty sloppy Corner Very lumpy. Even if you try hard, it's not gonna look good. It's kind of like gut outliers. Nothing against al's on levels. Um, So what you're gonna do is you're gonna cut your, uh, corners of your paper off, right? Like, now you don't want to cut too close or your corner is gonna be exposed and you don't want to cut too far away or you're not doing what you meant to do, which is cut away. Most of the paper, you're just going to get another sloppy corner. So what I suggest you do, let's take a piece of book board and just put it on the corner like this and cut it with an exact notably. And then when you folded over, you can see that it's going to cover that corner. So the distance that you want to cut off or the distance that you want from this edge to the corner is the thickness of the board that you're using. So you want to make sure that you're using the same board to measure has the board itself. So I'm just gonna go ahead and do all my corners and then you're going to glue the top in the bottom, and you want to make sure that you're getting on the edge. It's very important that your paper wrap around the edge here, not just this flat surface, but this edge is very important. So he puts in blue there. Yeah, and what I like to do cause I'm gonna do both sides at the same time. So I'm gonna fold this up on the table and then you're gonna wrap this around with your thumbs. I like to use my hands because I can feel the paper on the board and you really want this to be square. You want it to go up 90 degrees and 90 degrees down. Thanks. And now look at that. My table's already done that for me. So all I have to do is fold this down. I have straight up 90 degrees, 90 degrees. Great. All right. And the next step is getting your corners to lay flat. So I'm just gonna put a little bit of glue here. And, you know, this is a good time to get out your yoga magazine, all right? Because you want your surface to always be clean. And you know, what you gonna do with these old magazines? This is the perfect opportunity to recycle them. So I'm just gonna put my, um, my books down here, and then I'm just gonna use it has, like, scrap paper, right? So I've done this. Then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take my folder and I'm gonna push in the corner just slightly. Then you're gonna do the same thing over here. It's just kind of a pension, and then you're gonna fold this up and around, using your hand again. And if you want to flatten it out, you can use a bone folder at this point. But look how nice those corners are. All right. So you do the same thing on the other side. They were take your magazine at this point, you just turn the page and do the same thing. And it's good to always work with scrap paper underneath of you. Um, because the glue, once it gets on the paper or your book cloth, it's hard to get out. Let's do that again. Now, another way, you can do this instead of using this folder and pinching and you can just take your thumbs and just pinch it. So I'm taking my forefinger in my film and I'm just like, pinching it, and it's giving me the same. The result. And then I'm gonna fold this over with my hand, maybe just give it a little bit of bone for and there we go again. Beautiful corners. The last step in making your accordion binding is Teoh. Take your two covers and figure out which one you want for your front. And sometimes, for instance, with this printed paper there different right flips, they're different. So this one seems to be more interesting. So this is gonna be my back cover and this is my front, and I'm gonna put it to the side. And so this is gonna be my front. And this is my back. So I'm gonna finish one of the the pink floor ones first. So what you need is some ribbon, and I am going to take some gold ribbon and you want to cut it about the length of your arm , right? Measure like this and cut it and you want to find the center. Just lay it down like this. Now, what I like to do is just kind of remind myself of where the accordion lays in the book. All right, so I'm gonna lay it down like this, and I'm gonna see that there's, uh, about 1/4 of an inch on all four sides, and then I'm just gonna make note, not put glue in that area. I want to put glue on the board, and in this case, I want to do that because if I put glue right here, it's going to start to curve, and it's gonna be really hard to place it down. So I like to put glue on the board, keeping it away from 1/4 of an inch away from the edge. And I'm gonna take my ribbon again. I'm gonna find the center of the ribbon just by folding it in half like this, and then I'm gonna take the center and place it right in the center of the book and straight out like this. Now, I want to put a little bit more glue on top of the ribbon. Not all the way out to the edge again. You want to stay 1/4 of an inch away from the edge? I'm gonna put glue on the ribbon. And the reason I do that is, if there's no glue there, there's going to be aired, and you're gonna have an air bubble. I'm gonna take my accordion. And you wanted to open like a book, right? So you wanted to open right to left. So this is my top. This is my bottom. I'm gonna place it right here and just press down. Then I'm going to open it up very gently and I say gently because if you push hard, you might shift it. So even in days, you're just gonna and sometimes see how I'm holding it right here. That's just in case. I'm pressing too hard and it wants to shift. So I'm just gonna go like this and you want to make sure that no glue came out the edge of the paper, and if it did, you just wipe it away, huh? And then you can close this back off, take your front cover and put glue on it. And you want to make sure that you have glue covering where that paper's gonna be, or else you're gonna get an air bubble. So right. And then what I like to do is I take my middle finger and I hold the bottom board and I guide myself down so that I'm getting it exactly even on all four sides with the bottom board. And I'm just going to kind of feel like this. And I can feel sometimes I'll run my finger across and I'll be able to feel if it's uneven in this case, it's even. I'm gonna press down and then I'm gonna open it up, right, And I can see I got a little bit of glue coming out the edge here. I'm just gonna wipe that away. Great. And then I'm gonna gently bone full this and then the last step is just taking some wax paper. Any time that you glue bore a taper down and the next thing close to it is another piece of paper. While it's drying, you want to put some wax paper in there because if you don't, the moisture from the glue is gonna transfer onto the paper and it's gonna warp it. So you just slide this in right like this, and you take your vespa covered brick and you let it dry for a couple hours. Leave it there for like an hour and 1/2. Then all the sudden doom you've got a beautiful according binding you can write in it. You can put poetry, love letters. You can put pictures in it, collect leaves. I mean, you can use it for so many different things. And I'll tell you one thing about the accordion binding is is you can stuff it full because it expands so you can put all kinds of three dimensional pieces in here, right? Many just tie it to get ah