Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Workshop

Board Book with Drop Spine
Taught by Ellen G.

Saturday, August 11 at 12pm, in our usual meeting place. Materials fee: $1

This versatile structure is essentially the same as that of most commercial children’s board books. It provides page spreads that lie flat with no stitching, and the books have a satisfying weight and bulk. Ours will include a drop spine, a common feature in commercial board books, which allows the book to have a tight fitting cover yet still have room for the pages to open flat. For those of you who like to alter board books, consider making your own from scratch! Examples, both handmade and commercial, will be brought to give ideas of what can be done with board books. 

Some board book examples made by the instructor.
Materials to bring:
  • 6 boards5 x 4", grain long, plus an extra scrap to use as a spacer. These can be 4-ply museum board, illustration board or mat board.
  • 5 pieces of card stock or similar weight papers for page spreads: 5½ x 8½", grain short. 
  • 1 piece of card stock or similar for the cover: 5½ x 10", grain short. 

Note: The more straight and squared your boards are, the better your book will look. Cut carefully. It also never hurts to bring a few extra pieces of board or paper in case of unforeseen disasters. The Art Center in Arcata and Ellis in Eureka are good places to check for museum or illustration board. NORBAG members get 10% off at Ellis. If you are new at this or still unsure how to determine grain, search online for "paper grain." Most how-to bookbinding books also have an explanation of this.

Supplies to bring:
  • PVA glue
  • Glue brush
  • Water jar for brush
  • Scrap papers for gluing on 
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Your preferred scoring tool
  • Ruler or straight edge. See note below.*
  • Pencil 
  • Bone folder

  • Drafting or artists' tape
  • Weights to put on top of your boards as they dry
  • A flat metal carpenter's square: a 12 x 8" square can be found at local hardware stores for under $10. (In general, these are handy for lining up book covers and very handy if you make boxes—it's a tool you'll use again.)

Provided: Written instructions and extra glue and drafting tape. A heavy-duty corner rounder will be available if you want to add that finishing touch.

*Note on straight edge
If you don't have a metal square, you'll need another other kind of straight edge or ruler. You can use a quilting ruler, a plain (not cork-backed) ruler, or even a plain, narrow piece of metal around 8" long will do. Another alternative is to glue a straight piece of book board about 9" x 1" onto the bottom of a larger piece of book board to use as a jig:

A diagram of a jig made from book board

Please don't use a cork-backed ruler. We're going to be using our straight edge to align our boards. The boards will slip under a cork-backed ruler, but if you turn over the ruler to avoid that problem, the cork might be damaged by the tape we'll be using.

Most of all, plan to have fun. Board books are addictive!

Please note: This was originally posted with incorrect dimensions for papers and boards. It has now been updated to show the same dimensions as is in the newsletter. If you've already cut your boards and paper with the previous measurements that were shown here, go ahead and bring them--they will still work fine. Sorry for the confusion!

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