Wednesday, July 22

tutorial and give away!

A few people had some questions about the little book I posted back on July 7th so I thought I'd make a video recreating the book to share the process. I started this video project a couple days later and had certainly hoped to get it done long before now, but slow and steady is where I'm at with this computer stuff! So here we go - to start, you'll need to gather up your tools, which include:
  • straight edge
  • paper cutter or sharp utility knife
  • 60 sheets of typing sized paper for your pages (8.5 x 11 inches) these will be cut down, giving you 2 pages per sheet
  • needle
  • binding cord - I prefer waxed linen
  • scissors
  • book cover material - you may want to create your own cover in your own way. I explain mine in the video, which uses two layers of craft paper with Tyvek glued and sandwiched in between.
  • scissors
  • glue (PVA I use)
there are always additional materials that are optional - a bone folder makes folding repeatedly, a whole lot easier, but it isn't necessary. These are a few of my favorite book binding tools (click on tool names for sources):
This tool is perfect for poking binding holes. While a needle or T-pin will do the job, this gives you something good to hold onto, and allows you to insert any sized needle to adjust for the hole size you desire.
(and here's an Australian source for you Zom! You may be able to find it cheaper/closer, but I smiled when it was one of the first places that popped up in my search, knowing you have difficulty finding some supplies.)
because it simply glides across all surfaces and works well for working together surfaces being glued, to achieve good adhesion - as well as for clean folds.

fits the hand perfectly and creates clean scored lines for folding, when used along a straight edge.
a decent one makes life so much easier when accurately cutting multiple pieces of paper. It can be a bit of an investment, but the time saved and ease to your hands (versus a utility knife and straight edge) makes it a worthwhile one, when possible. Mine is made of heavy plastic and was not one of the more expensive ones, under $40. It has served me well for a number of years. I recommend the guillotine style (as pictured above), and would dissuade anyone from using the rotary cutters if you want to cut multiple sheets of paper at a time, cleanly and accurately, based on my own experience with both.
OKay, now I'm going to let the videos do the talking, and meet you on the other side :) I had to divide the instruction into 3 parts to cover all the info - and even so, I left out a little when it came to making the cover. The last of the three has the stitching, though the second explains the layout of the holes and pattern for the stitching. Sorry I couldn't fit it all more concisely. Hopefully with experience will come better timing! I see several areas for improvement and better instructive value down the line.
Feel free to ask questions if I've left something unclear. I admire those that can teach to an invisible audience! I feel much better engaging directly, but lets see how this goes...

and for those of you who have no interest in watching video tutorials, or never intend to make a book, but DO like a give away, you may want to watch this little 50 second deal!
The one year anniversary of my blog is here - so hard to believe!
To celebrate I thought I'd give away the book I made while making this tutorial. All you have to do is leave a comment here between now and midnight July 25th, and I will do a drawing on Sunday, the 26th, and announce the winner! Good luck to all, and thank you for the wonderful support, friendship, and richness you have each added to my life.


  1. Yey!! I'm the first .. I hope I win, I hope I win.
    Thanks for sharing this, I've been wanting to try but not knowing where to start. Your video is great.
    P.S. you have a lovely voice :-)

  2. BTW part 3 is not up because it's too long, I think I got the idea of how the stiching is done, though.

  3. Thanks Fadwa - you're right, I'll go take out a minute and reload! and how cool would it be sending a book all the way to Dubai!!

  4. okay, I just sped up a segment in fast pace :) I lower the volume when that happens, or you wouldn't be so fond of my voice - my chipmunk friends might not mind! it'll be up and running soon!

  5. Happy Blogaversary, lovely Karin ! I am so very, very grateful that you entered the blogland world when you did, sharing your incredibly rich art and your powerful and beautiful spirit with us in every post. What a beautiful gift all around ! ;)

    I am thrilled to have the chance to win your little book full of such care... meticulous and measured things don't come easy to me so I doubt I will be making one of my own any time soon. It is wonderful to see how a Mistress of the Art does it, though ! And I love hearing and seeing you in general too ! ;)
    Blessings, Beautiful One !

  6. Happy Blogoversary :)

    Your video tutorial is so well done. I appreciate how you list and describe each required tool in the blog post. I have always wanted to bind my own little journals, and I will give it a try one of these days using your great tips.

    Thank you for this opportunity to win that lovely book. It would be great to hold a finished piece that shows how it SHOULD look.

  7. Thanks so much for making that tutorial, guess what I am going to do right now, but I'd still like the chance to win your little book!! Happy blog-a-versary! and keep on posting!! Blessings...

