Book binding

Starting a new bookbinding project

I’ve been thinking about what bookbinding project to start next. Having made more than 20 journals by now, I’m at the point where I want to try something different. I love making journals, and will continue to make them. But I think I want to try something new also.

Some past projects!

There are a few things that I know I enjoy:

  1. I enjoy making leather bound books. The look and feel of vintage leather bound books is unparalleled. To make sure I’m doing this in a sustainable way, I’ll probably buy something second hand to source my leather.
  2. I enjoy smaller sized books compared to larger ones. The idea of a pocket sized book really appeals to me. They look so nice!
  3. I like relatively thin paper. This is just a personal preference but I think I lean towards using text weight paper, over the more heavier paper that’s better for painting and sketching.

I’m considering making a hand bound version of a real book this time around. That is, take a book that has already been published, and create a beautiful, hand bound version of that book. To do this, I’ll have to make sure that there are no copyright issues. I’ll therefore have to find something that was published long ago so that the copyright has expired, or something that’s available in the public domain. I’m thinking an old philosophy book, something like “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca.

To be able to do this well, I’ll have to learn a few different things first:

  1. I’ll have to learn how to print the text of a book on paper, in a way that when I fold the paper into signatures and sew the book together, it all flows and the text is readable.
  2. I’ll have to learn how and where to get high quality vintage leather
  3. I’ll have to learn how to engrave a title on a leather cover using DIY tooling
  4. I’ll have to learn how to estimate the right size of a book, based on how much text there is and how thick I’d like the book to be
  5. I’ll have to learn where to find open source / copyright free books to bind!

It’s fun to embark on a new project and make a list of all the things that I’ll have to do to make the project a reality. I’ll be keeping this blog updated as I make progress on this project!

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