Monday, September 19, 2016

Mini Book Fun for Imagine

I was very excited when I heard our theme at Imagine for the month of September was to highlight books because I am a mini-book fanatic!  I have truly enjoyed creating small books over the last 20 years.  So I set out to craft a cute little book from fun foam, chipboard and cardstock that has a ribbon binding.  To make the book more portable, I made an elastic closure to hold it together.  It is easy to decorate the fun foam with StazOn ink, and the elastic closure uses some Fabrico makers to add color inside the ridges. 

A few details:

Skill Level:  Intermediate
Time:  2 hours plus dry time

Step 1
Trim tan fun foam to 5” x 7”.  (This size was chosen as I hoped to add some texture with an embossing folder, but didn’t like the lack of results so that ended up on the inside.)  The fun foam is stamped with a variety of marbling stamps using StazOn in Saddle Brown, Timber Brown, and Cactus Green.

Step 2
The create a color coordinated elastic closure, a 12” piece of soft ¼” elastic is inked with StazOn in Saddle Brown and colored with Fabrico markers in Chocolate and Pea Pod.  The colors are muted with a spritzing of Ink Potion No. 9.  It was a little lighter than I liked, so another layer of StazOn ink in Timber Brown was added.  The elastic is set aside to dry. 

Step 3
The stack of pages, called a signature of the book, is 5 sheets of cream cardstock trimmed to 4 ¾” x 6 ½”.  Each sheet is scored down the middle and creased.  The signature is lined up and the inside set is marked with a pencil at the center and 1 3/8” away from center. The holes are punched with a paper piercer, or you can use a heavy duty thumb tack.  The same marks and punch holes are made in the fun foam cover.  The signature and cover are slightly different sizes so it is more simple to use a centering ruler for this measuring task.   

Step 4
A 15” length of 1/8” ribbon is threaded through the signature and cover using a tapestry needle.  Starting from the outside, the ribbon is threaded through the center hole in the cover and signature.  You will have to line up the needle with holes in the signature before pulling it all the way through.  A length of ribbon, or tail, is left on the outside. 

Step 5
From the inside the ribbon is threaded through an outside edge hole of both layers.  Next the ribbon is threaded from one outside hole to the other outside hole back to the inside of the book.  From the inside the ribbon is threaded back through the center hole.  Take care to not pierce the ribbon and only go through the hole.

Step 6
The ribbon tails should be on either side of the center ribbon.  You may gently adjust the length of the tails at this point.  Tie the tails around the center ribbon and make a bow.

Step 7
Round the signature in a stack with a heavy duty corner rounder like Zutter.  Rounding the corners after binding allows them to line up more neatly.  Trim two pieces of chipboard to 3 ¼” x 4 ¾” and round outside corners.  Line up the chipboard between the cover and the signature. 

Step 8
Mark holes for elastic 1” from the top and bottom edges of the cover and ¾” from the outside edge.  Punch holes through both the chipboard and foam cover.

Step 9
Add a quick dry adhesive designed for paper to the chipboard cover and adhere to the foam cover.  Place wax paper between chipboard and the signature in case a bit of adhesive leaks out from around the edges.  Repeat for the front of the mini book.  Place under a stack of books and let dry.  Mine took about an hour.

Step 10
Thread elastic through the holes in the back cover.  Leave the elastic slack enough to go around the front cover.  Pin the elastic together and then stitch at the mid-point to secure.  This is flatter than knotting the elastic. Trim the excess elastic.  Add adhesive to the chipboard and adhere to the last page of the signature so the elastic is hidden.  Adhere the front page of the signature to the front chipboard cover.  Add the wax paper to protect the rest of the signature as before and dry under a stack of books. 

This little book is the perfect size to hold wallet size photos, meandering thoughts and notes, or sketches. 


·      StazOn-- Timber Brown, Saddle Brown, Cactus Green
·      Fabrico Markers—Chocolate, Pea Pod
·      Ink Potion No. 9

·      Fun foam--tan
·      Chipboard
·      Cardstock—Cream
·      1/8” ribbon
·      ¼” elastic
·      Quick dry paper adhesive—Scotch works well
·      Yvonne Albrition Designs—Marble tile stamps
·      Acrylic blocks
·      Score board
·      Centering ruler
·      Paper piercer and mat
·      Tapestry needle, needle and thread
·      Heavy duty corner rounder
·      Heavy duty hole punch
·      Wax paper

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