  8. yay karin! happy one year anniversary with your blog!!! and an early happy birthday!!!!!!!!! i always feel so selfish when i try to win your stuff because i already have your beautiful work and journal.... but not guilty enough to at least not try to win;) i love seeing you on your blog!!! and hearing your voice... and seeing your sweet smile on that last video... awesome job on the videos - that was a lot of work! hope you had another lovely summer day and that it was not too hot for you. lots o love, j

  9. You video is very detailed and done wonderful.
    I do want to be put into the give away...Congrat on the Blog.

  10. Happy blog anniversary. You have made me go and get my book making gear out and make some more, it has been a while.
    Your tutorial was really great.

  11. I always thought that making books was good for the soul and now I know it's true! Brilliant videos and thanks for sharing.

    Happy Blogaversary too :o)

  12. I haven't watched the videos yet as I am trying to figure out how to put this on my delicious account so I can save it.

    Links to Australian sources! you are a sweetheart!

    It's nice to put a voice and a face to your artwork.


  13. How timely that I found your tutorial. I have been gripped by the desire to return to making art journals and I always slow down when I get to the part where I have to assemble them.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put together these exemplifies the spirit of sharing and encourages creativity that does so much for the artistic soul.

  14. hey Karin go to my blog and see what I made!! Thanks!!

  15. congrats on year one!!!
    I love your work, your buried treasure pieces are so very organic and visceral! thanks so much for sharing, I love visiting!

  16. Thank you Kim, my wonderful Queen of Arts friend!! I totally get the not being into measuring - I reduce the amount I do as much as possible! but when I get into the zone, and the mood hits, book binding sure fits the bill. Good luck in the drawing :)

    Thanks Heidi! if you try it out, let me know how it goes.

    You're welcome Deb - you really inspired the video idea and I am so glad you jumped right in and made one already!! So cool. Everyone - go see Debs book here!!

    Thanks Jennifer, as one of my blog starting inspirations, you deserve a chance to win for sure!!

    Thank you Katelen, you are entered!!

    Thanks Penny, please let me know if you do try out this binding. It is a versatile one!

    Thank you Kate - you're right - it is good for the soul, and then we get to fill them with even more soul work!!

    Hey Zom, It just made me smile to see the Australian source - I was thrilled to pass it on to you!

    Hi Joanna, you're welcome! I hope this binding technique helps you in your desire to create a journal - it can certainly be adapted to a larger size, too. Just add more holes, and follow the same process.

    Thank you Caterina - the year has whizzed on by! it was interesting revisiting what seems like work I did only last week, and a life time ago at the same time.
    Time is such an illusory thing...

  17. Happy everything my darling friend...haven't watched the video just yet but love the idea of hangin' out in your studio will be my reward later today.
    HAPPY YEAR of blogging! You exemplify the meaning of the World Wide have spun a little golden web that joins so many souls to your beauty.
    throw my name in the hat :-)

  18. Holding thumbs, fingers and toes that I get to hold this beauty in my hands :-)

  19. Thanks for sharing this, it's a great tutorial!

  20. Congrats on your blogiversary! Seems a lot of my favourite blogs were born in the last year, as mine was.

    Your book is just wonderful. Here's hoping I get lucky!! ;)

  21. Happy Blogiversary Karin !!!!
    Thanks for all you have give me through this blog

    Wishing you all the best

    ... and thanks for the videos and instructions. Maybe I'll make a book too, lol


  22. I know I've already won your heart (book), but this book is so beautiful too! Regardless, I've already feel I've won just from watching your video. The method and materials used for the cover were particularly interesting to me. Using house wrap (tyvek aka typar)is brilliant and after the house reno, there's lots of that around here.

    Hope you are feeling great, Karin!

  23. Lovely work. And nice to put faces on creativity.

  24. WOW! Love the tutorial and like others, it's cool to see you and hear you in action! Love that!

    Also, loving all of your art (as always). Seems like I'm always coming here to drool (heh-heh)!

    HUGS and here's to a great weekend!

  25. The book is lovely. I so enjoyed seeing the process and your lovely face. You haven't changed a bit since college. I'm just long did it take to create the little book in real time.

    I hope I'm a winner...I've always wanted to have one of your exquisite pieces.

  26. karin, the book is amazing- i really tried to make a book ONCE! I did not have the proper tools and am grateful for your tuttorial. I just sort of pushed my way through about an inch and a half of paper- that was dumb and though the book turned out OK in the end it was way too difficult! I would love to have your very thick amazing looking already made work of art book- I would, but if I don't win it I do indeed thank you for all of you inspiring posts, art and tutorial. Love what you do- LOVE that you are here!

