Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Don't judge a book-fold by it's cover... until it's decorated!

Morning crafters and spoonies... When I started writing this tutorial, 'How to cover a book', I'd been awake for most of the night. It was only at 06:27 that I feel like sleeping... it's a peculiarity of the Fibro/ME/CFS combination. 
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, coupled with extreme & chronic fatigue, how contradictory can you get?... anyway I thought 'aah well, I shall try and stay awake now and make a start on this tutorial'... that was 3 weeks ago and at last it's finished... so here goes!

Since I started book-art, or book-folding, I've become increasingly interested in the cover decoration. In order to get a professional finish you'll need a foundation for your decorations, this can be done by recovering your hardback.

This tutorial shows you the basic instructions on how to cover a book. 
Applying other decoration is left up to you & your imagination... I may even do another tutorial looking at decoration in the future, who knows :)

You will need:-

Paper to cover the book, a good wrapping paper or wallpaper.
Contrast paper for the inside cover (optional).
Scissors or a blade for cutting. 
A ruler and pencil.
A small household paint brush, about 1"
PVA glue 
Double sided tape.
Plastic bag, a carrier bag will do nicely.
A hard surface, a tray will do.
Hot glue gun, if you have one.

Read right through the tutorial first, so that you have some idea of the steps and what you will need to do.

Cut a piece of paper to fit around your book. 
Lay your book on the paper; you can draw around the book if you like, until you get used to covering your books. Draw another line around the first, leaving a border of about 4cm. Cut around this outer line.

Make sure you press the spine down after marking one side and before you mark the other. 

Mark where the spine's opening meets the front and back covers. Cut 2 small V shapes, pointing down to your marks, either end of the spine. The shape in between these marks will be slipped down into the spine cavity as we cover the book.
Getting ready to glue. 
Lay your paper right side down on a clean flat surface. I often use another piece of wallpaper placed on a tray. That way you can move your project out of the way quite easily, while it's drying.
I use PVA glue, thinned slightly with water to make it more brushable. 
Brush your glue, quite liberally, on to the paper.
I then quickly wipe the hardback with a wet cloth, not dripping wet, but enough to help it absorb the glue on the paper & adhere nicely. 

Quickly place the closed book on to the paper, matching the first V with the fold of the cover & spine. Wrap the paper around the book, smoothing it out as you go. If your paper is already starting to dry at the edges, peel it back carefully and brush on more glue before smoothing it back into place.

Place the covered book on the plastic bag, this prevents the cover sticking to the paper or surface it's laying on. PVA will peel of a plastic bag but if your cover sticks to the paper/surface your cover will not be usable. Leave it to dry.

When the cover is dry start to fold the excess over to the inside of the book. Using double sided tape stick the excess to the inside of the cover. Don't worry about the flap on the spine, we'll do that in a minute.

I mitre my corners and trim them, as in the next picture. This gives a flatter surface under the book's inside cover paper.
Pinch the two edges together at the corner, creasing them at the join. Trim as close to the join as you can, being careful not to cut it to short, it's better to be able to trim again than to have a gap.

Lift both edges, apply a bit of glue under one and press it down on to the cover. Apply more glue to the other edge, fold in the corner and stick down well.

This isn't the neatest mitred corner but it serves it's purpose well enough for this project. Most of this corner will be covered by the inside cover. 

If the paper is a really heavy paper I'd recommend using a hot glue gun for the corners and for the spine. It's a lot faster and more secure.

Trim your spine tab so that it fits easily inside the spine cavity. Be careful not to trim to much at the corners, you don't want to see the original cover.

Apply some glue to the tab and pop in down inside, press firmly to get a nice neat edge.

Cut two pieces of paper to fit inside the front and back covers. 

Measure from the fold of the spine to the edge of the book and subtract about 2mm. You only need to subtract a border allowance for one edge because the other edge butts up to the body of the book and spine and doesn't need a border.
In this pic the measurement is 12.7cm, take away 2mm for the outside edge border= 12.5cm

 Do the same for the height. Measure from edge to edge and subtract the same amount at each end for the end borders. This measures 19.8cm. Take away 4mm= 19.4cm (it's 2 mm for each end remember!)

You should have a piece of paper measuring 12.5cm x 19.4cm, that fits snugly into the crease of the spine and has an equal 2mm border all round the edge of the cover.
Apply double sided tape to the inside cover and carefully stick your inside cover paper in place.
Again, if you're using a particularly heavy paper I'd use hot glue, carefully, around the edge to keep it from lifting.

That's it, you've covered your first book-fold. Now you can decorate it to co-ordinate with your book design. 
I hope this has helped, feel free to leave a comment or even to ask questions... I'll do my best to help x
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