Category Archives: Bookbinding

Piano Hinge Book

I made a piano hinge book out of envelopes and bamboo skewers to fill with monsters that my family and I are making up.  It’s also possible to use paper that has been folded, but I prefer envelopes so that you have little pockets to hold photos, keepsakes, etc. 

First, cut the flaps off of your envelopes (I used four, but this is up to you). Stack them so that they are all facing the same direction. Using a template similar to the one below, cut out notches on the bottom edge of each envelope.  I never really put measurements on it, I just eyeball it (I know, isn’t that horrible?), but it should end up looking somehthing like this:

Now, take a bamboo skewer and weave it in the first notch of the first envelope, the second notch of the second envelope, then back to the first envelope, and so on until you reach the end. Repeat this step to connect the rest of the envelopes together. When you finish, you will have extra tabs on the front and back of your book. Weave a skewer through these to finish them off. You may want to amputate the pokey ends to keep from skewering yourself, but it is much easier to weave the skewers through your envelopes using the sharp end, then cut it off later. The skewers may slip and slide on your binding, so finish them off by winding some fibers around the ends and tieing them tightly to help keep the skewers in place. I chose some hairy brown eyelash yarn to go along with the monster theme of my book. When you finish, your binding should look like this:

Now decorate your book to your heart’s content. I put little tabs on each of my monster photos to make it easier to pull them out of each envelope.

Have fun!



Filed under Bookbinding

Tutorial Try Out 2 – Journal by Five and a Half

After getting a heap of tutorials submitted by e-mail last week one immediately stood out. I think it was sent to me by Mariek Uniek ,thanks for that!

After reading through the reCOLLECTED, REcreated blog I was even more enthusiastic. An absolutely wonderful website; fantastic web-design, easy on the eye and Judy shares a wealth of information in her blog about owning a creative business.

Anyway let’s start making photo journals.

The tutorial stated I needed the following materials:

  • 2 photographs (got that)
  • sheets of paper (yep)
  • strip of paper (yep)
  • 2 wooden pegs (ok plastic ones will do I hope)
  • 2 wooden boards or old books (yep)
  • sheet of wax paper (mmm nope nut I think I’ll manage)
  • brush (yep)
  • white glue (craft glue or PVA bookbinding glue) (used another glue)

Here it is all ready to get started:


This tutorial try out my husband Paul was having a go to. I decided to use some photo’s I shot on one of our trips and Paul had 2 photo’s of our boys. First I trimmed all the  papers to the same size and put the photo’s on the front and back of the stack facing outside. Look like this:

paper same size

Put my handy clips on like so:

clips on paper

Replaced them for plastic washing pegs and (you can already see the male infuence in this pic) G-clamps.


Easier to hold the whole thing together nicely when I was putting the glue on. Again PVA or craft glue was not good enough for hubby so we had to have some super strong glue this one:

super glue

After putting 2 layers off glue on with the brush I took the clamps off and loaded a pile off books on top and  it was time to drink some champagne! Crafting is fun! Mmmm


Half an hour later it was time to put the last piece of paper on the spine of my book. I though this was the hardest part to get it all nicely lined up and looking pretty (I only had 1 glass so this should not have influenced the result :-). Another 10 min under the pile off books.

pile of books

 and taaaadaaaa here are our handmade photo journals!


I love it! Thanks again Five and a half for an awesome tutorial.

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Filed under Bookbinding, Tutorial we've tried