Bookbinding journey and my DLP planner

My DLP planner has gotten fat!  It never occurred to me that it would get this big so fast. So I looked around the internet and found a bookbinding tutorial by Lee at Crafty Loops. Her tutorial is detailed and easy to follow.

My bookbinding journey is based on her awesome tutorial. However I need to be really clear–any mistakes, errors, omissions, shortcuts, substitutions or other deviations are wholly mine and mine aloneThis is going to take some time, so get your drink of choice, sit back, read and scroll.

Once upon a time (in January) I joined The Documented Life Project Group on Facebook and I am happy to be part of this awesome group (see my previous blog). The main criteria is to purchase a Moleskine Planner (which I did) or some type of journal, and add in extra pages (called tip-ins). Below is my DLP planner in January after I put all my tip-ins in! I suspected I would need to do something about it (see photo).

DLP Planner in January 2014

DLP Planner in January 2014

Now it’s time for a bookbinding surgery! This is my planner at Week 15 before I made my first cut.

DLP planner Week 15

DLP planner Week 15

another view before 1st cut!

another view before 1st cut!

WARNING:  This is not a tutorial!

I cut the outside of the leather spine with a very sharp scissor (yikes!) and then with an equally sharp Xacto knife, sliced the binding and stitches!

cutting into the leather spine

cutting into the leather spine

using the Xacto knife

using the Xacto knife

cutting...

cutting…

Oh before I got to the stitches…I, uh, pulled off the front and back leather covers. OMGoodness! Yes I did, that’s me pulling it off.

pulling off the leather cover

pulling off the leather cover

still pulling...

still pulling…

Now for the stitches. Please be aware that when I cut into the original binding…uhm…I was well, perturbed! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but really, Moleskine was not going to make it easy at all (they have a very special method of sewing their signatures together). So with a deep breath I cut, taped and sewed 8 signatures.

still cutting or slicing...

still cutting or slicing…

pulling signatures apart...

pulling signatures apart…

taken apart

taken apart

Bookbinding involves sewing. The method I used is called a coptic binding stitch. I have to say this…I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE! As you can see my stitching is a bit wonky and the ribbons are from a stash I’ve got around here. I figured I’ll use what I can, when I can and I’m okay with that.

8 signatures are taped and ready to be sewn

8 signatures are taped and ready to be sewn

coptic binding stitch done!

coptic binding stitch done!

Next step I needed to glue the stitching and the ribbon (now called the spine) to protect it. I cut a piece of primed canvas to the size of the spine and glued it on.

primed canvas glued on spine

primed canvas glued on spine

another view

another view

By this time, I had a thought maybe I should not have torn off those leather covers because I’m thinking I need to reinforce the front and back pages because now they’re too thin to glue on to the book cover! Soooo…I used collaged cardstock and cut 2 to size to be the inside covers for the front and back and glued them on.

a view of inside cover and planner before gluing

a view of inside cover and planner before gluing

gluing...

gluing…

still gluing

still gluing

After I glued the inside front and back covers I took some rubber bands to hold it together and let it dry overnight.

finished gluing, rubber bands put on to keep together overnight

finished gluing, rubber bands put on to keep together overnight

Before I started this bookbinding journey, I decided on a hardcover for my planner. I guess I don’t do stuff the simple way. To make the hardcover I measured the new spine and the planner taking into account my tabs on top and tabs on the side and added it up. I cut 3 pieces of cardboard, and a primed canvas to cover; then glued the cardboard and the primed canvas.

hardbook cover

hardbook cover

A couple of days later…actually I did this final piece last Saturday while we on a mini-holiday weekend. I just had to finish my bookbinding.

With a glass of wine (for courage), glue, bookcover and planner I put it all together. I put glue on the inside front and back cover (NO glue on the spine), and made sure the glue adhered to both the hardcover and the inside covers. The rubber bands were used to keep it together overnight.

planner and bookcover ready to be glued

planner and bookcover ready to be glued

glued on!

glued on!

planner and hardcover held together with rubber bands

planner and hardcover held together with rubber bands

The next day I took the rubber bands off and my DLP planner is done.

DLP planner with its new cover and room to grow

DLP planner with its new cover and room to grow

Finished.

Finished.

Oh but wait a minute. Did I say it’s done? Not really because now I get to do the really FUN stuff…paint my cover! Did I happen to mention I sometimes do things backwards. 🙂

A few more words. This was a learning experience and I enjoyed it–mistakes and all. I will definitely do more bookbinding sometime in the future. I want to thank Lee from Crafty Loops for a great and awesome tutorial. And a thank you to Nellie for taking those extra pictures (and sharing the bookbinding journey with me).

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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4 Responses to Bookbinding journey and my DLP planner

  1. Kay May 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Great job on your book binding project Aileen!! I would love to try this, but a smaller version and with fewer pages.

    • Aileen May 29, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      Thank you. I’ll be doing some more in the future and will do fewer pages!

  2. cynthia March 28, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    This was great! I too would like to try in a smaller version, this is gorgeous!!

    • Aileen March 29, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      Thank you Cynthia. I have done this on the fly and was quite happy the way it turned out in the end.

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