Firstly, a belated Eid Mubarak to all of my blog readers! I hope that you all had a very blessed and peaceful Eid and Ramadan. Mine was wonderful. I spent most of Ramadan busy with PhD work, and Eid was spent with my family. This year, I decided to make everyone personalised Eid gifts in the form of hand-bound notebooks! As you can see from the image above, they turned out pretty well (at least, I think so for a novice bookbinder like me!)
I thought that you might be interested to see the books in a little more detail, but before I start, I should mention that the instructions for the bookbinding project came from a fantastic tutorial that I found on Molly Brooks’ blog post. Very highly recommended! Read through Molly’s post, and you will begin to appreciate the effort that went into each book – a labour of love!
This bookbinding technique is called “open spine binding” because the book’s spine is exposed. In her tutorial, Molly suggests using bookbinder’s tape to secure the covers – I have used decorative ribbon instead. I hope it will be resilient enough! I also threaded a long piece of ribbon through the central “tape”. This is purely for ornamental purposes, and can be used as a bookmark, or to tie the book shut. The book above is for my brother, and I filled it with parchment papers so that he can use it to scribble down his notes and thoughts.
I wish I could take credit for the beautifully patterned covers, but the designs come from printed Japanese papers that I bought at Falkiner’s on Southampton Row in London. In fact, you can buy all of your papers and bookbinding equipment from here. For the endpapers, I used some vibrant handmade Nepalese paper that I bought a long time ago and have been itching to use for ages!
Having cut and measured my signatures (interior pages of the book) and the board for my cover…
I proceed to sewing my signatures to the book’s cover. Ok, I have skipped out quite a few stages here, but you can get the detailed instructions in Molly’s blog post. Here are some more pictures of the finished books:
My Mother’s book contains handmade pages that are infused with marigold and bougainvillea flowers! She was thrilled with her gift. It may be just my imagination, but I’m sure that the pages give off a faint flowery scent as you open the book.
Above are the books that I made for my Mother and Sisters-in-law. My Sister-in-law’s book (on the right) contains pages that have been infused with cornflowers.
Although these two books have the same cover, the interior pages are very different. I have used a handmade watercolour paper for my Brother’s book (with the black ribbon, on the left), as he is quite arty! My Dad’s book contains parchment papers for note-making.
I then got a little carried away, and started making matching gift tags from the off-cuts of the cover papers. You can see the results below:
All in all, my family were thrilled with their Eid presents and a great day was had by all. If you would like to try your hand at making a book like the ones in this post, don’t forget to take a look at the instructions on Molly Brooks’ site. And good luck! Happy bookbinding!