Friday, April 20, 2012

perfect mini book covers every time by lauren bergold

Pixie Dust Paperie


"Just Enough Stuff"
by Lauren Bergold
(Day 6)


they say you can't judge a book by its cover, but in my experience, that's just not true! in fact, when we're looking at books "in person" (in a store, the library, or even on our own shelves) the cover is the initial thing we see... and we all know how important "first impressions" are, right?! here's a step-by-step guide to my own (admittedly idiosyncratic!) way of making easy covers that look good every time!

1. apply adhesive to one side of your chipboard
your chipboard will be completely covered at the end, so feel free to use mismatched scraps or even "upcycle" bits of cereal boxes! when using vintage paper as a covering, apply adhesive to the surface that you're affixing TO, and not to the vintage paper itself, which tends to be a lot more delicate! i like to use my xyron machine to get smooth all over coverage with no drying time, but use your favorite adhesive! (a lot of people *LOVE* gel medium for this, but my personal preference is not to work wet if it can be avoided... but you should use whatever YOU like best!)

2. lay chipboard piece carefully onto your cover's "base" paper
you can make small pencil marks on the back to guide placement; the most important part is to lay it down STRAIGHT, especially if there is text involved! smooth and burnish the paper to get rid of any small wrinkles or air bubbles.

3. trim the paper to size and notch the corners 
this is, in my opinion, the most CRUCIAL step, because i really hate the look of messy corners! :) sorry, i don't know enough math to tell you what angle that cut is, but the main thing is to cut right UP to the corner without going over. i suggest practicing this a couple of times with scrap materials, and after you've done it, you'll see what i mean. (if you wind up with either gaps OR excess paper on your corners, they can be covered up with ink or decorative tape, respectively!)

4. apply gluestick liberally to two opposing sides and adhere those flaps
i almost always do the top and bottom first, and then the sides, but you might like to look at your paper and see if there's a nicer bit of pattern on one or the other; you're not going to see too much of it, though, so don't agonize.

5. apply gluestick liberally to THE OTHER two opposing sides and adhere those flaps
i think this one's pretty self-explanatory! :)

6. trim your "finish" piece and attach it to the book
in traditional book-making the panel you place on top of your folded base paper is called an "end paper" and goes on the inside of the book. because i am often using carefully selected vintage paper as my base, i often do this "backwards" and let the inside cover have the seamless part, and place my DECORATED panel on the outer cover. this is definitely and non-traditional way of working, but i often prefer it; experiment with your books and see which you prefer!

and now you have perfect front and back covers which are ready to be punched and strung on a book ring or spiral bound using a bind-it-all. either way, your one-of-a kind mini book is going to be a ♥KNOCKOUT♥!

speaking of mini-books, i've just added a new category of small wire bound craft journals to my etsy shop, and i'm pretty excited to show you a couple of them. as with all my products, every single one is different, so i hope you'll visit the shop to see them all!

measure: 3.75" 4.25"
keep a record of your yarncraft projects and show off photos in fun vintage style!

measure: 3.75" 4.25"
keep a record-- and photos-- of your fabric creations in fun vintage style!

coming soon: some brand new "she's crafty" journals for every type of project, so be sure to stay tuned for those!

i hope you'll be inspired to have a go at book- or journal-making. after a little bit of practice, this really *IS* fun and easy... and will save you plenty of time and money in trying to find the perfect size and shape of book for your particular needs!  have FUN! ♥ 


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  1. This girl is waaaay too clever!

  2. great tutorial lauren...I always forget about the corner chopping until it is too late and end up with bulky, bunchy corners!