I think I’m lucky to live in such a crafty town. Austin is jam-packed with musicians, writers, designers, and artists of all trades. I’ve been especially fascinated by the art of bookmaking ever since Scott Pierce of Effing Press, a local and private printing press downtown, came to one of my poetry classes to speak about small presses and short-run publishing. He emphasized that bookmaking is hard, especially when you only have two hands. But I’m still a big fan of the beauty and craftsmanship that comes with a handmade book or journal.
So in order to enhance my bookmaking skills, I enrolled in a three-part class hosted and taught by The WonderCraft, an Austin-based mobile craft studio that offers an extreme variety of classes and crafting parties. You can also find these ladies at events around Austin where they demo “make and take” projects like at the Austin Handmade “Beard Folks” event last weekend.
We spent the first class making accordion books. The group was small, just me and two other students, but I prefer it that way in case students need special attention. Plus it’s easier to share supplies with a smaller class. The WonderCraft classes are also nice because they provide all of the supplies and materials for only a $10 supply fee. This is great for someone like me who doesn’t own an X-Acto knife or a bone folder. Plus, the teachers have boxes and boxes of paper and embellishments to choose from to decorate the books. Of course, students can also bring any special paper or materials if they wish to use them.
Our accordion books were pretty basic and you can find hundreds of instruction sets online. I like this step-by-step video on making books with children.
My book had four panels and 10 sewn-in pages, giving me 20 pages to sketch or write on when the book was finished. We made simple hardcovers out of cardboard and decorated them with scrap paper from magazines and junk mail.
I decorated the inside cover with cut-out letters, bookmaking glue, and card stock.
I used textured sticky paper and clippings from an advertisement to make a small collage and a mini accordion on one of the inside pages.
I love pop-up books, so I wanted to use the center panels to make my own little pop-up section. I used clippings and glued them down randomly and cut the pop outs. I think this gives the page a really textured look and feel.
I thought a symmetrical collage would be a crafty way to end the book.
All it takes is a needle, thread, and a button to make a cute and secure latch for your book.
Each week the class makes a new kind of book, so keep your eyes open for Part 2 of the bookmaking series. Next Sunday we will be making flag books. Not really sure what that is right now, but we will all know soon enough.