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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Making Books?! Use up your Gelli Prints.

So What happens when you tell people you are going to do something before you do it? You put the pressure on yourself because there becomes a certain expectation!!
Well I was excited about this at the time I made it because I love books, Note Books, Journal Books, Altered Books, Mini Books, you get the picture.   I opened one up in my craft room the other day and got a lovely surprise because it was one I had Altered a few years ago and forgot all about.

 So I notice a trend for making books.  I did buy a Zutter Binding Machine a while ago and I will be getting that out soon, but I have always fancied having a go at REAL Book Binding.  But for someone who likes quick results, that's most of us Crafters isn't  it?
I decided to do Book Binding "My Way"!!! 
It Has to be easy doean't it? I can use Glue, ink and Paint, I can  Mold Fabric or Card and I can Sew? How hard can it be????
Well My first one was made using Fabric for the Cover at the bottom of this page is a link to my and some of my Self-Reject cards and papers from my Clarity Stamp Design Work, and of course my Gelli Plate Prints.  The Gelli Arts -Gell Printing Prints make great inner sheets for this and a great cover too.
So here it is - not perfect but a learning project.
The cover is Kodak Canvas Paper and Dylusions Inks
with a bit of Resist with a Clarity Stamp
Obviously the Inks are Water based and will "Move" if made wet again, but I managed to coat this cover with Modge Podge to seal the ink with little damage, I only had to patch up little areas here and there. So next time I would spray the colours and seal before I put any pattern on.

This is the Back, Lesson No.1 Inserts,even though they are smaller ALWAYS appear bigger when you close the book???
Answer- Add an extra strip of  an Arty Feature to hide it, I think the white music strip enhances it though anyway.
I am not an Arty Planner or a person who measure things I do it all "by eye". 
So all of the stamps used are Clarity Stamps. This Particular stamp we got for the Clarity Show on Create & Craft last Sunday - it was this stamp that gave me the idea of making the cover.  I made it for the show and all the stamps were just right I think.  I will come back to this further down.

So you can't make a book without pages?  Perfect for the Pages obviously are some of my Gelli Plate Prints. On the next book though as I say, the whole thing will be Gelli Prints in Ink and Paint. So this bit was easy, I trimmed down some Prints and folded them in half, measuring against the cover obviously, by eye!
This canvas was moulded  but I wanted it too look as much like a real book as I could manage, so I lined it with the PaperArtsy "12 by "12 card/paper pad.
So these are the Gelli Prints, all inks and paints and rejects for the projects I was making at the time, rejects make the best Journal and Note Book pages because they are so Random.  Re-jects as in Gelli Prints, don't exist, there is always something you can do with them.
So if you want to doodle on a Gelli Print in a book you need to make it more like a background page - so I used the PaperArtsy Chalky White paint - I always use this but there are so many Gesso's out there you can just experiment, even a normal watered down white would do it, but I like the Chalkyness of this paint and it is just made to soak up a stamped image. So I used a sponge and just did a light coating depending on the depth of colour I was covering. Obviously you want all of the pattern to show through.
Right this is the bit I thought was "easy" of course it is? a few tacking stitches and you're away. ~Well hands up - it takes more thought than I anticipated  if you don't want to be in and out of the same hole half a dozen times, and it needs to be as tight as you can possibly get it without ripping the Card/Paper = I did mention these insert pages are all card didn't I?  They are Clarity Gelli Plate Card, really good quality.
So as I was saying, when folded put all the pieces together and prick a hole in the centre of each one. keeping them firmly slotted in line with each other.  Then put a prick between the top of the page and the middle hole and again in the middle of the bottom of the sheet and the middle hole - complicated ? no - basically three holes evenly distributed on each page.
I decided to use up some of my "we are memory keeper" yarn.  I have the needles to go with it see, perfect size. So your thread needs to be quite thick, not too fluffy and any colour you like, this is an arty book so go for it?
Now ten how do I explain this?
Keep all knots on the outer edge that you see here, we will be covering that up.
Bear in mind there are instructions all over for real book binding.
 So I will name each page - from Bottom Page 1 up to Pg 5
Lets do this like a Knitting Pattern
In at middle Pg1 out at Pg1 Left
In at Pg2 middle -  out at  Pg2 left
In at Pg3 middle - out at Pg 3 left
In at Pg4 middle - out at Pg4 left
In at Pg 5 middle *out at Pg5 Right !!
In at Pg4 middle - out at Pg4 right
In at Pg 3 middle - out at Pg 3 right
In at Pg 2 Middle - out at Pg2 right
In at Pg1 middle - out at Pg1 right
To finish
Loop in and out of thread from Pg1 right to Pg5 right
In at Pg5 right - out at Pg 5 middle
In at Pg 5 Left - out at Pg5 middle
loop under Pg5 Left thread - and down over weaving in an out of thread to Pg1
In at Pg1 - Out at Page 3 tie off end
You can add as many pages as you like this way - I think I will come back and show other methods because this is for a quick gathering of pages so all you need is for them to stay in place but still to open easily. - so remember to keep firmly pulling your thread together, but don't rip.
Here you can see that after I did the above step I then sewed it onto a fabric outer edge. Obviously you can decorate the canvas inner in anyway you like - this isn't really going to show - you will see what I mean if you make this.  Its that transitions sheet between hard cover and pages.
So here you can see the moulded outer cover, the Insert Fabric Sheet and the Pages
This is the Side of the Canvas Sheet Insert that has the Pages attached. 
Glue the moulded area only on the cover - put a bit of glue on the centre of the Insert just to get it to attach. I used Mod Podge for this but there are other glues that I would happily use too, its a case of what is in front of you?
Hold the cover into place with grippers or your stamina?  Keep moulding it into the curve of the cover as it dries. This is a very hands on job and if you don't keep pressing it in you will just end up with a big gap between cover and Insert.
TA DA !!! This is what it all looks like - doesn't it look neat?? This is why I was so excited when I made it, because it worked! I had no idea when I started if it would work or not but if you don't play you don't doscpver?
So here are a few of my Pages - all made on the Gelli Plate over the past few months with inks, and paints and Clarity Stamp Stencils.
Here you can see where I have put the Chalky paint, for a Journal I would keep it like this or mute it more for a Note Book I would put a centre piece of thicker paint to write onto.
Look it even stands on its side.  Mod Podge is a very clever glue though sometimes a little too runny for some projects.
This is the Back of the Book Cover

