I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but I sometimes have trouble with wanting to do too much, creatively speaking. My big attempt last week to get organized on the handmade gifts front has backfired in a weird way. Yes, I’ve got a working list now of all the projects I plan to make for friends, kids, and family this winter, and have even completed a couple of the simpler ones. But in gearing up for creative production mode, I unwittingly stepped into the time-stealing quagmire of a new obsession–making books.
While poking around in search of a handmade sketch book tutorial for the doodlers on my list, I found this wonderful book. At Spoonflower, we’ve had bookbinders email us before with questions about fabric for cloth bound books, but it wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized how many similarities there are between sewing and bookbinding. I had no idea, for example, that paper had a straight of grain the way that fabric does. I did know that sometimes book bindings were sewn together, but I didn’t know how appealing exposed stitches could look on a handmade book binding. There is just enough similarity to sewing for me to feel undaunted, but little enough for the prospect of making books to be very intriguing indeed.
I like to take baby steps when embarking on something new and potentially wallet-worrying, so back to that fabric in books idea. Esther Smith offers a couple of jumping off points for cloth books–"for babies of all ages," as she puts it–and I can imagine how much fun it would be to design some fabric to print up for just this purpose. It could be something as simple as a printed, custom cover for the front of your fabric book, or as elaborate as a posterized collection of family photos sewed into a cloth baby book. If you prefer your books be made of paper, thanks, there are also tutorials out there for turning fabric into book cloth to be adhered to board for a different kind of book’s cover (though Smith doesn’t discuss that in her book).
I’m adding a cloth baby book to my littlest girl’s Christmas gift list right…now. And I’ll keep you posted on whether the new obsession ends there.