journal

Stitching up a Storm::Book binding on the Brain

For the August issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly I picked the theme of Drawing – so in the spirit of that I decided to have a book binding kit. Well, in the process of writing up the instructions for it I made myself a little quarter sheet sketchbook – the size the kit was for – and fell in love. I hadn’t done the codex style of book binding before even though that’s what I wanted to write the instructions for.

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After a whole lot of research and making sketch books I felt confident enough to write up and illustrate a new mini zine to include with the kit: Stitch n’ Sketch – How to bind your own sketch book codex style. I loved it. I do love it. And since last week have stitched up two new journals – one for Linda and I’s accountability (self employment is hard and this helps it go smoother) and one for working out. I love both, but I think the workout one really emphasizes how awesome binding your own book can be.

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You see, I haven’t been able to find a workout journal I like. It just didn’t fit. Like there were too many spots for reps or not enough. Or it was only for working out, but not a food journal. For me, I wanted a fitness journal. I wanted it to be a week at a time and to last for one quarter of the year. I wanted a spot for notes and water drinking amount.

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I wanted something with more lines and columns for the workout part, but more notebook paper for the food journal. Well a 4 column accounting notepad worked perfect for one week per page and then 4 pages of notebook paper worked great for a food journal.

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I made each signature into a week worth of fitness and then put 12 together to = 1 week. It’s perfect for me. And that’s the thing. When you bind your own book it’s exactly what you need it to be.

(oh, I was so sore from Monday and Tuesday that I ended up not going on Wednesday and that’s why it’s crossed out. I feel like someone punched me in the ribs from the ab exercises I did – awesome! Pain is weakness leaving the body right? Or that’s what it said on the inspirational poster in Jason’s high school gym anyway, ha!)

Here are the other two books I bound this past week:
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Book binding

I made a few extra Stitch n’ Sketch kits this month when I put them together for Craft Leftovers Monthly so I’m adding those to the shop today. You can see them here – a new section to the shop: Paper Kits! I’m adding some collage kits to the same section. Loads of new stuff!

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Oh and in other shop news, don’t forget that many kits are in the sale section right now and will be on sale only until Friday night at midnight. Most are marked down by 30% or more so make sure to take a look and see if there is anything you would like to pick up.

And more on binding. If you live in Central Iowa, I’m teaching a free book binding workshop on Sunday, August 9th at 2pm:

It’s one of the first official ames c.art events! I’m really excited and have been spreading fliers all around town. You can rsvp for this and other ames c.art events on our meetup.com page.

I have a project all finished up for tomorrow so I’m going to go head and get the pattern written up tonight. See working ahead! Go me!

See you all soon!
Happy Crafting!
Kristin Roach

4 thoughts on “Stitching up a Storm::Book binding on the Brain

  1. Hi Kristen,
    What do you recommend using for the cover of a codex book? I love the stiffness of the cover in your kit, and I'm thinking about getting another kit, too. But I want to try to stitch one start to finish on my own, so I wondered. We have a really cool little art supply store here that I can probably find something in (they have all kinds of papers and mat boards, etc.). Thanks!

  2. Hi Jan!
    I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the kit and thank you so much getting another one :)
    I love covering mine with vintage fabrics, but any fabric works really well. I posted about how I cover mine right here on Craft Leftovers: https://www.craftleftovers.com/blog/archives/2218. I think I used hot glue, but now I tend to use plain old craft glue with a bone folder to smooth it out. I find it holds up better and is less lumpy.

    Japanese rice papers are wonderful for covering them as well. Take a stroll down the paper aisle at your local art shop and see what inspires you. The main thing to look for it a paper that is pliable enough to fold around the corners of your hard board.

    For hard board, I use mat board or 8 ply museum board. If your local art shop has a mat board area where they cut things down for customers (usually they do), ask if you can have some of their scraps or purchase them at a reduced price. At the end of the semester, the art store where I worked would just toss them all in the trash, not even the recycling bin!

    Your welcome! Enjoy and have fun on your book binding adventure!

  3. Hi Kristen,
    What do you recommend using for the cover of a codex book? I love the stiffness of the cover in your kit, and I'm thinking about getting another kit, too. But I want to try to stitch one start to finish on my own, so I wondered. We have a really cool little art supply store here that I can probably find something in (they have all kinds of papers and mat boards, etc.). Thanks!

  4. Hi Jan!
    I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the kit and thank you so much getting another one :)
    I love covering mine with vintage fabrics, but any fabric works really well. I posted about how I cover mine right here on Craft Leftovers: https://www.craftleftovers.com/blog/archives/2218. I think I used hot glue, but now I tend to use plain old craft glue with a bone folder to smooth it out. I find it holds up better and is less lumpy.

    Japanese rice papers are wonderful for covering them as well. Take a stroll down the paper aisle at your local art shop and see what inspires you. The main thing to look for it a paper that is pliable enough to fold around the corners of your hard board.

    For hard board, I use mat board or 8 ply museum board. If your local art shop has a mat board area where they cut things down for customers (usually they do), ask if you can have some of their scraps or purchase them at a reduced price. At the end of the semester, the art store where I worked would just toss them all in the trash, not even the recycling bin!

    Your welcome! Enjoy and have fun on your book binding adventure!

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