Beginner I Made A Book!

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Ian
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#1
So way way back in 2017 I made my own frame. Folks at TP weren't too impressed with my handiwork, but it's always worth having a go at something - you never know - you might be good at it. However I admitted defeat and moved on to other projects.

I've been making books with Blurb for years now, and recently got into making zines. There's a thread here if you're interested in joining up for a project. The problem with both these things is that they're very... manufactured... and so I have been trying to find some book binding techniques that work for making an actual book from scratch. Most of the tutorials though are for making written books, or recovering antique books - mostly books with hundreds of pages.

Then I stumbled on a video for single sheet binding, which is not only quite straightforward, but requires minimal tools and is realtively easy. The absolute best bit is that you end up with a lay flat book which is great for photography! Also, printing is much easier because you don't have to think about folding and where to print, and also you can print pretty big books. A4 as standard and A3 or even A2 if your printer will print that big...

I went small to begin with and used some spare prints I had from my 13 seconds project. I only went with 10 pages (each page is stitched by hand) but I'm really really pleased with the results. I'm sure there are folks here who have been doing it for years, so if you have, please bear in mind this was my first attempt.

IMG_1278.jpg IMG_1279.jpg

Equipment:
- Curved needles (straight needles make it hard)
- Waxed thread (unwaxed thread catches on the paper, can get knotted, and makes a noise that sets me on edge like fingernails on a chalkboard)
- Auger (I used a hand drill I've got for modelling)
- Book tape (this is clear plastic tape that I ran down the stitching edge to stop the stitches tearing the paper. Imagine it like a big strip of hole reinforcers.)

For the cover:
- Cardboard
- PVA Glue
- G Clamps & two bits of wood (I used wooden plate coasters because they fit A4 perfectly)

1. Print your images. I used LR for this to offset the images 1.5" in from the left hand edge to allow space for stitching. The print module is great for easy repetetive prints where you want everything to be in the same place.
2. Make your cover. I struggled with this because of available materials, so went super cheap by cutting 2 bits of mountboard to A4 and PVA glueing an A3 image onto the front and back cover so that I had a wrap. Inside the cover, I glued a blank sheet of A4 to cover up the wrap. The whole lot was pressed and left to dry.
3. Punch the stitch holes. I assembled the book and clamped it with the edge sticking out, then drilled the holes for the stitching with the hand drill. It just made sure everything was aligned perfectly. Ultimately it didn;t matter because my stitching was "not great".
4. Stitch the book. Follow the video I linked. It's very slow to start but once you get the hang of it you end up going quite quickly. I stick the needles in my clothes to keep them separated and avoid tangling.

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5. Admire! You made something completely unique!

I'm definitely going to do this again. It would be very easy to do something A3 sized which I think would be very cool. The stitching bit is something I need to spend more time on to get it right, and the trickiest bit is the final stitch to tie everything off. With hindsight, I'd start with the front cover and finish with the back because my final stitches were "untidy". Although I did put a blank sheet at the front and the back which I could glue down to hide (and reinforce) the stitches.

Not bad for a first attempt!
 
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#4
I made a book for my sister for Christmas. My plan is to make one a year plus one for each holiday I go on. I purchased a binding machine and wires for it and have been covering cardboard with craft paper for covers.

My problem is it’s taking me ages to go through to select the photos for my own first book and then I’ll have to lay them out. It’s turning out a bigger project than I envisaged. IMG_4215.jpg IMG_4216.jpg IMG_4217.jpg
 
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Harlequin565
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#5
I bought a wire binding kit to make calendars with. Fab little things. This looks really cool. That hand made vibe is a super way to finish off your photography.
Good stuff!
 
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Harlequin565
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#7
I got my machine from Joyce but a quick look at their (haphazard) website seems to indicate they dont sell it any more...

It very much depends on your budget too.
 
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I bought a wire binding kit to make calendars with. Fab little things. This looks really cool. That hand made vibe is a super way to finish off your photography.
Good stuff!
Yes I made a few calendars too and notebooks and things. It’s great fun isn’t it? Your book is rather more skillful.

The wire in this one was a bit big for relatively little content - it’s all a learning curve!

This last year I’ve had to clear out my parents home and go through hundreds of photos. I’m sure my children will never look at my thousands on my hard drives, so hopefully a few will test the longevity of the inks at least... when I eventually get round to printing them all into these books
 
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Harlequin565
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#10
I’m sure my children will never look at my thousands on my hard drives
This is why it's so important to print. My PC will probably go in the bin when I snuff it. No way anyone in my family is going to a) be able to find the photos, and if they do b) open them with Lightroom because that's the only program I have that will open raws and tiffs.

Prints however. Prints will last, and having them in books is just a fab legacy.
 
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