Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hardcover Books

Recently I made my first hardcover books!  It was an adventure into the Coptic style of binding.  Coptic binding leaves an exposed book spine and allows the book to open flat for easy drawing and writing.
The first step to making a hardcover book is creating the covers.  The base of the covers are pieces of mat board leftover from cutting windows out of mats.  After cutting the mat board down to size I chose strips of paper that overlapped the mat board by around an inch on each side.  Then, apply a thin coat of PVA glue to the front of the cover and apply the paper.  Trim the corners, apply glue to the other side of the board, and fold over the paper edges.  Then glue a piece of decorative paper over the back of the board to cover up the folded edges.  Repeat for the back cover!

The next step is punching holes in the covers.  Then fold all the pages in half and line up with the covers.  Mark the pages and punch holes that line up with the holes on the cover.  Then it is a matter of sewing the pages to each other and assembling the book.  The groups of pages (called signatures) are attached one at a time to the book, making it easy to create large books.  This site has a good tutorial on Coptic binding with lots of photographs of the sewing process.  This is one of those processes that seems very difficult when writing the instructions, but turns out to be very easy once you actually do it.

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