Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to make your own cute little books

We read and write about books here on Baja, but we hardly ever make them. I had a go a while ago at recycled notepad books, and this is what I learned.

1) Making books is simple and easy, but time consuming and a little messy.

2) You need a Cricut unless you want to run your own personal sheltered workshop for quite a while.

3) There are heaps of sites on the web to get you started. I used this one.

4) It is really satisfying.

5) People think you're wonderfully clever and crafty. Or they think, "She should really get a life. Who makes books?"

The video instructions start with, 'Cut 50-90 pieces of paper exactly the same size.' Giggle.

If you have a Cricut or some other source of paper cut to a specific size you are good to go. I used waste paper from school so there was something interesting on the opposite side of each page. Some Italian, music, chemistry, etc. So you could recycle paper specific to the book or the recipient. Or you could just go for the random polymath approach.

I added a few coloured pages, just for interest. For the covers I used scrap booking paper my beautiful mother gave me and a vintage Italian map of Capri.

To glue the spine I used PVA and for the cover layers and 'varnish' I used Mod Podge.

This project costs next to nothing (unless you duck out to Wal Mart to buy a Cricut) and is so fun. If anyone has a go I'd love to see the photos.


  1. Ahahahaha! You are so clever!
    Love it. I will probably try it with the kids during the upcoming holidays!

  2. What cute little books! You are too dang crafty-- you need an etsy shop!!

    hahah-- DeLynne the Bookbinder! I read articles on Booktryst about women bookbinders in history-- here is a link to one if you want to read about the sisterhood of bookbinding! ;o)

  3. +JMJ+

    "She should really get a life. Who makes books?"

    Oh, that brings back memories . . . When I was in uni, I copied a whole book by hand.

    Yes, people laughed. Most of them asked why I didn't just use a photocopier or a scanner. One of them predicted that I'd give up before I was done and that any insistence on my part was merely a sign that I hadn't been doing it long enough. =P

    It's really too bad that he moved out of our hostel before I was finished. Because I really did copy the whole thing!

    And yes, I did have a life. =P

    But even then, I will admit that this sort of book making is a step up from geeky, impulsive projects like mine! =)

  4. +JMJ+

    I just watched the video. The crafty lady doesn't think anything of cutting fifty to ninety pieces of paper exactly the same size, does she? She's probably done it a million times before and wonders why other people balk at the idea. =P I respect her . . . I also wish she would do all my cutting for me! LOL!

  5. They are adorable!

    I have such a weakness for notebooks/journals. I have at least 15 blank ones waiting to be used at the moment, so I probably shouldn't start also making my own!

  6. Thank you, Ladies. It was fun, and I found glue on my hand just this morning!

  7. En, once when I was young I started recording myself reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Princess. I can relate!

  8. +JMJ+

    Oooh! An audiobook! I've never done that . . .

    Well, actually, I have: I started Ralph S. Mouse for my little brothers, but it didn't catch on and I gave up after two chapters. (But you finished your recording, I presume?)

    But now you've given me a new star to reach for, DeLynne. Thank you! =D

  9. E: How medieval of you! Did you illuminate your book too? ;o)

  10. +JMJ+

    If I had had any talent for drawing, I would have! LOL!

  11. Interesting for me//


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