When making a book, begin with the cover

Making Book Covers 001

Today I am making myself a new notebook. With this style of binding you begin by covering the boards that will be your book’s covers. I’m re-purposing some book boards that had previously been bound into an example book and were left bare, which is why you can see there are already holes pierced through for the thread. Normally that would come after they were finished being covered. This will pose a slight challenge, but I enjoy making good use of supplies I already have on hand.

Making Book Covers 002

Here I have cut my decorative paper to size and am preparing to glue it to the board. One of the challenges in working with PVA glue is that it can dry very quickly, some times too quickly to spread it evenly over a large surface like this one. The fuzzy sponge thing resting on the corner of my glue plate has been a complete game changer. They are sold at paint stores for spreading sample paint on walls without a brush. Normally they are much wider, but mine has been cut down for a more reasonable size. It allows me to spread the glue over the entire surface of my board or paper in moments. I can’t recommend trying it enough! 

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With the decorative paper on the front cover, now I have to repeat it on the back.

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For this book I am using a book cloth along the spine edge of the cover. It is a design element that comes from more traditionally bound books with a covered spine, but here it will just be a fun design element. 

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As I wrap the book cloth around the spine edge of the book I am covering the pre-punched holes. I want to make sure not to lose their location, so I am taking care to re punch them from the back each time a side is covered. 

Making Book Covers 007

I received this beautiful custom embosser as a gift, and am excited to put it to use for the first time! 

Making Book Covers 08

I cut out the embossed image and prepare to attach it to the cover. I couldn’t make up my mind if it should be centered on the decorative paper area, or centered on the whole cover.

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In the end I decided to center it on the middle of the overall cover. 

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The boards are done! Next I will be binding the signatures into the book. Cant’ wait to see it come together!