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Handmade Books

I spent all day on Saturday February 2nd at a workshop learning how to make handmade books. It was a really enjoyable day ๐Ÿ™‚

We made two books, we made them concurrently, but I’ll show you them separately…

For one book we cut out cardboard the size we wanted our book to be, and then cut out a small sliver (we used 7mm) to act as our spine:

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You need one for the front and one for the back.

Then cover in paper, fabric or whatever you want.

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We were advised to cover the spine first with the book cloth, but I did it the other way as book cloth doesn’t fray, whereas my fabric does. Most people did it the way were we advised. I decided which would be my front and back as my fabric pattern had a right way up.

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I still really like this fabric. I bought it ages ago from fabric land and made a crochet hook roll with it, as one of my first sewing projects.

After making holes through the paper and front and back covers, we then sewed it together using Japanese saddle stitch.

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And inside…

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The book is lined with paper I took along, which I originally got free from Simply Homemade magazine. This is a good stash busting craft!

I think a book like this would be perfect for a guest book for a wedding, or travel journal, well it could have so many uses!

The other book had a leather coating, which we lined with paper. I used more paper from the Simply Homemade set.

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When trimmed to size, I had some lined leather left over. It seemed a shame to throw them out, so following Sian’s from Buttons and Paint suggestion, I trimmed them down to make bookmarks.

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OK, they aren’t standard bookmark size, but they will still be useful and a reminder of the day ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to the book…

I folded five lots of paper to make the pages:

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We used an awl to make holes in the paper:

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Before stitching them into the leather:

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When open it looks like this:

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I think the lining works well ๐Ÿ™‚ Here it is at the back:

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I used a button and some thread to secure it shut:

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I’m also really happy with this book. The book binding technique can be adapted in many ways and there are a lot of possibilities with fastenings.

I’m now off to order a few bits so I can do this at home ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s one of my resolutions for 2013 met – try a new craft.

Cover Buttons

Having seen some lovely items made with cover buttons, I decided to try to make my own. Here are my best ones:

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I soon learnt that you need to ensure you have the back piece in exactly the right place, as otherwise when you push down, you will bend at least one of the metal pieces:

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If you try to force them the metal distorts more and becomes unusable. However sometimes you can recover slightly and make something that you can use, but isn’t as pretty at the back:

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Unfortunately I had to completely discard some buttons as I’d distorted them too much.

I got better with placement of the pieces after a while, but then run out of buttons. I have pretty fabric scraps and left over fabric from my top which I think I’ll use to make more. I think i may focus on which bit of fabric to choose next time, so that a pattern is central. This is a quite quick activity which I hope to be able to do in front of the television after a while.

Now what do I make with the buttons?

Wrist Pincushion

During my first session on Making Your Own Clothes my tutor showed us a pincushion she wears on her wrist whilst dress making. It means she always has pins to hand and doesn’t have to scrabble around. She gave everyone a copy of the pattern and here is my version:

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and on my wrist (well a bit further up my arm!)

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The pattern is fairly self explanatory and can be found here.

The pattern calls for soft and stable to stiffen the band. I don’t have anything that thick, so used sew in interfacing from my stash. I cut interfacing half the width of the band fabric (2″ rather than 4″).

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Yes, I did this after dark (which is not hard at this time of year)! The interfacing is 1/2″ shorter than the fabric, but if I was to do this again I’d probably leave a bit more as 1/2″ is not much when split between both ends!

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I then folded both in half length ways, and ironed the fold to make the creases more visible.

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Then I placed the interfacing in the fabric and folded the fabric over the edge so it was like a v shape. After unfolding I used the creases on the fabric to help place the Velcro. If I’d been able to have the machine out I’d have sewn the Velcro using it, but I sewed it by hand which took a while.

Today I used my machine to sew around the strap. I started at the end and went over each end three times before doing both sides. I also sewed around the circle, leaving a gap to turn through.

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I trimmed around the circle using my pinking shears before turning it the right way around. I only left a small gap which made it quite difficult! To save you stabbing yourself whilst wearing the pincushion you are advised to insert a circle of plastic at the bottom of the pincushion. I used the bottom of a pot noodle pot left after one of Mr M’s late night snacks. It’s virtually the perfect size!

To make the stuffed circle into a flower you draw your thread through the middle of the pincushion and around the edge and back through the middle. Initially I tried doing this using sewing thread, but when you pull on it to make it as tight as you want, it snaps! The pattern does actually say to use crochet thread, and luckily I found some in a charity shop last year. After initially trying with black thread that you couldn’t see, I quite like the contrasting thread.

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So, ta dah! I will take this to my next lesson on Monday. I wonder if anyone has made one? I guess I’ll find out soon…

This is another stash busting make. I used buttons the same when making my owl softies and I first used this fabric when making a needle case before I started blogging. The iron on interfacing used to strengthen the base of the flower and the sew in interfacing in the strap were both bought in to make clutch bags. It is quite nice to not have to go shopping to make something. Do you have a stash of crafty bits? Are you trying to make a dent in it? I’m still growing mine, and being able to make things straight off is one of the reasons I justify having it!

Gorgeous Greys

Who says grey has to be boring?

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Isn’t this vintage floral fabric lovely?

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What about this seagull ribbon?

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Or these teal (ok, these aren’t grey!) buttons?

Thanks to The Polished Button all of these are mine. I won her recent Gorgeous Grey Giveaway and a 12″ by 96″ piece of the vintage fabric, 1.5m of the ribbon and all those buttons are winging their way to me ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now what should I make with them?
Should I use them together or separately?
There are soooo many possibilities!

A Make By Hannah

Hannah was one of my earliest blog followers and is towards the top of my list of commenters, post wise. She is a very talented young woman who juggles crafting, including learning new skills, with her studies. When I reached 100 followers I had a giveaway which Hannah entered by every manner possible, and which she won. Did I mention that she is young? Well she had her 21st birthday last month and then wrote a 22 before 22 list. As part of that she has just sold her first ever crafted item and she used one of her wins in it. To see what she made and what she used see her blog post. Pop over and read her blog – I can virtually guarantee you’ll be impressed that this is only the second item she’s made with this skill set!

Quick and Easy Brooch

This almost feels like cheating rather than making!

All you need is a pretty button, strong glue and a brooch finding:

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You may recognise the button as one I bought in Cardiff. It was bought for this purpose. All I did was glue the finding on the back:

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And ta dah! I have a brooch (or my mother in law will do).
Here is is pinned to my jumper:

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And in a box to give to her:

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Please excuse how dark the photos are – artificial light and phone cameras aren’t a great match!

This is made with an expensive, hand painted button bought for this purpose, but you can use plainer buttons. I have previously shared button brooches made using a plastic button and a painted wooden one layered together and plainer buttons layered for the diamond jubilee.

Hopefully the original Mrs M will like this!

I’m seeing stars, pink stars

I’m aiming to only send handmade cards in 2013 (see my other aims here), and as it’s the 3rd birthday of a friend’s daughter this Saturday, I need a card…

Little girls tend to like pink, so I found pink paper in my stash and used this as my background colour. I used coordinating paper to create a band across the paper and added an embellishment to wish the recipient happy birthday:

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I always make quite simple cards, don’t I? I quite like this card, but it’s not quite suitable for a 3 year old. I’m sure I will find a use for it.
I was a fan of the background with the white stars, so used it again. I dug around and with the help of a few buttons and a sticker, made this:

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That’s much more suitable for a 3 year old!