Monday, December 27, 2010

Tutorial: Book Binding: Creating the Cover

Awhile ago I learned book binding as a hobby, a way to express myself, and as an alternative to expensive store bought journals. I would like to share with you the knowledge that I've gleaned so that you too can create great looking journals. This is the second post in this series. You can find the first one HERE. Enjoy!

Skill Level: Intermediate

  • Fabric (cottons are the best)- you will need less then a fat quarter
  • Chip Board- available at most craft supply stores
  • Exacto Knife
  • Mod Podge- I used the Matte finish but you can use Gloss too
  • Acrylic Paint- optional (only need if your fabric is light colored)
  • Ruler and Pencil
  • Paint Brush
  • Brayer
  • Wax Paper
  • Your previously made journal pages
  • Something heavy

  1. Measure your journal pages. You'll need to know the length and width for the spine and the cover. My spine measures 1 inch X 8.5 inches. My covers measure 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches.
  2. Measure and cut out 2 covers and 1 spine from the chip board.
  3. Lay down your chip board covers and spine onto your fabric. Cut enough to have at least a 1 inch overlap on all sides.
  4. For my cover I've chose Michael Miller's Starling fabric and chosen a decorative plaid paper to match for the inside of the pages. The paper will be used in a future tutorial.
  5. If you are using a light fabric, like I am, paint your chip board. I had an off-white paint but it did the job perfectly and I can no longer see the dark chip board through the fabric. Let the chip board dry completely before moving on.
  6. Paint a layer of Mod Podge on to your chip board. While it's drying a little bit paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the back/wrong side of your fabric cover. Putting a layer of Mod Podge on both helps to ensure a good seal.
  7. Place one of your covers about an inch from the edge, place the spine 1/8 inch away the cover, and place the second cover 1/8 inch away from the spine. Leaving the 1/8 inch spaces next to the spine will allow your cover to bend closed!
  8. Flip your cover so the fabric cover is right side up and using your brayer, smooth out any air bubbles.
  9. Flip your cover back over and apply a layer of Mod Podge to the corners of the chip board and the corners of the fabric. Fold the corners over and roll out any air bubbles with your brayer.
  10. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the edges of the chip board and the fabric and fold the edges over. Roll out any bubbles with your brayer. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the edges to seal them up.
  11. Layer the journal cover with wax paper or kitchen paper. Place a couple of heavy books on top to keep the cover from warping and let dry overnight.

And this concludes the second post in my book binding series. You can find the first post HERE. Next week I'll show you how to put it all together!

I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment!


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