So for this part I Stamped onto a Photo Fabric Sheet in Versamark and Heat embossed with clear Embossing Powder
I did this with all the images. It creates the Resist on the Fabric against the Ink so that part always looks stays the same. (except with fabric it could possible come back at you from the other side if you get it too wet.
 I then Sprayed with Dylusions Inks after making the Fabric slightly damp with water.
I very carefully applied a coat of ModPodge Mat, as soon as your brush picks up some of the ink colour clean it and dry it and carry on where you left off, in between  time you can keep wiping you brush on kitchen roll.  If you don't keep cleaning your brush all the inks will emerge into one colour.

So you can still play on top of the ModPodge so then you can start to do a little background stamping and adding some pattern with Stencils.

 Simply sew through from each page and into the Back of this fabric at each individual hole and then tie a knot at the back of the fabric where it will be glued to the inner spine of the book in the same way I am about to show you in this video! Yep that's right VIDEO!  I have been promising some for a long time and now I have my new Ipad Mini I will be making more, I have lots of tutorials on my promise list.
So this tutorial on You Tube tells you how to make the cover, the one above is Fabric but on the video it is a Gelli Print on Card - same method though but with the fabric you need to attach it to a card insert to stiffen it even more - the Mod Podge does do a pretty good job of this though.
So I will leave you with it, please let me know if you like the tutorial and video, if you don't like them there is no need to let me know thank you!! xx
Gelli Plate Book Cover 1of 2 - 2 is to follow shortly.


  1. What a fabulous book you have created using the Gelli prints. I love how you have also gone to the trouble to include step by step instructions as to how to bind the pages together. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous book but also the tutorial and YouTube links. Very practical but also very beautiful xx

  3. Fantastic book, love the colours and a brilliant binding tutorial
    I did this in a workshop some time ago, this has been a great refresher


    Jools x

  4. that looks really good Sam. thank for the detailed tutorial and video xx


About Me

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Teesside, United Kingdom
I am proud to be on the Design Team for Claritystamp & for the Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog and the Fussy and Fancy Challenge Blog. I have always had an interest in Arts & Crafts and studied for six years and gained certificates in Arts & Crafts, Interior Design, and Soft Furnishings, I even did a Painter & Decorator course. I was originally taught everything I know by my Mam and I now have a passion/obsession for crafts as I develop my techniques. I archived my Goal and have now worked as a demonstrator too.