Obligatory finished piece first.
My girlfriend has been asking for a notebook for her poetry and other writing stuffs, so I figured I'd make her one for her birthday coming up.
I started with some sturdy paper from the craft store. I didn't like just plain white paper so I went for this stuff which was sold in a pack of 40.
I printed some lines on both sides of every sheet–landscape orientation.
Fold all of them perfectly and carefully.
I clamped all but a few of the sheets together (I needed some extra sheets later on down the line) using some scrap wood and all the clamps I could find in my workshop. The exposed edge is of course all of the folded sides.
Didn't have any smaller clamps so these had to do.
I found this white craft glue in my craft drawer. It ended up working perfectly because it was pretty old and therefore not too watery.
I put tons of glue on the edge and spread it around with my finger.
I found this stuff at the craft store. It's kind of net-like which is exactly what I needed for binding this notebook.
I placed it over the glued edge and added lots more glue over it. This material helps hold the pages together well, and the excess over the sides will be used later to mount the pages to the cover.
Used some scrap cloth to make the end pieces so they look a little nicer later on.
I got these rolls of cloth and woven stuff at the craft store. My girlfriend likes pastel pink a lot, and I liked the strength and feel of the woven stuff (kinda reminded me a little of burlap). Sooooo…
I figured I'd make the cover out of two layers–pink underneath, and the woven stuff over top. This way, the cover will have a slight pink tint to it since you can slightly see through the stuff on top.
Maybe a darker pink underneath would have made the effect more prominent, but I'm still pretty happy with it.
Before doing anything else, I had to learn how to iron.
This spray stuff I used to bond the two cover material layers together.
I cut out way more material than I knew I'd need and spray glued them together. The glue was tacky almost immediately and the two layers bonded right together.
Next up was the structure of the cover. I used a piece of paper folded in half for size and cut out three pieces from cardboard–front, back, and the spine.
I cut the spine piece a little big so that it could be cut down later, and also cut the front/back a little larger so that the cover hangs over the pages a little bit.
Line them up to prep for gluing.
Smear it around with your finger, of course.
Use something heavy and useless to weigh it down while it dries.
I cut the fabric down to leave about 1" around the cardboard, and began cutting the corners.
This is the pattern that allows for the corners to be folded such that there will be no cardboard exposed when the fabric is folded over the edges.
I folded over and glued the left/right sides first.
And waited for them to dry under some weights.
After they were dry, I then folded over the little flap that was cut at each corner and tacked it in place with some glue.
Then the top/bottom flaps could be folded over and glued in place.
Next up I had to join the pages to the cover
I took a spare page and coated one side with glue. This would then slip under the excess binding material flap.
After that was in place, I added more glue to the binding material to lay it down over the extra page. When this gets glued down to the cover, the binding material will then be sandwiched between the page and the cover.
You can see here that I started using elmers glue at this point which was a mistake. I ran out of the other thicker stuff and had to use this instead. Turns out that elmers is much more watery, which led to some of the pages near the cover being a little wavy once it all dried. Not too big of a deal, but if you're doing this yourself, find a thicker glue and avoid elmers–especially for this part.
Added a little more glue close to the edge and then closed it.
I used my straight edge to press the corner near the binding down. This ensured that the corner of the bound pages and the corner of the cover had a good bond. After holding it down like this for a while, I added weights and let the rest of it dry.
I repeated the last process to do the back cover, and here it is afterwards.
I flipped through all the pages and only about 2 were not properly bound so I just carefully pulled them out. The rest were perfectly strong throughout.
Next I wanted to make a page holder. These were my options. The pink was a scrap from the cover which seemed like it would be difficult to work with; The black seemed a little too thin and I also didn't like the look. So I settled on the blue one.
I cut it to size and used some loctite superglue to glue it to the spine.
On the left is a box I picked up at the craft store and stained/finished to hold a big piece of amethyst I also got her. In the middle is a crystal holder/stand that I made for her as well. You can see that process here: imgur.com/gallery/01CoQ