Journal

Bookmaking at home

The materials I used along with my haste and inability to be neat and tidy whenever I attempt anything crafty, meant I abandoned this project as I didn’t know what to put into my concertina books once I started. As much as anything I did these two projects during lockdown especially to inspire families with young children for something to do.

Below is just a selection of the wide range of things you can readily find round your home or acquire easily plus a couple of things like stickers and lettering which can help speed things up and make things decorative if you’re not normally confident enough or have time to draw, illustrate, print or paint things yourself. Don’t forget though to use any scraps you have around like card from packaging, images from flyers, newspapers and magazines and images from colouring books. Take photos of things, manipulate them and print them out to cut out if you have a printer, or use tracing paper if you don’t.

Old spiral bound sketch and note pads, particularly those with really hard covers can easily be repurposed to make not just a new book cover, but folders, boxes and anything else your imagination stretches to. When the wire from them is unusable you can replace it by lacing it together again with ribbons, wool or string etc. Save the wire though as it can be used to make other things such as sculptures it puppets.

The covers from hardback sketchbooks you can decorate or use as boards for new artworks and the inside, if you’re making a book just needs the first or last page stuck to the cover before you add more. Old greetings cards painted, or covered and trimmed to size are a good way to quickly build your pages up.

There are lots of ideas to make your book more interesting to suit what it can be about. You might want to include insert pockets by sticking in a few envelopes, add fold down pages and pop ups etc. You can find loads of videos for how to do so. The end result will always be a unique personal creation, so here’s one last idea. Why not create one as a record of an event or any interest you share, a conversation you enjoyed or stories told as a gift for a loved one. It’s much nicer and far more memorable than just looking back over hundreds of snaps isn’t it?