Book binding

Botched up DIY leather journal – and what you can learn from it

One of my recent attempts to make a journal failed miserably. It looked bad from all angles – so much so that I cannot get myself to use it, let alone gift it to anybody else. Here’s what it looked like in the end.

My sad attempt at a journal

Here’s everything that’s wrong with it:

  1. The boards covering the book are much bigger than the pages inside the book
Boards end quite a ways after the pages, creating a very uneven feel to the book

2. The signatures in the book are not aligned

Misaligned signatures

3. There is excess leather on the binding, creating an uneven fold on the spine

4. I cut the leather short, therefore needing me to attach additional strips of leather later on to cover the board!

See the extra leather added on top? The end pages and the book boards are different in size.

5. The pattern on the cover is horrible

Wouldn’t quite call this my best work

This book was supposed to bring me joy. Instead, I cannot bear myself to use this book. BUT, here’s what I learnt from this episode:

  1. Patience is a virtue – take the right measurements, follow the process. Unless you’ve mastered your craft, being hasty only brings disaster.
  2. Always better to cut more rather than less in the beginning – you can always trim later, but you can never add more.
  3. Pull the leather from all sides for a snug fit – my leather fits snug at the top but is loose on the lower portion of the book.
  4. Adding pattern on leather is a skill that needs to be learnt – you can’t just add some random pattern on leather and expect it to look good. I wanted to create a pattern like this. Instead, look at what I ended up with!
  5. Don’t beat yourself up too much when you make a mistake – My next journal turned out just fine and I was super careful when making it 🙂 Learn from your mistakes!
Woohoo! 🙂

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