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Making a Watercolor Sketchbook - Part 3

In this final section we will glue the page block into the old book cover.  I struggled with this some, and then was told about a simpler, almost foolproof method for "casing-in," as it is called.

You will need to remove your page block from under the weights, and get the following supplies together:  a book about the same thickness as your new book (i.e. your page block in the old cover), your old book cover + signatures, PVA glue, glue brush, and wax paper.

These will be the steps, but there is also a link below to a terrific video that will demonstrate the process.   My friend Jana found the video online and it changed my way of "casing-in."  I included these written instructions in case the video isn't available when you need it.  But I want you to watch the video, because the method is much easier than anything I learned before.

Casing In the Page Block 

Read the instructions and then watch the video link included right after the instructions. 

1.  Lay out a piece of wax paper to put your book cover on to keep the covers clean. 

2.  On it, place your book (close) on the right, and a similar size book (closed) touching it on the left.  Your book should have the signatures nestled right uo against the inside of the spine, and equidistant from the top and bottom edges of the book.

3.  Open your book, and insert a clean piece of wax paper between the two front end papers, extending out 1-2 inches beyond the edges of the pages.  This is to protect your book when you are applying glue.

4.  With your front book cover open and resting on the other book, rapidly apply PVA glue all over the wrong side of the front end paper.  Glue down the flap of mull, if you glued the spine) in the process.  Make sure to cover it all in a thin layer.

5.  Carefully remove the piece of wax paper.  Then push your book up tight against the other book, with your, book cover open.  Check the position of your page block to make sure it hasn't shifted.

6.  And then just quickly close your book cover over the glued end paper, and add a little weight to make sure the cover has attached to the glue on the end paper.

7.  You may open the book just a little to make sure the end paper is in position, but opening it further will stretch the damp paper.

8.  Turn the book over and repeat the process on the back side.

9.  Wrap your book in wax paper to protect it, and put the finished book under weights at least overnight. 

The Video Link

http://www.tjbookarts.com/videos.htm

It is 7 1/2 minutes long and the last 3 1/2 minutes will show you how to "case-in" your book, gluing the end papers to the inside of the the covers. 

In the first half you will see a book cover made from book board and paper, and then the same cover after fabric is applied.  But there is not enough information to replicate the process. 

The important part comes right after that - the easiest way I've seen to finish your book!  Watch it several times and then make your book!

I couldn't photograph this process because the glue dries too quickly.  But I do have photos below of my finished book.

The Finished Book     (Total Cost:  approximately $18 with small amounts of glue, thread)

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Inside the Front Cover

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The Old Title Page

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The Asymmetrically Folded Extra Piece of Watercolor Paper.  I will probably put contact information on this flap - and dates of our trip.

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The Other Part of the Small Paper - One Page Later.  It is always hard to remember where the two halves of a folio are actually placed within a signature.  The photo page that you see behind it on the right is the other half of the title page in Signature #1. 

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Several Photo Pages of Venice That I Wanted to be Part of My Book:

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I still have a little bit of a gap between my signatures - but I can live with this.  There will always be a next time and practice does really help!

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 I hope that this tutorial is useful to artists who want to make their own watercolor sketchbooks.  I have recycled many books for travel and figure drawing practice.  And I have also made 24 watercolor sketchbooks for my daily journals and I now make the fabric that I use as bookcloth for the covers. 

Here are a few of the more recent watercolor sketchbooks.

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HAPPY BOOKBINDING!

Please contact me through the "comments" section at anytime if you have questions.  I will receive them as email.  I'd also love to know if you found this tutorial helpful.

I have a Bookbinding Category on the right side of my blog if you are interested in other books I've made.

Comments

This book is absolutely beautiful. It was very thoughtful of you to create an entire tutorial for binding the book -- what a great resource!

WOW! I am so glad to come across your tutorial ... I love making my own books, but never do enough to get good at it. I also have never found a book to recycle like this! I should just keep looking I guess ... but what a wonderful book you made!

I love all the props to keep the book open.

I have enjoyed your written instructions about how to make a sketchbook. I make my own but have never tried using an old book to put one together. I find your instructions very helpful. Thank you for the effort. I am always amazed that people can find such wonderful old books to use. I look for them but rarely find one. After reading your instructions I will be on the lookout for a good book to repurpose.

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