  27. Karin I love to look at your beautiful face.

    What dimples.

    Love you.

    Renee xoxoxo

  28. yahoo and a big HB to you! I've already won because I've enjoyed the gift of your friendship in ways you don't even know about! You're the best!
    your goofy pal

  29. Each time I visit here, I'm filled with inspiration and touched by your vision.

    Hat's off to your first anniversary and job well done!


  30. I know I missed the giveaway and that is fine. I just first wanted to congratulate you on one year of blogging. Fantastic. And I also wanted to thank you for this tutorial. I can see this took A LOT of work. Thank you for the time and effort that went into it!! Great book too, btw!!!

  31. Karin, today Broadband was installed on my computer!!! First port of call >>>> Beyond Words. I have just watched the whole book binding adventure and was enthralled throughout. Thank you so much! I can't believe I have had the patience with Dial Up for 3years.

  32. Karin,
    you don't tell how you measured the book cover or how you make the spine. Could you do that please?
    Other than that I loved it.

  33. Hi Bonne, in the second video at the 4 minutes and 40 second mark I have the dimensions laid out - the cover needs to be 4 1/2 " X 11 ", allowing for 2 inches for the binding. If you want to create pockets, then allow for an extra 4 inches at each end, with a total of 18 - 19 inches. I vary that, depending on how wide I want to have the pockets, or if I just want a folded flap, and don't sew it into a pocket. I'm not sure what you mean about how to make the spine - which aspect is confusing. To get the folds, you score the paper, measuring the center, and one inch to either side. You, as the creator, may decide just how many signatures you want to have - sometimes for a first book it's easier to make it less thick - but my stack of signatures added up to 2 inches. You will find the center of your cover and measure the depth of your signatures, and score the equal distance to either side of center, so for me that meant one inch on either side of center. Hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have any other questions, Karin

  34. Thank you so much Karin for this wonderful tutorial. I love learning new book binding methods for my art journals. It is a lot of work to put a video together and I wanted to thank you for sharing and giving such warm inspiration for us. I am excited to try your techniques as I love all the signatures you can fit into this idea...and the pockets too! Much love to you, and I wish you continued growth on your creative journey! oxoxoox Zinnia

  35. Dear Zinnia, I tried to email you directly with my response, but it doesn't seem to want to go through, so maybe you'll see it here :)

    You are so welcome! Thank you for such a warm and generous comment - I really appreciate it.
    You are right - it's a great design for holding a whole bunch for signatures!! I love it's flexibility.

    Now I'm off to visit your blog!
    gratefully, with love,

  36. Karin - just wanted to say thank you for your tutorials...I learn so much and I am trying this binding today :) Grazie!

  37. nice tutorial thanks for that.

    keep up the good work.

  38. Wonderful tutorial, I'd love to make my own little book, but not sure I'll ever get around to it. Hopefully I'll win so then at least I'll have one.

  39. see the wonderful marbled paper at

    video of marbling process

  40. Hi! I love your tutorial, and I will be trying it as soon as possible. I just have a little question about your cover dimensions. Shouldn't the height of the cover be 4 inches, since the signatures are 4 inches tall? I don't know if that was a mistake or if you wanted 1/4 of an inch to stick out on the top and bottom. I'm confused because the hole-punching template seemed to fit perfectly on the spine. Thanks!

  41. Hi Raina, so glad you like my tutorial!
    I do make the cover a little bit larger than the pages, so that it helps to protect the edges of the pages. If you make the cover exactly the same size, that pages tend to stick out from the covers edge and then they get beat up with use. I centered the pages in the cover so that 1/8 of an inch overhangs above and 1/8 below the pages edges. If you center the holes in both the pages and the cover, the center hole will be the guide - there will just be a little more left over at the ends of the cover, vs the pages. So start with the center hole, and measure the same amount out from that point, on both pages and cover. Does that make sense? Feel free to email me with any other questions and good luck!

  42. Thank you for sharing your gift!

  43. Thanks for this--I want to do one for my grandson (with illos) and I haven't done one in 45 years--so this is a great refresher--THANKS! :-D

  44. How long would it take to make one of your book (I have never made one before)?

  45. I really couldn't say for sure how long it would take you, if you've never done one before. If you're pretty crafty a good guess might be 3 hours? Remember there's all the measuring and cutting of paper before the sewing - plus drying time for the painting and gluing of covers... It's hard to say. I take breaks and spread things out over a couple days.

  46. thank you so much!!!!....... i love you!...... in my class a got A. because of you..... thanks a lot.
    from argentina.

  47. That is so sweet - I'm thrilled for you! xo


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