Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Flowers and Birds Album – the Story

I have just finished a book for my Etsy shop, which is designed to be a guest book or photo album for a special event – like and Engagement Party or Wedding Reception.  This is how it was made:

Peach_Birds_Album_1  Peach_Birds_Album_2
I cut boards to size for the covers (8”x6” approx) and covered them with a lovely paper I found with birds and flowers, then lined them with a peach coloured art paper.

Peach_Birds_Album_3  Peach_Birds_Album_4
I cut 40 pages (they are A5 – 8”x5.75” approx, landscape format) and ten peach coloured section wrappers.  I made a template for the holes, which I pierced for sewing the book together.
 Peach_Birds_Album_5  Peach_Birds_Album_6
The pages grouped in sets – four pages per section – with a spacer / wrapper round each section.  The wrappers serve two purposes – they look decorative and they also act as spacers, making the book deeper at the spine, so it will hold photos, cards, tags etc.  without the book bulging out of shape (of course it relies on the owner not to stuff it too full!).

Then I stacked the sections ready for binding and put them under a weight overnight.

Peach_Birds_Album_7  Peach_Birds_Album_8
Making holes in the boards, ready for sewing.  I decided to have a 9-thread pattern on this book, which is sewn with a Coptic style binding.

Peach_Birds_Album_9  Peach_Birds_Album_9a
The book is ready for sewing; I stitched the centre of each set of 3 holes with a v.dark blue thread.  The second picture shows the finished dark blue coptic stitch, with the cover boards sewn onto the book.

Peach_Birds_Album_9b  Peach_Birds_Album_10
The boards are attached by stitching through the holes, then sewing to the first section of pages. 

The second picture shows the beeswax I use for waxing my thread; I sewed this book with 100% linen thread in two colours – dark blue and ivory. The wax gives the thread more strength and durability; it also makes it easier to sew with, as it’s slightly slippy.

Peach_Birds_Album_11  Peach_Birds_Album_12
Sewing the Coptic stitch binding in ivory linen and a top view of the finished binding.

Peach_Birds_Album_13  Peach_Birds_Album_14
The completed Coptic Stitch binding, in dark blue and ivory.  You can see the stitch pattern on the inside of the cover.

Peach_Birds_Album_15  Peach_Birds_Album_16
The book opens flat; the section wrappers act as spacers and make the book fatter at the spine than at the front edge.

The book is pretty well finished, though I may need to tidy up the edges or some of the section wrappers, as they are a bit scruffy on one or two sections. 

When I get some decent daylight (tomorrow pm I hope!!), I will photograph the book properly and then add it to my shop. Hopefully someone will like it and buy it for their wedding/ engagement/ anniversary party or other special day.  I really enjoy knowing that one of my books will be special to someone else and hold memories of a special occasion.


  1. That's a beautiful book Lizzie! I love that binding!

  2. Thank you so much... I do too! I was a bit inspired by the great little journal I bought from you, which had blue and red stitching!

  3. What a gorgeous book Lizzie, I have no doubt it will get snapped up!

  4. Pretty book & love the paper!

  5. Gorgeous book,Lizzie....I love the cover.

  6. Very pretty. I'd love to try my hand at bookbinding obe day

  7. I love those side on pictures so we could really see the beauty of the binding and stitching - real craftsmanship at work!

  8. This is so pretty, Lizzie. I love the look of the page spacers on the binding. Your work is so beautifully done!

  9. Lovely book and great to see your step by step stages.

  10. This turned out so beautifully! Congratulations on a job well done.

  11. It looks great! I love the dark blue stitching with it

  12. This is lovely - such a great skill.

  13. Perfectly pleasing in every way! Love the colors.

  14. Absolutely beautiful - it's sure to find a good home :-)

  15. It did find a good home! While I was relaxing yesterday evening, after a very busy day... a lady from Northern Ireland bought it! It will be on its way in about 15 minutes time, when I reach the Post Office! I'm so pleased about this - and I'm going to make another!

  16. i soooooooooooooo want to learn bookbinding. any suggestions or can we have a personal teaching session?
    Jo xxxx


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