Book binding

Don’t throw away scraps from your book binding projects

In the beginning, I would throw away scraps from my book binding projects. As you sew, cut, glue, prune, there are bound to be leftover materials, and I didn’t see the point in storing waste material that would take up space. However, I’ve found that leftover material can actually come in handy in future book binding projects. You really cannot predict what use you might find for them.

Here are some examples of how I’ve ended up using leftover material from previous projects on new projects:

  • Thick leather strips leftover from a project as I tried to get the right shape for a book, were perfect when creating cords on the spine of another book.
The cords you see on the sides are leftover leather strips from a previous project
  • Book board leftover after cutting out your panel – When you cut out a panel of book board, you’re left with this weird L shape that doesn’t look immediately useful. But, when I got into making miniature books, I found that the leftover book board had just enough covering my miniature books.
Left over L shape is just enough to make covers for a miniature hard bound book!
  • Leftover end pages – same story. When you cut out end pages, it’s easy to throw away the odd shaped paper that’s left behind. But I found that this paper was enough to make end pages for my miniature books.
End pages torn from a larger Japanese illustration used elsewhere
  • Leftover leather – Strips of leather left from a project make for great insignia to add to your new projects. For example – I engraved the inside of a journal with a leftover leather strip.

Remember though – you don’t want to be storing unnecessary waste. Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” is an excellent read on this subject. I think the trick is in identifying stuff that still has some legs to it, and saving it for future use. As you start making your books, see if you can find a folder to keep leftovers from your projects. It’s great to be able to reuse something that I would have thrown away otherwise!

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