Thursday, May 29, 2008

13 Things for Making Books

This week I've decided to compile a list of things I consider essential to the art of making books. In part, I'm doing this because I want to create a travel kit for book art. I also want to have the items that are most important put together for when ever I want to work on them. Right now these items are scattered in various places throughout my condo.

  1. Books by Alisa Golden. These books offer tons of ideas for creating handmade books. I like Alisa's style and the instructions & diagrams in these books are easier for me to follow than in many other books I've investigated.
  2. Paper. While it is possible to make books without paper, I find paper to be a pretty important part of the process. You can go with really fancy stuff from specialty stores, or you can use what you have on hand. Some really great books can be made with copy paper, or resume paper, or even lunch bags.
  3. Book board. if you want your book to be archival quality, you are going to need real, acid free book board. For small books or mock ups you can also use regular cardboard; the results just won't be as long lasting.
  4. Adhesive. It's also important that this be acid free if you want your project to last. PVA is a great choice; white glue is a form of PVA that is cheaper, but not acid free. You can get acid free glue stick that is useful for some projects. Many people also like to use gel medium as an adhesive.
  5. Scissors. Some people prefer working with a craft knife. For most applications I like scissors better.
  6. The decorative stuff. This will vary according to your style. For me, must haves include tissue paper, and a source of found words like an old book, bible, or dictionary. I also have an ever growing collection of paper odds and ends to collage with.
  7. Your favorite artist's media. I love working with chalk. Other art supplies like my paints can go into a secondary storage space. My chalks stay out on my work table.
  8. Needle and thread. For sewn bindings you will want to use waxed linen thread, which comes in a variety of colors.
  9. A ruler. Accurate measurements are really important, and it's nice to have a straightedge to work with.
  10. Wax paper or old magazines. It's important to have layers of scrap paper on your work surface when gluing so you don't get glue on the parts of your project where you don't want it.
  11. A weight, press, or heavy book. Pressing your book while the glue dries helps keep everything from warping and wrinkling.
  12. Writing utensils. It's nice to have a couple of different kinds. I like both markers and colored pencils.
  13. Chocolate. You always need chocolate.


Crystal Laine Miller said...

My internet has been awful lately, so I've been unable to get over here! Wow, this is so impressive. I wish I could be there to watch you do this. It just sounds so wonderful.

I love posts like this. It makes me want to learn how to do this.

Joyce said...

What a lovely, useful Thursday 13. And I totally agree on the chocolate!

Wendy Lawton said...

You need to add digital camera to your list. We're dying to see photos of the art in process.